10. Achieve Public Safety by Strengthening our Communities and Empowering People

For many Marylanders, addressing police misconduct is the defining issue of our time. The Maryland General Assembly is poised to take several important steps forward on this front. Franchot supports the package of reforms currently under consideration by the House and Senate, including requiring body-worn cameras for officers and an expansion of civilian review for misconduct. Building on the bills likely to pass this year, Franchot will support:


  • Ending all use of no-knock warrants;

  • Requiring the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission to decertify any officer who was fired or resigned while under investigation for misconduct or excessive force;

  • Applying normal Maryland Public Information Act standards to all records on police misconduct, use of force, and civilian complaints against police officers; and

  • Expanding pending legislation that will create independent review of civilian deaths involving police, to include use-of-force incidents that result in hospitalization of civilians.


Franchot is also in support of pending legislation in the Maryland General Assembly that addresses other needed reforms. These include:


  • The TRUST Act, which provides protections for undocumented Marylanders.

  • The Dignity Not Detention Act, which limits state and local cooperation with ICE.


To reduce crime, we must address the factors that induce crime. Lack of economic opportunity is paramount in this respect, not only for first-time offenders, but also for returning citizens whose struggle to find steady, good-paying employment lends itself to an increased likelihood of recidivism. Franchot has a bold goal of reducing the recidivism rate at least 50% by 2030. He will achieve this by: 


  • Offering returning citizens training and placement in a competitive industry that pays family supporting wages, as outlined in his 100,000 jobs in 100 weeks pledge.

  • Creating a statewide version of D.C.’s Office of Returning Citizen Affairs, to streamline navigation of essential state services.


Franchot is also committed to treating addiction as a public health crisis and will seek to pilot a statewide, pre-arrest diversion program for arrestees who suffer from addiction. 


For victims of violent crime, trauma-informed care is essential both for healing and for breaking potential cycles of retaliatory violence. Franchot will seek to address this need by piloting a statewide program that provides trauma-informed care and psychological services to victims of violent injury, especially youth.


The totality of these reforms will help strengthen our communities by restoring trust in our criminal justice system, saving money by ending failed practices, and reducing crime.