Veto HB 814! Care, not cages for children.

Act Now

Let’s start investing in children who are struggling or criminalized instead of locking them in cages. Maryland needs Governor Moore to veto HB814, for our kids and our communities. HB 814 is a flawed reaction to a problem that needs real solutions backed by research. This bill will have real and damaging consequences for children, especially Black children in our state.

Subjecting very young children to the juvenile justice system and giving prosecutors too much unchecked discretion over the lives of our young people is harmful. This will continue a cycle of violence because it perpetuates violence, instead of addressing the root causes.

Message Recipients:
Governor Wes Moore

[The Form Label field is hidden on ACLU message action forms]
Your Message
Use the form to send a message to your legislator.
Dear Governor Moore,

As your constituent, I'm writing today to urge you to veto House Bill 814. With your leadership, Maryland can do better and make informed decisions, based on sound research and best practices, that support children in our state who are struggling or being criminalized for childlike behavior. We need decisions that will improve public safety, racial equity, and outcomes for children.

HB814 will make us all less safe by further criminalizing our children, particularly Black children who are most targeted by police and most penalized by the legal justice system. We must keep children from ending up in a toxic cycle of incarceration and violence. Over two decades of research and experience show that drawing children deeper into the juvenile legal system significantly harms mental well-being of those detained, as it results in separation from family, society, and support networks, anxiety about victimization, unpredictable conditions, overcrowding, exposure to violence, and negative interactions with staff, among other adverse circumstances. Furthermore, studies show that children in detention are 8.5% more likely to be found guilty and 2x more likely to reoffend than children who are not detained. Additionally, 60% of children who are detained do not return to school or drop out within five months. And 1 in 3 children who are detained who are diagnosed with depression developed the condition after placement in detention.

This is a vital racial justice issue. Instead of signing the deeply flawed HB 814, together we can ensure that Black children are not given harsher consequences when better care is needed.

I urge you to veto HB 814 and give our children care, not cages.


[First Name] [Last Name]

Recent participants