Maryland parole system allegedly unconstitutional

– Advocates in Maryland believe the state’s parole system is unconstitutional for juveniles sentenced to life because they don’t have a realistic opportunity for release. A federal judge just ruled that their lawsuit against the state can continue after Maryland filed a motion to dismiss it. (Baltimore Sun, 2/6)

The organization [ACLU] sued Gov. Larry Hogan and other state officials on behalf of the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative, a prisoners’ rights group, and three men who are serving life sentences.

[Judge] Hollander heard arguments last month on the state’s motion to dismiss.

In her ruling, Hollander wrote that the plaintiffs “have sufficiently alleged that Maryland’s parole system operates as a system of executive clemency, in which opportunities for release are ‘remote,’ rather than a true parole scheme in which opportunities for release are ‘meaningful.'”

FCC made a case for limiting cost of prison phone calls. Not anymore. (WaPo, 2/5)

RACIAL EQUITY | A new report from Demos and the Institute for Assets & Social Policy explores why changing individual behaviors will not close the racial wealth gap, but addressing institutional and structural racism will. (NextCity, 2/6) Check out the full report here.

– A new analysis of Metro usage data finds some interesting trends, including which jurisdiction has the shortest commute (it’s not the District). (WTOP, 2/7)

– On Metro, serious crime is down, but ‘violent crime is up’ (WaPo, 2/6)

HOUSING | A new Matters @ HAND blog reports on the residential construction in our region and the continuing lack of affordable housing. (Helping Hands Blog, 2/6)

COMMUNITYMeet the new executive in charge of Deloitte‘s Greater Washington practice (WBJ, 2/1)

– The Women’s Foundation of California has announced the launch of the Philanthropy and Public Policy Institute, a three-day intensive training for philanthropic leaders who want to strengthen their understanding of the most effective ways to fund policy advocacy. Applications are now being accepted to attend the Institute from May 9-11, 2017 in Sacramento, CA. Read more

Column: Foundations aren’t helping anyone if they’re not serious about social justice (Hechinger Report, 2/6)

And now Nina Simone on what she ‘got’……