The Sentencing Review Unit (SRU) was created in December 2020. This unit is a recognition that over time, laws and our prosecution practices have evolved, that racial disparities still exist in the criminal justice context, and that we have a serious mass incarceration problem. We also have a more evolved understanding of juvenile behavior, drug addiction and poverty. The SRU reviews the convictions and sentences of persons who have served lengthy periods of incarceration to determine whether they can be safely released back into our community.
To submit an application for SRU consideration, the conviction must have occurred in Baltimore City and you must be actively serving that sentence in a Maryland correctional facility or in a facility under the interstate compact agreement.
The Sentencing Review Unit (SRU) will prioritize cases utilizing the following criteria for initial review but not wholly sufficient for a recommendation to support release (please see factors considered below):
- Individuals who have spent at least 20 years in prison on a sentence for a crime committed as a juvenile (age 17 and under); OR
- Individuals who have a documented serious medical condition according to CDC that places them at a higher risk of serious illness or death if they contract COVID-19; AND
- They are over the age of 60 who have spent more than 25 years in prison on a life sentence; OR
- They have spent at least 25 years in prison on a sentence committed as an emerging adult (age 18-24).
You must be serving a sentence of incarceration imposed in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.
After an initial screening, SRU will conduct a thorough review of whether the SAO should support the release of the individual which includes – but is not limited to - consultation with the victim/next of kin, consultation with the homicide prosecutor who handled any aspect of the case (where applicable), facts of the case, mitigating circumstances, changes in sentencing practices, conduct while incarcerated, reentry plan, certificates of achievement, letters of support, length of time in prison, age, medical conditions, remorse, positive development, family/community support, and likelihood of re-offending.
GIVEN THE VOLUME OF APPLICATIONS, PLEASE BE PATIENT WHILE WE RESPOND TO YOU.
SRU In The News