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MJP coordinates programs and initiatives within our Baltimore communities, inside the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women, and throughout Maryland. All volunteers must be approved by either Program Director Jamy Drapeza or Executive Director Monica Cooper. In addition to volunteering for a program or fundraising, volunteers can also sign up to be Immediate Action Volunteers, in which they will be contacted for flash actions and events that are scheduled 24 hours or less in advance. For more information about our programs and how to get involved, please contact Executive Director Monica Cooper at

Ban the Box - Community Outreach

Our core program, spearheaded by Ban the Box Advocate Marion Williams with Executive Director Monica Cooper, our goals for community outreach include: connecting with youth and adults returning home from incarceration to gather their stories around gaining employment and providing job readiness support, facilitating advocacy events to raise awareness about Ban the Box legislation and encourage widespread implementation beyond Baltimore, and to connect with local and state politicians to support economic justice initiatives for formerly incarcerated individuals with a focus on women and girls.

Ban the Box - Business Outreach

Led by Ban the Box Advocate Marion Williams in conjunction with students from Goucher University, our business outreach initiative aims to educate Baltimore businesses about Ban the Box legislation and support them in updating their applications and employee recruitment processes to be compliant. Their findings are reported to the Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement , which holds businesses accountable in the event they fail to comply with the Ban the Box law.

Participatory Defense Movement - Baltimore Hub

In collaboration with Stand Up Baltimore and Out for Justice, Participatory Defense Coordinator Vonunette Allen represents Maryland Justice Project of the three organizations defining the Baltimore Hub of the National Participatory Defense Movement Network. Based in the courthouse, our team of coordinators and volunteers hold weekly Wednesday meetings with families who have a loved one with an open court case.


In working with these families and their legal team, they take an active role in developing their loved one’s court defense and advocate for alternative sentences to incarceration. With paralegal experience, our Coordinator also works with eligible individuals to expunge completed convictions from their record, removing a stigmatic barrier to employment common among the majority of unemployed individuals qualified for work.

535 Alliance

The 535 Alliance is a group of formerly incarcerated women and girls that have formed a bond through incarceration. The alliance is an association focused on furthering the interests of its members, and functions as a peer governing board to Maryland Justice Project, as well as organizing advocacy efforts that support the health, well being, and re-entry process currently incarcerated women and girls. Coordinated by Program Director Jamy Drapeza and Executive Director Monica Cooper, members would be invited to join monthly meetings, dates TBD.

535 Coalition

The 535 Coalition is a group of organizations and people - particularly women and girls - who agree to act together to specifically address the needs of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and girls. Led by Executive Director Monica Cooper, the Coalition would mobilize for immediate community actions, lobbying events, justice policy reform and initiatives that support the rights and well being of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and girls.

SCREAM & Monthly Outreach Visits

Created by MJP Core Volunteer Etta Myers, SCREAM is a series of workshops focusing on women and girls who are incarcerated with long or life-term sentences. Facilitated at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women, participants develop skills and tools around anger management and encourages mentorship between older and younger participants as they identify goals to achieve as they complete their sentences. Ms. Myers conducts monthly support visits to share resources for women that are about to complete their sentences and exit the facility.

Women Moving Forward

A 22-week program, Women Moving Forward is focused on developing healthy self-esteem, building positive relationships, and reducing the risk of involvement in the criminal justice system. A secondary goal of the program is to build job readiness skills among teens and young women, so they may achieve and maintain economic independence.


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