This Courtroom Watch Group Is Fighting Their County To Stay Accessible

Boone County courthouse
Zain Murdock
April 19, 2021

PG Court Watch’s mission? “Going behind the curtain of Prince George's County courts because injustice happens in empty courtrooms.” Yup! Led by a group of formerly incarcerated Black women, they stick to that promise. Since the courts don’t do right while no one’s watching, they make sure to watch! But not for long.

Why is an accessible court watch so important? It’s like this: Even though reforms keep getting passed, courtrooms still punish Black people with ridiculous bails for nonviolent “crimes of poverty” – or hold them in jail indefinitely for things they didn’t even do!

Not only that, but their families can’t go all the way to court to ensure they get a fair hearing when they’re poor themselves. That’s why having the court watch on Zoom changed the game. Volunteers could court watch from anywhere. But, PG County wants to change it back.

PG County court-watchers challenge the system by working together towards a common goal – transparency in the courtroom. They’re protecting our most vulnerable from unjust incarceration and impossibly-high bail. We can't let PG County stop community court-watching. Our people will be the ones that suffer when it’s taken away!

There might be a court watch you can join in your area! And, you can sign PG’s petition at this link:

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