On June 14, Professor Douglas Colbert appeared on the Marc Steiner show to discuss the Justice Policy Institute's recently released report outlining steps the city can take to reduce the endemic overcrowding in Baltimore jails. Citing an abnormally high rate of people incarcerated while awaiting trial, JPI suggests that Baltimore should rely more on citations instead of arrests when dealing with minor offenses, shorten the time between arrests and court dates, and reform bail practices.
Professor Colbert has written extensively about indigents' right to counsel, bail reform, the Thirteenth Amendment, race discrimination in jury selection, affirmative action, police misconduct, politically sensitive trials, and legal scholarship. Professor Colbert was the lead counsel in the Napanoch prison rebellion and represents plaintiffs in civil rights litigation. Prior to entering teaching, he was a senior trial attorney in the criminal defense division of the NYC Legal Aid Society. Professor Colbert's recent scholarly activities have focused on reforming statesí pretrial release systems and guaranteeing counsel at the bail stage. He founded and directed the Lawyers at Bail Project, which represented 4,000 indigent defendants at bail hearings. Professor Colbert regularly contributes opinion articles and engages in public education about many criminal justice issues. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Public Justice Center and the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association. He is a past chair of the Maryland State Bar Associationís Section on Correctional Reform.