Working To Enhance The Quality Of Life
In Baltimore And In Maryland.

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Abell Brief: Fall 2017/Winter 2018

Abell Brief Fall 2017/Winter 2018

Working To Enhance The Quality Of
Life In Baltimore And In Maryland.



FALL 2017/WINTER 2018


Impact Investments Benefit Baltimore: Recent acquisition of Harpoon Medical shows off the city’s thriving medical technology sector.

The Abell Foundation made a net investment of $500,000 in Harpoon Medical in 2014-2015. When Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW) closed its $100 million acquisition of Harpoon two weeks ago, Abell earned $5.2 million, a 10-times return on Abell’s investment with the possibility of additional milestone payments.

Read more about the deal and what it means for Abell and for Baltimore in The Baltimore Sun, The Daily Record, and Technical’ly Baltimore.

The Baltimore City Office of Inspector General

Inspectors general are meant to serve as a watchdog, increasing government accountability. Since its creation in 2005, the Baltimore City Office of Inspector General (OIG) has struggled to effectively serve the citizens of Baltimore. In this Report, former Inspector General Robert Pearre and former City Solicitor George Nilson examine the structure and effectiveness of the Baltimore City OIG and recommend a series of reforms to strengthen the office.

Learn more here.

The Maryland Opportunity Compact

A cousin of the social impact bond, the Maryland Opportunity Compact offers a promising tool for financing innovative programming to tackle entrenched social problems at a time when public resources are stretched thin. This report examines how the compact framework has supported foster care, juvenile justice, and addiction treatment and recovery programs. Despite the challenges faced by particular programs, the report finds that the framework achieved some notable successes and merits further consideration.

Learn more here

High Standards? Reassessing the Use of Marijuana Standards to Screen Police Recruits

Despite a recent uptick in recruitment, the Baltimore Police Department still struggles to recruit qualified candidates. The department faces a barrier that has a major impact on its ability to hire: statewide police hiring standards that automatically disqualify any applicant who has used marijuana in the past three years. After reviewing the rationale behind the standard and best practices from across the country, the report recommends that the Maryland Police Standards and Training Commission eliminate its marijuana standard, giving individual city and county agencies the power to set their own standards as they see fit.

Learn more here.


Investing in Every Child

When children grow up in families that struggle to afford the basics, they often face an array of challenges in daily life that can get in the way of learning. The Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (also known as the Kirwan Commission) presents Maryland with an opportunity to provide every child with a quality education as it continues to review our state’s education system and prepares to make recommendations for reform. The Maryland Center for Economic Policy, with funding support by Abell and others, examined how the state targets funding to support low-income students and recommended changes to make the system more effective. 

Learn more here.