Neighborhood Defenders

The OPD’s “Neighborhood Defenders” employ a holistic team approach to client representation that reaches beyond the courthouse and into the lives of clients.

Neighborhood Defender attorneys provide zealous advocacy to favorably resolve the criminal case.

Neighborhood Defender social workers, paralegals, and administrative staff connect clients with the housing, public benefits, mental health treatment and addictions counseling services that are necessary to break the cycle of re-offending.

Building Bridges: From Incarceration to Community

OPD, Montgomery County Correctional Re-Entry Unit (MCCF) & Montgomery County Health & Human Services (HHS)

In a combined effort to help address the deep-rooted underlining social issues that result in incarceration, the three organizations have formed a coalition to focus on re-entry.

OPD social worker Veronica Cruz, Ka Wong of HHS, and Wendy Miller and Gale Starkey of MCCF share the belief that unless more supportis provided, many clients will continue to be stuck in the revolving door of the criminal justice system. Along with other community partners, they work within the correctional facility to offer reentry programs (including programs in Spanish—provided by Ms. Cruz). They also regularly host Family Outreach Night for the families and loved ones of incarcerated individuals. These events gives families access to a wealth of resources to assist their loved ones as they make the transition from being in jail to living back in their communities.

For more information about the reentry program or Family Outreach Night, contact MCCF's Gale Starkey at 240 773 9769.

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