Social Work Division

Lori James-Townes, Director of Social Work, Leadership & Program Development
Ms. James-Townes supervises the social workers and intern program throughout the state of Maryland that provides social work services for Felony, Juvenile, CINA, Mental Health, and the Aggravated Homicide Unit. She has achieved a wide variety of skills throughout her career. However, her experiences have been framed by her experience while working with the community and serving the prison population. Ms. James-Townes experience in the criminal justice field has been extensive.  Ms. James-Townes has a Bachelors degree in social work from Morgan State University and a Master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of Maryland. She has served as an expert witness in both state and federal court. In 2005, Ms. James-Townes was honored as on of NLADA’s National Gideon Heroes and in 2007 she was given the Mitigation Life time achievement award by NLADA.

Steven Carreras, Social Work Supervisor- Rockville
Mr. Carreras was the Forensic Social Worker for the Dade County Public Defender’s Office in Miami, Florida until 1997. He then served as a director for several project at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. From 2005-2009, Mr. Carreras was the clinical director at the private Psychiatric Therapeutic Community. He then served as a behavioral researcher in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for the United States Army at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. He holds a Ph.D from Brandeis University in social policy and management with a concentration on early childhood mental health issues. Mr. Carreras was in private practice from 2010 through 2013. He recently joined our Social Work Division.

Terri L. Collins, LCSW-C
Terri Collins is a licensed certified social worker-clinical.  She is the Regional Social Manager for the Office of the Public Defender.  Previously, Ms. Collins was the Clinical Director for Wraparound Maryland - Baltimore City Region, a non-profit agency that was the first Care Management Entity in Baltimore City.  Ms. Collins has been a Maryland State Employee for over fifteen years, and has worked in a variety of social work settings which include child welfare, outpatient mental health, residential psychiatric care, and forensic social work.  Ms. Collins has worked in an Adjunct Faculty capacity with the School of Social Work for Salisbury University, and has been Adjunct Faculty with the School of Social Work at Morgan State University.  In addition, she is a clinical therapist in private practice at New Perspectives, a Counseling & Consultation Group.  She is intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy from Behavioral Tech.  Ms. Collins holds a MSW in from the University of Maryland, and a B.S. in Psychology from Towson University.   Ms. Collins is a motorcycle rider enthusiast during her free time.

Joanie Shreve, LGSW
Joanie Shreve joined the Office of the Public Defender in 2012 as an Advanced Social Work Intern while completing a Masters at University of Maryland School of Social Work. Her education at UMB focused on Management and Community Organizing, with a specialization in Children and Families. Joanie is originally from Tucson, Arizona, and completed a degree in Sociology at the University of Arizona. After finishing college she joined a local Criminal Defense law firm as a legal secretary where she became passionate about advocating for clients and families impacted by the Criminal Justice system. In 2010 she relocated to Baltimore to serve as an AmeriCorps member at CASA of Baltimore County. She now serves OPD as part of the Litigation Support Division, where she manages social work services provided in appellate and post-conviction cases. Her expertise in in release planning for elderly returning citizens who transition home after long-term incarceration.

Bea Zipperle, Supervisor Juvenile Services Division
Ms. Zipperle is an experienced licensed clinical social worker with a master’s degree in clinical social work, a bachelor’s degree in human services administration, and an associate’s degree in mental health. She has particular expertise in the assessment and treatment of trauma, adolescent development, and mental health assessment of juveniles. Her work focuses on waiver and transfer cases, monitoring conditions of confinement for juveniles housed in both adult and juvenile facilities and providing clinical supervision to licensed social workers and interns. She is an expert on programming and placement options for juveniles committed to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. She regularly teaches attorneys and social workers in areas such as trauma and juvenile placement. Ms. Zipperle is routinely qualified as an expert witness in waiver and transfer cases and has testified throughout the State of Maryland. She joined the Office of the Public Defender in 2005. Ms. Zipperle has recently been appointed social work supervisor for the Juvenile Division of the Office of the Public Defender.  She is also a two-time winner of the prestigious Cahill Advocate for Justice award for her zealous and tireless advocacy for Maryland's most vulnerable children.