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Office of the Public Defender           6 St. Paul Street, Suite 1400, Baltimore, MD 21202           1.877.430.5187              opdcommunications@opd.state.md.us

policy

 

MELISSA ROTHSTEIN

DIRECTOR OF POLICY & DEVELOPMENT

RICARDO FLORES

DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

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MELANIE SHAPIRO

DIRECTOR OF JUVENILE JUSTICE POLICY

As the largest legal services provider in the state and the agency charged with representing indigent defendants, the Office of the Public Defender is in a unique position to identify and address injustice in the policies and systems that affect the lives of individuals impacted by the criminal and juvenile justice systems. To ensure positive and meaningful outcomes for our clients, we identify these issues and advocate for systemic change, not just in the courtroom, but with the Legislature, the Governor’s Office, the Judiciary Rules Committee, the media, and other state and local entities.  

OPD’s current policy priorities include:

  • Unbiased policing and arrest practices

  • Reasonable charging of crimes

  • Decriminalization of public health issues

  • Risk-based pretrial determinations

  • Accurate fact-finding & forensics

  • Proportional punishment

  • Access to appropriate treatment

  • Realistic opportunities for reentry