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By Malia Brink
Indigent Defense columns.
Maryland Begins Holistic Defense Pilot Project
The Maryland Public Defender office is starting two holistic defender projects – one in Montgomery County and one in Baltimore County. In these offices, defenders will help clients address not only their criminal cases, but also subsidiary issues such as housing, addiction problems, and access to public benefits. The aim of the projects is to reduce the number of repeat offenders by addressing some of the causes of criminal behavior. “We owe it to the communities not just to close the file once they’re sentenced…,” Public Defender Nancy S. Forster said. “We really do want them to pick up their lives and not be in the recidivism trap. “
The initial pilot project started in Montgomery County last year. The office will be fully operational this month. The second project office in Baltimore is expected to open soon. If successful, the projects will be expanded statewide.
NYSACDL Proposes Statewide Public Defense System
On May 1, 2006, the New
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