BOYDS — Rob Green, the director of Montgomery County’s Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (DOCR), has been selected to head Maryland’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
Green was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan and will end his work at the county level on May 12. He will replace Acting Director J. Michael Ziegler, who has been serving in the position since March.
As director of DOCR, Green had many duties including implementing and evaluating the county’s policies related to rehabilitation and correction programs. He oversaw the security of detention facilities and the effectiveness of alternatives to jail time like house arrest. He also provided services to individuals in the prison system both inside and outside of jail walls.
“The staff at the DOCR are some of the best in the business,” Green said. “Their daily work allows the department to be innovative and safe. It has been an honor to work with them. Montgomery County is an incredibly supportive government and community. I will miss them greatly.”
Green has been serving in the DOCR since 2000, starting out as the department’s warden until 2014 when he was nominated for the director position by former County Executive Isiah Leggett. Green was unanimously confirmed for the director position by the Montgomery County Councilmembers in 2015.
Before he was part of Montgomery County’s DOCR, Green served with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, beginning in 1985 as a correctional officer and assistant commander. In a little more than 10 years, Green progressed from correctional officer to director of corrections and corrections bureau chief in 1997.
While serving in the DOCR, Green and his staff created the Detention Services Reentry Unit at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Clarksburg.
The Detention Services Reentry Unit is designed to provide offenders with opportunities for successful transition from prison life to the outside world.
“The Reentry Services Unit firmly believes that successful reentry is a part of effective crime control and inclusion of justice involved(involving?) individuals back into our communities,” the DOCR wrote. “The foundation for successful reentry begins during incarceration and includes a heavy emphasis on personal development, employment, education, treatment, services, family support and community engagement.”
The unit was created in 2005, according to the DOCR. It contains two reentry case managers, a reentry social worker (Clinical LCSW-C), a health and human service benefits specialist, assigned academic interns and the reentry services manager. The unit also maintains partnerships with facility and program staff to promote reentry for all incarcerated individuals.
“With our population’s ever-growing complexity of underlying causes and contributing factors to criminal behavior, we have a social responsibility as correctional professionals to similarly increase our services across a diverse range of reentry needs,” the DOCR wrote in their Reentry Services and Programs summary.
The DOCR explains that the reentry program begins at the start of an individual’s time in prison which is meant to establish expectations for the inmates’ time incarcerated and plan for release.
The unit works to reach every inmate through workshops, education and discussion groups, as well as resource service information along with a collaborative team approach to individual services and reentry planning.
The unit and its programs were recognized in 2014 by the U.S Attorney General and the U.S Secretary of Labor, and the unit was used as a model to replicate across the country.
“Rob Green’s leadership and influence extend beyond the walls of our correctional facilities,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “His work to improve the quality of life, education, care and security of the inmate population of the county’s correctional system, and the staff that manage it has set a nationally recognized standard in the effort to reduce recidivism.”
Elrich went on to explain that when men and women are prepared for meaningful employment, they have the potential to contribute the community.
“They have the potential to rejoin society as positive, engaged contributing members of their communities and work places,” Elrich said.
According to the county, along with his duties as director of DOCR, Green has appeared as an expert witness in Congressional hearings on the Prison Rape Elimination Act, gang violence, and funding for correctional mental health. He has also served since 2007 as chairman of the Maryland Commission on Correctional Standards.
While the search is under way for his replacement at DOCR, Chief of Community Corrections Angela Talley will serve as acting director.