Established in 1979, Alternative Directions, Inc. is a Baltimore-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. A statewide organization, ADI is dedicated to helping prisoners, ex-prisoners and others in need become independent, responsible citizens through civil legal assistance and reentry services. Since its inception, ADI’s foremost goals have been 1) to find new and better ways to keep women and men from returning to prison, 2) to provide pro se civil legal services to men and women in Maryland jails and prisons, and 3) to educate the public and policy makers about the barriers female and male prisoners face when re-entering the Maryland community.
After Care Transition Program
The After Care Transition program facilitates monthly workshops where 50 partner agencies (state, community and corporate) join us inside Maryland’s women’s prisons. Speakers provide literature from their agencies to help guide prisoners being released toward housing, jobs, physical and mental health care, substance abuse facilities, and other related resources.
Turn About Program
TAP provides transitional services to women leaving prison on parole. Women with a substance abuse history enter a 28-day drug abuse program at Tuerk House and then continue after-care treatment for another six months. TAP clients report to ADI at least three times a week for individual and group counseling and attend GED classes, parenting, stress management, job development, and computer classes throughout their involvement.
Maryland Public Safety COMPACT
ADI is one of four organizations awarded grants to provide services to early paroled individuals under the new public safety COMPACT. The COMPACT offers four simultaneous benefits. 1) Clients receive early release and the benefit of services proven to maximize the chances for successful reentry. 2) The Department of Corrections reduces the incarcerated population and saves the daily housing costs for each individual released. 3) The program benefits taxpayers who ultimately pay for State services. 4) Part of the cost savings will fund further sustainable reentry services.
Children of Incarcerated Parents (CHIP) Mentoring Program
CHIP seeks to match children whose parents are incarcerated with mentors from the surrounding community. Mentors serve as a responsible adult and friend to the mentees. This is a new program for ADI, and so far, both mentees and mentors have enjoyed several successful matches! We’re looking for more caring mentors to be a part of this program. If you are interested, please call us or visit us at www.chipmentoring.org.
Out For Justice Project
Out For Justice organizes former prisoners, families of prisoners, and supporters of criminal justice reform to change unjust and counter-productive policies affecting incarcerated individuals and their families. OFJ is managed by previously incarcerated men and women.
Civil Legal Services
ADI’s Civil Legal Assistance Program helps male and female clients represent themselves in uncontested civil legal matters. Alternative Directions stands alone as the only civil legal services organization in Maryland whose target population is incarcerated individuals. A large segment of the population would have no access to the courts without help from our organization. The mission of our civil legal program is to assist the incarcerated population in representing themselves in pro se family law matters such as:
Divorces – Our office assists individuals with uncontested, civil divorces. This is accomplished through workshops at correctional facilities, requests through the mail, or walk-ins who meet income eligibility guidelines.
Child Support Modification – ADI won a landmark court case which allows a prisoner to file in court for child support payments to be suspended while incarcerated. This prevents the accumulation of tens of thousands of dollars in debt that could lead to arrest for non-support.
Name Change – Our office provides sample paperwork for individuals to file with the Court to have their name changed.
Temporary Guardianship – Our office has staff members who can notarize temporary guardianship papers allowing children access to medical care, health care, and schools.
Paternity – We offer a general information sheet on paternity with instructions for establishing paternity.
Visitation – We offer assistance with establishing or enforcing visitation.
Child Support / Visitation / Custody/Credit – We offer a general information sheet on these matters.
We also provide civil legal assistance to Maryland residents who meet financial eligibility guidelines.
**Note: Although supervised by an attorney, Alternative Directions, Inc. has no attorneys on staff. Staff members cannot offer any legal advice or representation. We assist clients in representing themselves in simple, uncontested, civil cases. **