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Katherine Coates

Board Member

Katherine has worked and volunteered in the realms of reentry and social justice for over 20 years. She has served adults and adolescents in jails, prisons, mental health courts and programs, and nonprofit agencies throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland. She is fueled by a relentless passion and works tirelessly to serve broken people deeply impacted by broken systems.

In collaboration with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS), she developed and implemented reentry programs for male and female inmates at the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC), the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCI-W), as well as nonprofit agencies.

In addition to providing reentry and case management services, she developed a creative writing and self development curriculum for the Women's Detention Center (WDC), where she taught and empowered over 200 women. She established partnerships with the ELEVATION Program, supported by the Public Safety Compact, as well as the Stress Management dorm and Addicts Changing Together-Substance Abuse Program (ACT-SAP).

Ms. Coates brought her expertise to the community and began a career at Women Accepting Responsibility, Inc. (WAR), a non-profit agency in West Baltimore. She spearheaded the development of their new reentry program and successfully transformed it, ultimately securing its funding. With Ms. Coates’ assistance and perseverance, the program, which started with fewer than five incarcerated women, ended with over 175 enrolled clients, to include dozens of success stories.

As the Program Manager, she utilized the partnerships that she developed throughout Baltimore City and Baltimore County to ensure her clients received nothing less than the care they deserved. Ms. Coates led groups, coordinated job fairs and special events, and developed incentive programs. She was nicknamed the “bulldog”, as she continually and unapologetically advocated for all of her clients.

Ms. Coates received a Master's in Criminal Justice to obtain additional tools and knowledge to better serve the incarcerated population. Her Bachelor’s in Communications has enabled her to develop and cultivate key partnerships and support from the community, while establishing a strong rapport with inmates, professionals, family and support systems, stake holders, and within corrections.

Continuing her passion to educate and empower, she teaches a Women’s Studies course at the Baltimore County Community College. She has excellent presentation skills, a tenacious personality, and a steadfast conviction to make a difference. Her dedication to empower and educate the incarcerated population is evident in the work that she has done and continues to do, one drop at a time.

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. ~Mother Teresa