Former inmate counsels prisoners upon release with Gatekeepers program


HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — A volunteer program organized by a former inmate in Washington County is helping those released from prison get situated “on the outside.”

Bill Gaertner served eight years for domestic violence and since his release, he has run the “Gatekeepers” program. While behind bars, Gaertner dealt with his alcoholism and says he committed himself to “paying homage to those I’ve harmed, especially my victim.”

By working with inmates still on probation following their release, Gaertner devotes countless hours each week at the Washington County Day Report Center where he counsels those once behind bars on being productive in the workforce and on track for meaningful lives.

“I started building a new, productive life while I was in prison,” says Gaertner. “I hope to help others do the same.”

Gaertner’s Gatekeepers program has support from the Catholic Diocese of Baltimore.

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