Orlando Martinez is currently the Founder and Senior Partner of Martinez Tjaden, LLP. The Martinez Tjaden, LLP is a unique association of specialists in the planning and development of programs for at-risk juveniles and juvenile offenders. Offering advanced knowledge and a spectrum of ongoing experience the principals of Martinez Tjaden, LLP have administered state and local programs and completed projects throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Regional offices, in Atlanta, Georgia and Vail, Colorado, allow the organization to easily respond to clients across the nation.
Mr. Martinez has served on Southwest Key's board of directors since 2007 and has over thirty years involvement in planning and managing programs that serve youth and their families. Prior to establishing the Martinez Group, on May 6, 1999, Martinez was sworn in as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice by then Governor Roy E. Barnes. From that time until August of 2003, Martinez led the Agency through a period of progressive change.
After serving seventeen years as Director of Colorado's Department of Youth Service, Martinez retired in 1992. During his tenure with Colorado, Martinez spearheaded a $32 million fast-track construction project to replace unsafe, obsolete juvenile institutions and detention centers, simultaneously leading statewide juvenile justice reform efforts. In addition, Martinez oversaw the implementation of a system of accountability based on American Correctional Association standards.
From 1992 until May of 1999, Mr. Martinez served as sole proprietor of Martinez & Associates. Martinez provided juvenile justice consultation to both the public and private sectors during this time, and completed projects in seventeen states. His appointments to serve as a court monitor in the cases of the United State v. the State of Washington and the United States v. the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico speak to the confidences placed in Martinez' effectiveness in leading change.
At the time Martinez accepted the Commissioner's position in Georgia, he discontinued his services to the Justice Department in the State of Washington. He did, however, continue monitoring the juvenile justice system in Puerto Rico until July 2001. His experience in dealing with these two lawsuits proved invaluable in managing changes outlined in a 1998 Settlement Agreement between the Justice Department and the State of Georgia.
Martinez immediately began sharing his ideas for change within DJJ and the juvenile justice community. He began establishing systems to reduce inappropriate confinement of low-risk offenders and improving treatment services for high-risk youth who require secure confinement. To this end, he and the DJJ staff targeted crucial areas for improvement, and with the support of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches of Georgia, they began building an infrastructure for a more balanced system.