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District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman

DA Risa Ferman

Risa Vetri Ferman is the elected District Attorney of Montgomery County, first earning her seat in November 2007 after working for 15 years in the trenches as a courtroom prosecutor. In 2007, Ferman was elected as the first female District Attorney in the history of Montgomery County.  In 2011, she was re-elected for a second term.
Born in Philadelphia and raised in Abington Township, Risa is a lifelong resident of the community she serves. After graduating from Abington High School, Risa attended the University of Pennsylvania. After working for several years, she opted to return to school and began her studies in the evening program at Widener University School of Law where she earned a law degree in 1992.

Prior to her election, District Attorney Ferman earned a reputation as a tough prosecutor, taking on some of the most challenging cases in Montgomery County. She devoted herself to fighting for victims of crime and protecting the safety and security of the community. Beginning work as a prosecutor in 1993, Ferman quickly rose through the ranks to become Captain of the Sex Crimes Team. She has specialized in the prosecution of homicide, child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence cases. In 2002, Ferman was selected to serve as First Assistant District Attorney, the second in command to the entire District Attorney’s Office and County Detective Bureau. Ferman oversaw all homicide and wiretap investigations while maintaining a personal caseload of serious crimes she would prosecute herself.

District Attorney Ferman has dedicated her office to protecting our community’s most vulnerable citizens. She established the Elder Abuse Unit to target criminals who prey upon senior citizens. She was the driving force behind the creation of Mission Kids, a Child Advocacy Center, designed to ease the criminal justice process for victims of child abuse. She was also the co-founder of Montgomery County Child Advocacy Project (MCAP), which provides pro-bono legal services to abused and neglected children.

District Attorney Ferman spearheaded numerous crime prevention and community education programs throughout Montgomery County. She created new initiatives targeting gangs, gun violence, and government corruption.  She launched an unprecedented partnership with our schools to ensure the safety and security of our children. Internet safety, cyber-bullying, violence prevention, teen driving safety, and prescription drug awareness programs are just a few of the programs District Attorney Ferman introduced to our school communities. In 2011, she wrote a children’s book called “The Mouse Who Went Surfing Alone” designed to introduce concepts of internet safety to young children.
District Attorney Ferman has worked closely with the Courts and the Criminal Justice Advisory Board to develop diversionary programs for first-time, non-violent offenders. She supports Drug Treatment Court, Behavioral Health Court, and Veterans’ Court and other diversionary programs in an effort to make the most efficient and effective use of limited resources on the treatment and rehabilitation of non-violent offenders. She leads the Youth Aid Panel offering juveniles a divisionary program for minor offenses upon their acceptance of responsibility and consequences for their actions.
Most importantly, District Attorney Ferman gets results. Under her leadership, the District Attorney’s office has achieved a 98% conviction rate – one of the strongest records in Pennsylvania.

Throughout the Commonwealth, District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman is a recognized law enforcement leader. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania selected her first as a member and then as Chair of the Criminal Procedural Rules Committee. She was selected by her peers to serve on the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association. Fraternal Order of Police Lodges and the Police Chiefs of Montgomery County have recognized District Attorney Ferman as an honorary member of their associations.
District Attorney Ferman has been honored by numerous community groups. In 2013, she was honored as a recipient of the National Child Labor Committee’s Lewis Hine Award for the protection of children and youth. She was recognized by L’Oreal Paris USA as National Honoree and a Women of Worth in 2012. In 2012, she also received the Alan Lerner Child Advocacy Award from the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2010, District Attorney Ferman received the Outstanding Service Award from the National Children’s Advocacy Center and was named by The Legal Intelligencer as a “Woman of Distinction”. District Attorney Ferman has been honored by other organizations including the Citizen’s Crime Commission of the Delaware Valley, Laurel House, Cabrini College, Victim’s Services Center of Montgomery County, Women’s Center, and the Montgomery County Commission on Women and Families.