Virginia Leigh, LICSW

Virginia Leigh, LICSW

Essex County Sheriff, MA

Virginia is a bilingual clinical social worker with over 12 years of experience working in community health centers, detention centers, and schools. She will bring a clinical approach as Sheriff of Essex County. Virginia’s expertise in mental health and substance use programs, and her deep connections in the communities most impacted by crime will bring an innovative and human-centered approach to reducing recidivism in Essex County. Her experience comes from years of hard work combined with lived and professional experience working with families, at-risk youth, victims of crime and formerly incarcerated individuals.

In 2008, Virginia founded, funded, and directed an educational initiative inside Mexican juvenile detention centers called The Albergue Bolivia Project and established herself as a champion and voice for unaccompanied children along the US Mexican Border. After completing her work in Mexico, she provided translation support and legal information at the Texas Civil Rights Project aiding undocumented victims of domestic violence.

Virginia obtained her MSW in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College and has worked with complex trauma, community violence, and immigration. She co-founded a medical legal partnership while working in Brockton. Within months of beginning her work at the Lynn Community Health center, Virginia had already co-founded and led a coalition of 30+ community organizations supporting Immigrant Families in Lynn.

For the past six years, Virginia has worked tirelessly for the Lynn community earning her recognition from community partners and other agencies for her excellence and rigorous accountability for the highest of ethical standards in clinical practice and community advocacy.