James “Jim” Drennan echoes the qualities honored by the Karen Thorson Award through his forty-year University of North Carolina School of Government career that started in 1974, and through his contributions to NASJE. Current NASJE communications committee chair Lynne Alexander sat down with the Jim for a short discussion about judicial education.
Last month, I found myself sharing a taxi from the Vermont Airport to the Burlington Hilton late Saturday night with another newly minted judicial educator, Meg Rowe. Meg and I were chatting in the back seat – we’d just met — when the taxi driver asked us what “judicial education” was. Even as newbies, we’d answered that question a few times already and offered him practiced explanations. When we were finished, he said, “Do you work on those new drug courts? Because the one here saved my life.” And he told us a bit about himself, offering us a story and a life that connected the NASJE Conference and our new profession to something more real than practiced explanations about judicial education. Our cab ride unexpectedly reminded us of the human value of the work we do.
This compelling blended learning event at the 2016 NAJSE annual conference combined experiential learning and more traditional learning. Session participants watched the heart-wrenching, award-winning documentary God Knows Where I Am, participated in a discussion about the film with colleague Joan Bishop, and listened to a presentation by Judge Steve Leifman about his judicial experiences and interactions with the mental health system and the mentally ill appearing before him.
Judicial Education in Texas works differently than in many other states. Instead of judicial education being a function of the Office of Court Administration as it is elsewhere, judicial education is provided through multiple entities each providing training for a different segment of the judiciary. This judicial education is financed by a grant from the Court of Criminal Appeals out of funds appropriated by the Legislature to the Judicial and Court Personnel Training Fund. In Texas, judicial education is administered by the Court of Criminal Appeals, through grants from the Court to Judicial Education entities, such as the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center.
Ryan Kellus Turner, General Counsel & Director of Education, Texas Municipal Courts Education Center, was recently honored with the 2016 Outstanding Government Lawyer award from the Government Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. The award was presented at the State Bar’s Advanced Government Law seminar in Austin on July 28, 2016.
It is difficult to discuss prison conditions with just about anyone. Some are convinced that crime deserves prison, the more time the better. Others are appalled by statistics that reveal the huge number of prisoners in America. Politicians talk about being tough on crime, parents talk about spending more on education instead of on prisons. Private prisons seem to be having a heyday. Recently, much has been made of the number of minorities in American prisons, and the long sentences they serve compared to Whites. As court personnel, exposed daily to crimes against society, it is easy to become jaded about prison and prisoners.
Judge Victoria Pratt, chief judge of the Newark Municipal Court in Newark, New Jersey, will be the opening keynote speaker at NASJE’s 2016 Annual Conference in Burlington, Vermont, Sept. 25-28. Judge Pratt runs the pioneering court that she helped build from the ground up based on procedural fairness principles.
Join us for NASJE’s Annual Conference, Changing Perspectives in Judicial Branch Education: Re-Engage, Rethink, Renew, September 25-28, in beautiful Burlington, Vermont. The Annual Conference Committee has planned an excellent array of educational sessions, including: The what, why, and how of leveraging mobile learning…
Greetings from America’s interstate highways! After a summer of working remotely from Ohio in between conferences, I am about to officially (finally) move to Williamsburg, Virginia to begin my new role as Director of National Programs at the Institute for Court Management at NCSC. In this edition of “From the President”, I’ll share an overview of the many activities undertaken by our association this spring.
A highly anticipated session at NASJE’s upcoming annual conference in Vermont is a plenary session built around the award-winning documentary God Knows Where I Am, a film that personalizes the intersection of the criminal justice system and mental illness. In advance of its theatrical release, conference attendees will have an opportunity to view the documentary and discuss its relevance to judicial branch educators.