WHY I'M RUNNING
I am running for 14B District Court Judge because I believe in people. Moreover, I truly believe in the people of Ypsilanti Township and that if given the right opportunities, tools, and accountability, each person can become productive, successful members of the community. My passion to make a difference in the lives of everyday people, coupled with my life and work experiences are what is needed for Ypsilanti Township's District Court.
I have the right temperament, interpersonal skills and firmness to make a difference for those needing the services of Ypsilanti Township's District Court. I will be fair to each and every litigant because I bring the right balance to the seat. I am kind and yet firm. I am open to listening but decisive. I will provide fairness to the litigants and protection for the community.
VISION FOR THE COURT
As a dedicated public servant with 26 years of experience, I know how to meet people in the space that they are in and use the tools available to create a system that works for Ypsilanti Township. I will continue what already works in 14B District Court, such as the current problem solving court (recovery court), but as soon as financially feasible (grants and time permitting) will add a mental health problem solving court and work with existing and new community partners to provide additional restorative justice components to the court.
14B District Court needs a collaboration with many community partners in order to grow the opportunities available to its stakeholders. I have been working diligently with those stakeholders over the years. I have the connections to continue developing the needed relationships with the providers of substance use disorder programs, mental health programs, domestic violence programs, restorative justice programs and traditional mediation services. I bring the skills, connections and already developed relationships to the bench.
"A candidate may not make a pledge or promise during a campaign of conduct in office other than the faithful and impartial performances of the duties of the office."--Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct 7B(1)(C).
WHAT ARE PROBLEM SOLVING COURTS
Problem-solving courts ("PSC") are court dockets which are designed to address the underlying problems that contribute to criminal behavior. Many courts in our current legal system are using them throughout the United States.
Problem solving courts require a collaboration between legal officials
(judges/prosecutors/attorneys/probation officers), social service providers, victim groups and schools in order to keep everyone focused on the goal. It is a method of creating an individualized plan for the offender so that they receive the services they need while also providing services for victims to aid in their recovery. It is a system which insures that offenders are held accountable with compliance monitoring and consequences for non-compliance.
Michigan has 188 problem-solving courts and 14B already has two problem-solving courts.
WHAT IS RESTORATIVE JUSTICE
Restorative Justice is a practice of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior. It seeks to repair the harm to the victim(s) and to the community as a whole. It also seeks to help the offender determine the root causes of their action in order to deter recidivism. It is best accomplished through cooperative processes that allow all willing stakeholders to meet, although other approaches are available when that is impossible. This can lead to transformation of people, relationships and communities.
The foundational principles of restorative justice have been summarized as follows:
Crime causes harm and justice should focus on repairing that harm.
The people most affected by the crime should be able to participate in its resolution.
The responsibility of the government is to maintain order and of the community to build peace.