17th Circuit's Drug Court Celebrates 20th Anniversary


Fort Lauderdale, FL – On Wednesday, July 13, 2011, the 17th Judicial Circuit's Drug Court program will mark 20 years, with a special graduation ceremony at the Broward County Main Library at 6:00 pm. In addition to honoring the graduates who have successfully completed treatment this quarter, the ceremony will also recognize special guests in attendance – those who helped to pioneer the program two decades ago.

Currently, the 17th Circuit offers adult felony drug court, juvenile drug court, and misdemeanor drug court. By mid-year 2011, the current caseload for adult felony diversion cases was approximately 2,700, with an average annual disposition rate of 1,000 cases. According to Circuit Judge Marcia Beach, an average of 90% of participants have successfully completed the conditions of Broward County's Drug Court program, and, after two years, an average of 80% of participants are not rearrested.

When it first began, the 17th Circuit's Drug Court was one of only three in the nation; today there are more than 1,000. Drug Courts provide an alternative to traditional criminal sanctions by putting individuals in closely supervised substance abuse treatment programs long enough for them to work.

"The 17th Judicial Circuit's Drug Court has been phenomenally successful and helps to save lives and taxpayers money," says Judge Beach.

Last Updated (Thursday, 14 July 2011 11:06)


New President Of Conference of County Court Judges of Florida



Fort Lauderdale, FL – Broward County Judge Louis Schiff was sworn in as 2011-2012 President of the Conference of County Court Judges of Florida on Wednesday, July 6, in Boca Raton, FL. He will serve a one-year term leading the organization which boasts 320 members of the judiciary, representing all 67 counties in Florida.

As president, Judge Schiff established a program called Off the Bench, in which he “challenges” conference members to volunteer a minimum of four hours each month to help in their local communities. “When we get home at the end of the day, we’re still all members of the communities we live in. As judges, we need to give back to those who put us where we are today,” he says. The goal of the program is to give back a total of 15,000 hours of community service.

In addition to this program, Judge Schiff will lead the group to provide continuing judicial education and discuss mutual problems and solutions; develop programs to improve the administration of justice; provide a unified voice for county judges in dealings with the state legislature, executive branch, Supreme Court, and other state agencies; and acquire information for the improvement of county courts, practices, and procedures.

Judge Schiff has served on the bench in Broward County since 1997, and has served on the faculty for the Conference of County Court Judges of Florida since 2002.

Last Updated (Thursday, 14 July 2011 13:31)


Judge Fishman Receives 2011 Harvey Ford Award


Broward County Judge Jane Fishman was honored with the 2011 Harvey Ford Award at this year’s Conference of County Court Judges of Florida, July 6, in Boca Raton, FL. The award is considered the highest honor presented by the Conference, as it recognizes one county court judge for their dedication of service to the community, to the legal profession, and to the Conference itself.

The award is named for Broward County Court Judge Harvey Ford, who died in 1995, and was known for his outstanding and dedicated community and professional service.

Last Updated (Thursday, 14 July 2011 15:26)


Judge Goldenberg Appointed to Committees

Unified Family Court Chairperson, Judge Renee Goldenberg, was appointed to a new one-year term as Chair of the Family Law Committee and a member of the Executive Committee of the Conference of Circuit Judges.

Last Updated (Thursday, 04 August 2011 13:36)