From the Worldwide Faith News archives

California Judge to Receive Restorative Justice Award

Date 25 May 1996 05:35:19

23 May 1996 
96186 California Judge to Receive Restorative Justice Award 
                      by Jerry L. Van Marter 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Patrick J. Morris, a judge of the Superior Court of San 
Bernardino County, Calif., and an elder at First Presbyterian Church of San 
Bernardino, has been named the recipient of the General Assembly's 1996 
Restorative Justice Award. 
     The award will be presented July 3 during the General Assembly Council 
Awards Celebration at the upcoming Assembly in Albuquerque. 
     The Restorative Justice Award has been given each year to an 
individual or group of individuals whose work exemplifies the Presbyterian 
Church's commitment to restorative justice, defined as "addressing the 
hurts and the needs of the victim and the offender in such a way that they 
and the community might be healed." 
     Morris, who was appointed to the Superior Court Bench in 1976, has 
garnered national attention for his establishment of a "Drug Court" in his 
jurisdiction. Designed for those willing to admit their drug dependency and 
their desire to change, the Drug Court program involves primarily youthful 
drug offenders in a community of support and encouragement.  Offenders 
participate in community service projects, peer counseling and drug testing 
and "court sessions" that have been described as "more like a church 
meeting than a court."  Those who have been unwilling to stick with the 
Drug Court program are returned to traditional means of criminal justice: 
     Other programs established by Morris are a special advocate program 
that trains civilian volunteers to serve as guardians for abused children 
under court jurisdiction; a hospital-based program that provides full 
service to children and families where there are allegations of sexual or 
physical abuse; a residential youth education facility for older delinquent 
youth that provides individualized education, job-training, community 
service, values awareness and drug and alcohol education; a weekend team 
work-release program; and a wilderness survival program for youth at risk 
that teaches personal responsibility and self-esteem. 
     Morris has been honored with the 1981 Inland Southern California Judge 
of the Year Award, the Judicial Award for Leadership in Service to Youth, 
the 1991 Meritorious Service Award from the National Council of Juvenile 
and Family Court Judges and the 1994 Jurist of the Year Award from the 
Judicial Council of California. 
     Morris currently serves on the session of First Church, where he was 
instrumental in establishing a church-based shelter for at-risk children. 
He also helped create and maintain a latchkey program for neighborhood 
children, and helped develop a model youth ministry program, "Fellowship of 
the Carpenter." 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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