2013 MESSAGE FROM JEANINE
Save The Date
Campaign Reception and Petition Signing Party
When: Thursday, October 17, 2013 from 5 to 7:30pm.
Where: Babb Bros BBQ & Blues
330 Bedford Street
Dallas, Texas 75212
Since January, 2007, it has been my pleasure to serve as your elected Judge of Criminal District Court #6. My goal has been to consistently protect the rights of victims, as well as those accused of crime, and to help make Dallas County a better place. With the help of my hard-working court staff, I am pleased to say that these goals are accomplished on a daily basis. My passion for justice has also enabled me to operate a fair and efficient court for more than six years, and one that at all times maintains the highest of ethical standards.
One positive difference we have made in the lives of Dallas County citizens is with our Community Service Food Bank Donation Program. In April, 2008, in response to a recent change in the probation law, we implemented a new program whereby probationers (if they are financially able) are given the option of making a one-time monetary donation to a local non-profit food pantry in lieu of performing community service hours. Since its inception, this program has raised over $142,600.00, which has been used exclusively to feed more than 6,000 Dallas County residents during the tough economic times of the past few years.
We have also continued to provide a special program for young felony probationers (aged 17-22). The program is designed to help them learn discipline, responsibility, and the importance of furthering their education and obtaining employment. This group reports to the courtroom on the "First Friday" of every month to receive additional support, follow-up on activities, and to hear encouragement directly from the Judge and community leaders, who voluntarily give their time to assist with the program.
By working with fellow county officials and department heads, I have made it a priority to operate the court within a fiscally conservative budget, while remaining at all times focused on reducing the backlog of court cases. In addition, efforts are focused daily on reducing jail overcrowding by giving priority to the trials of inmates that are in jail and unable to post bond. This court has also realized cost-saving measures by ensuring that each defendant is given a fair trial, which has ultimately resulted in fewer cases being appealed; and of those cases that have been appealed, almost all of the court’s rulings on the law have been upheld by the court of appeals. To generate further cost savings, the court also utilizes the public defender’s office for a portion of the court-appointed cases of indigent defendants, and closely monitors the need before incurring any expense for investigators, expert witnesses, and forensic testing.
The District Judges and Commissioners Court have also worked together to save thousands of dollars in tax payer monies by restructuring and providing better management of the court-appointed interpreter program, and by providing mental health evaluations when appropriate to help reduce future recidivism. Under the direction of the District Judges and the Director of Community Supervision, Dallas County’s adult probation department has become a model for the State of Texas by using new and innovative ideas to facilitate a positive change in offender behavior through the use of evidence-based intervention strategies.
Other achievements since taking the bench include receiving the "Pillar of the Community" award in May, 2012 from the Burch Foundation, and receiving the "Ester Marie Richardson Humanitarian" award from Justice Seekers of Texas in December, 2012. I also served as chairman the Dallas Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Committee in 2011. Under my leadership, we prepared a "Dallas County Resources List" of agencies, treatment centers, food banks, and shelters that is handed out to defendants in need. It is also accessible on the Dallas Bar website for use by all attorneys and judges.
I am now preparing to run for re-election in 2014 as the Democratic incumbent, and I will be asking for your vote once again in support of my third term. I encourage you to stop by and personally see the court in action if you are ever in or near the Frank Crowley Courthouse, or to give us a call if we can ever be of service to you.
Jeanine Howard, Judge
Criminal District Court #6
Dallas County, Texas