Unfortunately, there are a number of California criminal court judges who are just moving through the justice system. They have grown complacent or bored or have been placed in the least desirable courtrooms as “punishment” for past rulings and/or behavior. However this is not the case with the judges who specifically request assignments in Los Angeles drug court.
Los Angles drug court operates under the same rules and guidelines as other California drug courts. But L.A. drug court judges are special…they are “true believers” in the system and are dedicated to achieving results.
For example, the judge who presides over two of the Los Angeles drug courts…the Van Nuys and San Fernando drug courts…offers little incentives to reward his successful defendants. After completion of the first phase of treatment, he calls the defendant up to the bench to give a package of gummy bears…this while his court reporter holds up a sign telling the rest of the people in the courtroom to applaud the accomplishment.
And the judges who preside over these L.A. drug courts have full-blown graduation celebrations to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments that their defendants have made. Having these types of judges who truly want to work with sometimes reluctant defendants can make an incredible difference. Too bad all judges aren’t true believers in the criminal justice system.