Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham discussed on Capt. Hunter's Podcast
It is an organization that is dedicated to police reform to criminal justice justice reform overall police community relations incarceration harm reduction drug policy and a number of other issues. We have a number of speakers that are affiliated affiliated with the organization. I myself upon leaving law enforcement have jointly and have become one of their speakers. I'm looking forward to being a part of that particular the organization to do my part to help bring about some serious criminal justice reform today's episode. We're going to be speaking with judge. Shanta owens no she is a number of leap cheese currently still judge in state of alabama and going to be talking to her and seeing her interactions with leap in house came about being involved in oliver community actions so let me just tell you a little bit about judge gionta owns judge shot. Owens is a product of both the bessemer in in birmingham public school system. She's a graduate of ramsey high school. After cleaning high school she went on to attend alabama state university where she excelled in coursework recognized recognize that consecutive member on the dean's list judge owens graduated sooner kalala with a bachelor of science degree in computer information systems in set her sights on law school screw completed her undergraduate studies. Judge owens attended louisiana state university school of law in that universe at that day off my son in in providence fronts. I not completely butchered how you say in french but she went to school in france just know that was she enrolled in a dual degree reprogram <unk> both her jersey doctor in bachelor of civil law degrees during her time at louisiana state university school loss. He was actively involved in phi delta. The phi legal fraternity in unification of diversity under the law an organization whose mission was to unite diverse culture legal awareness in activities. Let me just read you a little bit about her. Professional community involvement two thousand fourteen two thousand fifteen participant momentum leadership class children's village board of directors. He's been on a national national association of drug court professionals alabama association of drug court professionals alabama district judges association alabama state bar associates birmingham coming him bar association entertainment sex women's lawyers section criminal justice section number past member of public service at alternate dispute resolution committees judicial missile council of the magic city bar association birmingham in court alabama state university alumni association louisiana state university alumni association jason the women's network cumberland school of law moot court volunteer jones valley development corporation inc former board member co wrote take grant that led to thousands of dollars for the creation of community based health initiatives in disadvantaged areas red mount school in the waldorf tradition former board member birmingham birmingham public library board former board member parliamentarian in chairperson of long range planning committee. You can read more about all her professional community. The involvement on our website judge owens dot com a red from you the why such now with all she's done. She's married got a couple of kids so i don't know when she ties time to action. Find time sleep. Let's get into the interview with me. Rambling on here is judge shot to orient judge in jefferson county in alabama. Thank you so so much to her for coming on the podcast in here's the interview hope you guys enjoy thank you judge shanta owens for being on the capela hunters podcast. Thank you so much for your time. I know that you're busy. I registered through your bio another extremely busy lady now you and i first met through the leap program law enforcement action partnership ship so yeah i remember that as well as is just tell us a little bit about yourself and how you gonna without. I am residing birmingham alabama so i am i'm from the south and i attended elevator state university for undergrad and then i went on to louisiana state university for law school i i completed my law degree and a bachelor of civil because i also studied at the university of x. Stay in provence sprint where i enrolled in a dual degree program a._m. And after i completed law school and moved back home to birmingham alabama and began working as a prosecutor with the jefferson county district tourneys office in jefferson county the largest county in the state of alabama and so i worked there for about five and a half years and <hes> started up as a baby prosecutor and when i left five and a half years later i was the senior trial prosecutor in my signed courtroom. Let's hear and and i ran for the seat for no for a district judgeship. At that time i was a district judge for ten years and in january. I have two thousand nineteen. I was appointed by the governor to fill a circuit judgeship and that's what i'm currently doing currently preside over a felony any level trials and the circuit court in the criminal division of jefferson county and i just recently became involved with law enforcement action partnership ship. I think i was invited panels to picking a panel here in birmingham concerning <hes> the organization and just kind of fell in love with the work and just all of the just the policies that are instituted through the organization and so and that's how became involved so i haven't been involved with leaps very long about been involved for a little out now okay good now. Do you actually went to france for your degree. Is that right. I sir i study this semester and france was there for about three to four months <hes> because part of my law school i attended lock. The the anna and louisiana is civil law jurisdiction. It is a little different from the other <hes> forty nine states when it comes to the court of law so bill went for a semester full semester there and you because i enrolled in a dual degree programs for our received a juris doctor her when i graduated and also a bachelor of civil law because i did a lot <hes> actually studied a lot of civil law now that didn't help me much because i move back home to birmingham alabama which is not a civil law jurisdiction and so i ended up taking the alabama bar up in here practicing since that time but it was wonderful experience can imagine it was now. I'm not familiar with the civil. Would you mean about civil. Law state was at me. Most most states follow the common law but l. but louisiana is a civil law jurisdiction and it really is just really more interest seizure in how they <hes> in how things things are done in the courtroom. There is not much different except prestige relief. Things are done a little different in civil law versus common law but european countries are civil law jurisdictions and so that's why i studied in france because france is civil. Law jurisdiction follows a civil law code okay. I should have went to law school. Maybe i'll be able to father so as i was a review at your background background to the website judge owens dot com and i read through a lot of that and there's a lot to read. You have done a lot. I don't even know how you found time to sleep in. Have a couple of kids so good for you so you are very heavily involved in the drug courts and drug rehabilitation you believe in programs. Can you talk a little bit about that. I sure tan <hes> four when i initially took the bench in two thousand nine and two two thousand nine <hes> i was the presiding judge of the jefferson county drug for a program here in birmingham and jefferson county drug court is the largest drug court program in the state of alabama quite naturally because jefferson county is the largest county and so during that time my docket rocket consisted mainly of drug cases namely now heading regular just a regular docket but i would say about ninety percent of my docket consisted consisted of drug cases and a great deal of that <hes> consisted of presiding over the drug court program and our drought the program here in jefferson county and of course i. I must admit i am bias but i believe it's one of the best throat for programs just in the nation and i i've had the opportunity to travel to several different jurisdictions and take a look at their drug court programs but what we do in birmingham is if you're we're charged but they drug offense you would you will appear for an assuming your case is eligible. Most trust his are eligible unless it is trafficking charge on belings. There's evidence to fill that is not eligible construct for truly three habilitated a drug addicted offender and the amazing thing that i love that our programs at once you for programs here in jefferson county then you're felony conviction is dismissed did did it set aside. It is dismissed with prejudice and you can thereby get punched in your record <hes> at a later time but even a thought from ah program is a real rehabilitation around it is one by k senators we actually we have that maybe about seven or eight case taste manager so he will have a case managers that report to we have a prisoner coordinator on seth have a medical team who's appear to assist with medical medically assisted treatment after those offenders who may have a hard time how many off of drugs especially especially opiates cold turkey. We're able to assist in that. I mean it is a real aerobics program. We help with housing we help with transportation we with treatment need that is full service program that seeks to change the offender's live the not not just get a quick result. You know i tell i used to he told the descendant of the drug court that this is not a diet. This is not a quick a quick diet this lifestyle change what i'm not here to try to help help. You lose five pounds in a day. I'm here to truly change the way you look at your life decisions that you're gonna make everything we do in the program is designed to do that and let me say this is another thing that we do out program that a lot of programs don't do we have an assessment of each offender who comes into the program. When the assistant takes a little bit of time it took about ninety minutes but based upon that assessment we know where to place a descendant <hes> we have four track trek one through four traffic one thing the shortest track track four hours typically our high need offender story typically i._v. Not heroin drug users who have attempted treatments before and they and they're just having a hard time because we try to keep different levels of people separated from each other other and try to treat high risk high need offenders together by not mixing them with our low risk offenders. Gotcha wow do you does that particular program keep statistical data. Do you know how successful the program is..