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Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren
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Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren was elected Broward County Court Judge, 17th Judicial Circuit (Broward County, Florida) in 1997. She was assigned to a criminal division where she maintains a full criminal caseload.

Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren possesses unique professional experience working in the area of disability rights, mental health law and community based systems of care development. Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren served as Public Guardian for the 17th Judicial Circuit, and Plaintiff's monitor in the Federal Class action of Sanbourne v. Chiles and PAIMI attorney for Florida's Protection and Advocacy System. Based upon these qualifications Judge Lerner-Wren was appointed by former Chief Judge Dale Ross to serve as the nation's first Mental Health Court Judge.

Judge Lerner-Wren is responsible for leading and innovating, this specialized diversionary (criminal) problem solving court; designed specifically to respond to the complexities of persons with mental illness and related neurological disorders, arrested on non-violent misdemeanor offenses.

The Broward County Mental Health Court was showcased at the White House Conference on Mental Illness (1999) and was the model for The Comprehensive Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act, passed by Congress in 2000, seeding mental health court and diversionary court programs, nationally.

The Broward County Mental Health Court, recognized by Human Rights Watch (2003) for its client-centered and recovery oriented approach to decriminalization; has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, National Public Radio (NPR) and profiled in countless articles and professional publications, nationally and internationally.

In 2002, Judge Lerner-Wren was appointed by President George W. Bush, to serve on The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, where she chaired the Criminal Justice, Sub-Committee.

Judge Lerner-Wren is an adjunct Professor for Nova Southeastern University, Center for Psychological Services, Criminal Justice Institute for Behavioral Health, Forensic Doctoral Program and New York Law School, Center for Disability Law and Human Rights. Judge Lerner-Wren speaks nationally and internationally on a wide variety of topics, including; therapeutic jurisprudence, mental health policy and cultural change leadership and the law.

Judge Lerner-Wren has received numerous awards and has been honored for her pioneering work in the promotion of justice and human rights for persons with mental illness in the criminal justice system. She is a graduate of University of Miami, Politics and Public Affairs and Nova Southeastern University, School of Law.

Entries by Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren

Don't Miss the Chance to Impact Justice

(1) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 1:35 PM

It is not often one gets a chance to "vote" for social justice and reform through legal innovation. In my experience as a lawyer in the public interest sector and as a judge working on behalf of persons with mental illness in the criminal justice system, I can attest that...

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