Montgomery stands for Juvenile Court
23rd September 2013 · 0 Comments
By Christopher Tidmore
Connie Montgomery’s path to becoming a candidate in the October 19 Juvenile Court Judge race in Jefferson Parish started because she was told that women could not be cops—and she wanted to serve.
“I want to be a Juvenile Court Judge because I believe in our children. I want to be part of the solution when dealing with children who have been abused or neglected, and/or have committed offenses against the community. I believe that children and young people’s personalities are still forming and can be rehabilitated and learn proper living skills if caught early enough and provided the right treatment and intervention.”
“I would be tough on repeat offenders, focus on rehabilitation and treatment of mental disorders, and ensuring that respect and dignity be shown to all those who enter my courtroom.”
In Jefferson Parish, location of the courts matter. Currently, a troubled youth from Metairie or Kenner has to travel to Gretna. Montgomery, if elected judge, would change that. “I also would like to open a satellite office on the eastbank to service the children in that area of the parish. Court could be held at the eastbank office once or twice a week, or on a rotating system. One of the major problems with court proceedings is getting the child to the court. Having the option of an additional court location would facilitate those children and families and relieve some of the burden of getting to court.”
She believes that the next juvenile court judge must get involved in the school system to create alternatives for children. “When I worked in the juvenile justice system in the 80s, juvenile court judges rarely if ever became involved in the educational system. Jefferson Parish was one of the first parishes in the state to have a Truancy Assessment and Service Center office to monitor school attendance of children in grades K-5.”
“Juvenile judges should work towards an immediate consensus with the school system to create a mediation or arbitration process to address school related problems such as truancy or acting out. Involvement of the child in the juvenile justice system should be avoided if possible. At all times our goal should be to act in the best interests of the child and such best interest is to provide the least intervention as possible and to do only what is necessary to resolve the issue.”
Montgomery believes she would make a great juvenile court judge because, “I have worked in the system and I have faith and know that children are salvageable and should not be discarded. I have a strong interest in social and mental health issues and have kept up to date with the areas. I believe in giving respect to all and treating a person with dignity.”
The election is Saturday, October 19.
This article originally published in the September 23, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.