PJDC Executive Committee Member Winston Peters has been chosen as the 2009 recipient of the American Bar Association’s prestigious Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award. The award recognizes Winston’s outstanding commitment to and service in the field of juvenile justice and advocacy on behalf of children impacted by the juvenile justice system. The award will be presented on July 31, 2009, during the American Bar Association’s annual conference in Chicago.
For many of us who have worked with Winston over the years, this award comes as no surprise. From his early days as head of the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Juvenile Division, to his current position as Chief Deputy Public Defender of the largest defender office in the country, Winston has been committed to juvenile justice. He has provided strong leadership in recognizing the importance cross-agency collaborative work to assure that young people receive needed drug and mental health services, restorative justice, and re-entry services. His holistic vision of juvenile justice has included social workers, post-disposition, mental health and appellate specialists who make sure the court has the information it needs to decide the case, and assure that the system actually delivers promised services. He and his staff have worked hard to assure a defender voice in community discussions over dealing with gangs and how to serve people coming out of institutional custody. He has participated in critically important juvenile policy discussions at the State and local levels, and was appointed by the Governor to the California State Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Most recently, Winston has served as a Team Member for the California site in the MacArthur Foundation’s Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network (JIDAN), which is working to increase juvenile defender capacity throughout California and the nation. The MacArthur Models for Change web site has posted further information about the award and a biographical sketch of Winston’s background. Congratulations to Winston on this well-deserved recognition.