MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2015 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Tollison, Butler (38th), Frazier, Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd), Norwood, Parker

Senate Concurrent Resolution 664

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING THE CAREER AND PUBLIC SERVICE OF YOUTH COURT REFORM ADVOCATE JUDGE JOHN N. HUDSON OF NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI, ON THE OCCASION OF HIS RETIREMENT.

WHEREAS, Judge John N. Hudson has served in many capacities of juvenile and youth court law in the State of Mississippi and nationally, and is recognized as a leader and innovator in youth court reform. He announced his retirement from the Adams County and Youth Court Bench at the end of 2014. Judge Hudson will become Mississippi's first Jurist in Residence to ensure the best possible outcomes for Mississippi's children, funded by the Casey Family Programs; and

WHEREAS, Judge John N. Hudson is a lifelong resident of Natchez, Mississippi. He was educated in the Natchez Public Schools, graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1972 and received a Juris Doctorate from Ole Miss Law School in 1975; and

WHEREAS, he engaged in private practice of law until 1983. During that time, he served as Natchez Public Defender and City Prosecutor, as well as a Trustee in Bankruptcy for the Western Division of the Southern District; and

WHEREAS, in July 1983, he was appointed to serve as Adams County Judge by then Governor William Winter and was later elected and reelected to that position; and

WHEREAS, Judge Hudson has since served as a key advocate for youth and children's issues both locally and on a statewide basis. On the state level he played a significant role in the expansion of community services to meet the educational, emotional and physical needs of delinquent, abused and neglected children in the community and in the improvement of the juvenile justice systems. He has led various seminar continuing education sessions on various topics related to youth court and children's issues; and

WHEREAS, in Natchez, he presided over the development of one of the first five Adolescent Offender Programs in Mississippi, now renamed Adolescent Opportunity Program, the first juvenile drug court in the state, one of the two first family drug courts, a regional Families First Resource Center providing parenting and character resources to children and their families, a GED program located in the Youth Court Building for individuals involved in the court system, a court-appointed Special Advocacy Program for abused and neglected children and provisions for educational instruction of youth in detention. Recently, he has led efforts to develop alternatives to detention for juveniles, including a local community service program, intensive supervision and GPS tracking. Most recently, he was named and served as Chair of the Juvenile Detention and Alternatives Task Force for the State of Mississippi. The task force developed alternatives to detention for juveniles statewide and report to the Legislature enabling legislation and developed licensing standards for all juvenile detention centers in the state to insure that detained youth are held in appropriate facilities; and

WHEREAS, his commitment to children and youth transcends the professional to church and civic activities as well. At Jefferson Street United Methodist Church, he has served as Coordinator of Youth for over 30 years helping to develop a full annual program of spiritual development, missions and fellowship. He has served for 25 years on the Statewide United Methodist Youth Ministry Team, responsible for coordinating statewide youth programming. He presently serves as the Statewide Youth Coordinator. As a member of the Kiwanis Club he has advised Key Clubs and high school service organizations for 30 years. He was a founding member of the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of the Miss Lou and served as its President. He volunteers at Habitat for Humanity, the Community Stew Pot and other local and national philanthropic organizations particularly associated with children and youth; and

WHEREAS, his numerous professional and court-related activities:

Member of the Mississippi Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Task Force;

Member of Mississippi Statewide Drug Court Advisory Committee (representing Youth Courts);

Member of the Mississippi Council of Youth Court Judges, Chairman 1993-2000. Legislative Liaison, 2000-to-date;

Member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, 1990-to date;

Member of the Adams County Coalition for Children and Youth, founding member, 1994-to-date;

Member of Mississippi Conference of County Court Judges, 1984-to-date;

Member of the Statewide Task Force to study and provide parent representation in neglect and abuse litigation in youth courts;

Member of the Mississippi Judicial Advisory Study Committee, 2014;

Member of the Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court's Bar and Bench Liaison Committee, 2004-to-2008;

Member of the Mississippi Association of Drug Court Professionals, 2004-to-date;

Member of the Louisiana Association of Drug Court Professionals, 2003-2005;

Member of Adams County Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse;

Member of the Mississippi Supreme Court Task Force for the Development of Youth Court Rules of Procedure;

Past Member of Mississippi Children's Advisory Council;

Member of the Judges Advisory Committee to the Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Services; and

WHEREAS, his numerous awards and recognitions:

Omicron Delta Kappa Society at the University of Mississippi, 1974;

Moot Court Board, University of Mississippi School of Law, 1974-1975;

One of Mississippi's Three Outstanding Young Men presented by the Mississippi Jaycees, 1984;

Community Service Award presented by the Natchez Junior Auxiliary, 1986;

Outstanding Kiwanian Award presented by the Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee District of Key Club International, 1986;

Most Distinguished Juvenile Justice Professional presented by the Mississippi Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, 1993;

Outstanding Volunteer Award presented by Southwest Mississippi Mental Health Association, 1993;

Judge of the Year-CASA Mississippi Association, 1994;

Lookin' To The Future Award presented by Southern Christian Services for Children and Youth, 1997;

Commissioner's Award for Mississippi, United States Department of Health and Human Services for Outstanding Leadership and Service for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, 2003;

Natchezian Award recognizing service to Natchez and its area presented by the Natchez Chamber of Commerce, 2004;

C.A.R.E. Award presented by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Mississippi Area Council for Service to Children, 2005;

Judicial Excellence Award by the Mississippi State Bar Association, 2005;

Dr. Larry Leflore Juvenile Justice Advocacy Award presented by the Mississippi Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, 2007;

Distinguished American Award by the Miss-Lou Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, 2012;

Mississippi State Department of Education Commendation, 2013; and

WHEREAS, throughout his tenure the bar was raised in every respect with regard to youth courts. It was due in part to his diligent and selfless work and his collaboration with partners who were willing to do the right thing for families. He has been a leader in every walk of life, and has been invaluable in improving the lives of children and families throughout Mississippi. He served as the Chairman of the Mississippi Council of Youth Court Judges from 1993-2000 and as the Legislative Liaison from 2000-present; and it is with great pride that we commend the professional career of a jurist who has honored both The Mississippi Bar and this Great State that he loved and served:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby recognize the career and public service of Youth Court Reform Advocate Judge John N. Hudson of Natchez, Mississippi, on the occasion of his retirement, and extend our best wishes to Judge Hudson and his family on this auspicious occasion.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Judge Hudson and his family, forwarded to the Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court and The Mississippi Bar, and made available to the Capitol Press Corps.