I recently read an article in the Empire regarding some local lawyers who were critical of Judge Peter Froehlich. I am not a lawyer. However, for several years I worked as an alcohol-drug counselor dealing primarily with at-risk juveniles. That work often brought me to District Court where I had the chance to see Judge Froehlich's committed and professional efforts at addressing what seemed like an endless number of persons whose problems with the justice system were rooted in issues of alcohol-drug abuse.
Repeat offenders - already immersed in the "helping" services system - end up presenting complex issues to courts. Put simply: How are these cases to be resolved? This is where Judge Froehlich shines - working for a solution that can work within the confines of justice system - all the while trying to maintain the offender's contacts with the "helping" services. Tough position. Tougher call. Do we simply warehouse people or do we try to find a means to minimize - and hopefully, end the patterns the bring people to court.
Judge Froehlich does the job and this community is better for it. Whatever one's view - I encourage everyone to take an hour out of their day, for two or three days during the week, and visit the District Court for the daily 1:15 p.m. arraignments. Take a look for yourself and see if you don't come away with a better appreciation with just how difficult the job of a District Court judge is and why we are so lucky to have a person of Judge Froehlich's strength, caliber, and compassion on the bench.
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