Alumnus honored for helping victims of domestic, sexual violence

NJC alumnus and St. Louis (Missouri) County Circuit Judge Michael D. Burton has received the Judith S. Kaye Award for Judicial Excellence from the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence.

Judge Michael D. Burton

The award was presented to him at the ABA’s annual conference in Chicago earlier this month.

Burton is currently the Alternative Treatment Court judge for the St. Louis County Circuit Court and recently started the county’s first Mental Health Court. In 2009, he helped establish the St. Louis County Domestic Violence Court, which focuses on holding offenders accountable through civil contempt and indirect criminal contempt processes.

Shortly thereafter, he established and currently coordinates an “after-hours” protocol, working with all 88 municipalities and 62 police departments in St. Louis County to ensure that victims of domestic violence can attain orders of protection on evenings and weekends.

“Domestic violence is a problem that cuts across all social, economic, and geographic boundaries – with nearly 5,000 cases filed in St. Louis County last year,” Burton said. “Our courts have a critical role not only in holding abusers accountable but in preventing abusive situations from turning deadly.”

The Kaye Award recognizes service by judicial officers who demonstrate knowledge of domestic and sexual violence and show exemplary leadership developing courtroom responses to these issues.

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