Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
September, 2012
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It’s Back to School Time!

Little Red School House Benefits Local Families

County Celebrates Judge Casey Retirement

Making Paddle to Squaxin a Great and Green Success

Second Hand Safari Coming Up Again

Join the Discussion on Plastic Bags.

“Out with Logic, On With Lunacy!”

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 County Celebrates Judge Casey Retirement

30 years of advocacy for children, families and the community

Friends and colleagues of Judge Paula Casey recently celebrated her 30 years of service with a gathering on the second floor of the Family and Juvenile Court Building. Judge Casey, who retired on July 31, began work for the county in 1982 as a commissioner for Superior Court. Two years later she won the first of six terms as a Superior Court judge.

Best known in the community and the state for her work with families and juveniles, Judge Casey was instrumental in the co-location of Family and Juvenile Court (FJC) in the courthouse attached to the Juvenile Detention facility. She championed best practice principles including:

  • The early use of problem-solving, non-adversarial practices such as mediation,
  • The assignment of a single judge for all of the cases and hearings involving any members of a family involved with family or juvenile court,
  • Specialized education for judges on issues involving families and children, and
  • Long-term judiciary assignments to juvenile and family work.

Several of her colleagues spoke eloquently about Judge Casey’s contributions as reflected in the following excerpts.

“What I have seen in and from Judge Casey over these many years is action from a basis of both what is legal and what is right; action that both holds accountable and that teaches and can be learned from; action that both recognizes harm that has occurred and allows dignity and respect.”
--Mark Tips, Juvenile Detention Manager

“This morning I spent some time walking around this wonderful facility, which houses our Unified Family and Juvenile Court—the first of its kind in the state. Most of you know that the building, the programs and work done here were created in large part because of Judge Casey’s passion for families and her amazing ability to get things done! As I walked I observed people mediating and trying to reach resolution of their cases outside of the traditional adversarial system; I observed wonderful art created by local students, quilts installed to honor the hard work and dedication of those that have worked on these important issues along side with Judge Casey; I observed a high quality security system and staff who screen everyone to make sure that the public who come here and the people who work here are safe; I saw a state of the art detention facility that is NOT filled to capacity, because of the use of evidence based detention alternatives and other practices performed by committed and trained staff who care deeply about young people; I saw a CASA [Court Appointed Special Advocates] office bursting at the seams with committed and trained staff who care deeply about young people; I finished my tour and went back to my chambers, walking by the dedicated, committed and well trained court staff who work so hard behind the scenes to get things done! I mention each of these things, and there are more, because Judge Casey has been so instrumental in making them happen at this building.”
--Judge Anne Hirsch

“Judge Casey has been a role model for me in terms of her progressive thinking and has always helped guide and support me. Judge Casey, I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done for me, our staff, and the kids and families we serve.”
--Mike Fenton, Juvenile Court Administrator

Other colleagues thanked Judge Casey for her legacy of compassion and hard work and wished her a happy retirement!

By Keith Eisner

Judge Casey accepts honors before other judges. Judge Casey accepts honors before other judges.