Court LogoSuperior Court of California, County of San Joaquin
Stockton Branch, Administration
222 E. Weber Avenue, Room 303
Stockton, CA 95202
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact:Leanne Kozak, PIO
Date: 12/19/2001Voice: (209) 468-8120
Pager: (209) 982-8528

NEWS RELEASE

"San Joaquin Superior Court Wins Innovation Award"

The Judicial Council of California announced that the Superior Court in San Joaquin County has won its second Ralph N. Kleps Award for Improvement in Administration of the Courts. Selected from a field of 59 nominations, the annual award recognizes innovation in the State's courts, as well as improvements in access and service to the public.

The winning project is the Court-Community Leadership and Liaison Program. It's designed to provide the minority and disabled communities in San Joaquin County with representatives who can serve as liaisons with the Court. Liaisons attend the Court's Leadership Academy, an intensive 17-week program involving one class per week taught by San Joaquin County judges and other justice system professionals. Liaisons are responsible for facilitating answers from community members on questions concerning the justice system. They also serve as representatives for their communities in quarterly meetings with courts to discuss court-related problems or concerns in their communities.

"We are pleased that this program has been recognized for its excellence, because of the wonderful commitment demonstrated by its participants," said the Honorable William J. Murray, Jr., chair of the Court's Community Focus Planning Team. "It is especially gratifying since the program was inspired by a suggestion from a community member, Sovanna Kouert, Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Self-Development and Residential Association in Stockton (APSARA.)

This year's Liaison Academy participants include:

African-American Community
Atterbury, Thel L., City of Stockton, Sierra Vista Community Center
Brooks-Perry, Brenda Rai, Black Employees Association, SUSD
Cook, Dominic Manjuan, Black Employees Association, SUSD
Cooper, Clemmie, San Joaquin County Mediation Center
Gray, Lavenna R., NAACP - Stockton Branch
Jones, Mary Ethel, Tracy African American Association
Cambodian Community
Koeurt, Sovanna, Asian Pacific Self-Development and Residential Association
Kul, Loeum, Lao Khmu Association, Inc.
Ros, Samphan, Catholic Charities
Strowbridge, Linda N., Southeast Asian Outreach worker
Disabled Community
McClure, Elizabeth, SMART, CARDS, SSTAC, Seifert Center
Hmong and Lao Community
Her, Cheng, Lao Family Community of Stockton
Lee, Charles, Lao Family Community of Stockton
Phovixay, Sidaphone Anna, Lao Khmu Association
Thao, Gee, Lao Family Community of Stockton
Latino Community
Bautista, Armando, Council for the Spanish Speaking
Mendoza, Ray Alfonso, Council for the Spanish Speaking
Casillas, Veronica, California Human Development Corp.
Guerrero, Raul, Council for the Spanish Speaking
Perez, Enrique E., California Human Development Corp.
Vietnamese Community
Doan, Tanh Quoc, Office of Substance Abuse

The Kleps Award, created in 1991 in honor of Ralph N. Kleps, the first administrative director of the California courts, will be presented at the California Judicial Administration Conference (CJAC) January 30-February 1 in San Francisco.

In 2000, the San Joaquin County Superior Court was awarded its first Kleps Award for its Jury Compliance and Education Program