Written by National Association of Women Judges|September 08, 2016|News

NAWJ announces the Honorable Betty J. Williams a 2016 recipient of the Mattie Belle Davis Award. The Award recognizes an NAWJ member who has gone above and beyond his or her role as member and volunteer to help make a difference in the organization and furthered its mission, as the Honorable Mattie Belle Davis once did.

Justice Williams has organized, facilitated, and participated in numerous workshops for incarcerated persons addressing topics such as Parole Issues, Non Traditional Jobs for Women and Housing, Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions, Re-Entry and other motivational topics at correctional facilities for women throughout New York State, including Bayview, Taconic, Beacon, and Albion Correctional Facilities. Justice Williams played an instrumental role in opening the Kings County Criminal Court Career and Education Center on September 25, 2009, and the Brooklyn Youth General Equivalency Diploma Program on March 1, 2010, where more than 20 students have received their General Equivalency Diploma. Justice Williams has long been an advocate, leading anti-shacking campaigns to improve the health conditions of pregnant women behind bars.

Justice Betty J. Williams was elected November 2013, to New York State Supreme Court, Kings County, having been appointed an Acting Supreme Court Justice March 31, 2009. Her outstanding community involvement and public service spans Justice Williams' long standing co-chairpersonship of NAWJ's Women in Prison Committee, a committed advocate for against shacking of pregnant inmates, NAWJ officer role for District Two Director (NY, VT, CT) igniting a fire for presenting Color of Justice programs, and chairperson emeritus of the New York Chapter's Women in Prison Committee. Following her November 2009 election to Civil Court, Justice Williams was assigned to Kings County Criminal Court where she presided in the Arraignment Parts, All Purpose Parts, Domestic Violence Parts, Trial Parts and Jury 1. Before Justice Williams was assigned to Supreme Court in 2014, she presided in the Misdemeanor Brooklyn Treatment Court (MBTC) and Part 70 (felony), Kings County Criminal Court. MBTC and Part 70 follow the national drug court model, where long term substance abuse offenders are given the opportunity to receive treatment instead of incarceration. Justice Williams was assigned to New State Supreme Court, Criminal Term, Kings County in January 2014./p>

Judge Williams who was also a recipient of the 2014 NAWJ Norma Wikler Excellence in service Award, shares this year's Mattie Belle Davis Award with New York City Housing Court Supervising Judge, the Honorable Cheryl Gonzales, and with Federal Administrative Law Judge, the Honorable Brenda Murray.

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