United States Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. last week presented St. Louis Circuit Judge Jimmie Edwards with the 2013 William H. Rehnquist Award for Edwards’ work founding the Innovative Concept Academy, a school dedicated to changing the lives of juveniles in the justice system.
The award, one of the nation’s highest judicial honors is presented annually to a state court judge who exemplifies the highest level of judicial excellence, integrity, fairness and professional ethics.
The 2013 award honoring Judge Edwards was presented during a ceremony at the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
In introducing Judge Edwards at the ceremony, Missouri Chief Justice Mary R. Russell said, “With support from community partners, Judge Edwards created a ‘school of last resort,’ where no one is turned away, where no one is expelled; where kids who have never felt safe feel safe, who never felt smart feel smart, and who never thought that they had talent discover activities that let them shine. Thanks to Judge Edwards’ dedication and perseverance, troubled youth in St. Louis have new opportunities for success and the rest of us have a shining example of what can be done by thinking outside our traditional roles, making a difference one child at a time.”
In a statement issued when the award first was announced in August, National Center for State Courts President Mary MCQueen said, “Judge Edwards has dedicated his career to keeping students in school and out of the courtroom. His compassion, commitment and determination are making an overwhelmingly positive impact on the justice system and in the lives of hundreds of families. NCSC is honored to have a judge of Judge Edwards’ character and accomplishments selected as this year’s Rehnquist Award” recipient.