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Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Scott J. Crichton recognized with the judge Benjamin Jones Judges in the Classroom Award

Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Scott J. Crichton was named the recipient of the Judge Benjamin Jones Judges in the Classroom Award by the Louisiana Center for Law and Civic Education on Friday, June 10, 2022 at the General Assembly of the Louisiana State Bar Association Annual Meeting.

Justice Crichton expressed, “I am pleased to accept the Judge Benjamin Jones Judges in the Classroom Award. It has been my firm belief for many years that as judges, we should educate young people about basic concepts of criminal law and the real-life consequences of violating the law. In other words, we expect our children to obey the rule of law but we do not adequately teach them what those rules are. Simply saying ’don’t break the law’ is not enough. I believe that knowledge is critical, and I encourage my judicial colleagues to educate our children with knowledge of basic legal concepts to enable them to intelligently exercise the power of choice.”

The award, named for retired 4th Judicial District Court Judge Benjamin Jones, honors a member of the judiciary who has contributed greatly to the law-related education of Louisiana youth. Judge Jones served the judiciary for 22 years, created the Judges in the Classroom program, and is a facilitator of judges visiting schools to impart civic education and to encourage students. Judge Jones, who is still active in the program, currently serves as the 4th Judicial District Court Judicial Administrator.

Through his involvement in civic instruction of students and ethical education of adults throughout Louisiana, Justice Crichton personifies the spirit of the Judge Benjamin Jones Award. He is a member of the Judges in the Classroom/Students in the Courtroom Task Force. The Task Force expands Judge Jones’ vision for judges to connect with local schools to instruct on law and the judiciary by incorporating Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice John L. Weimer’s newly added strategy to build statewide pedagogical partnerships.

Justice Crichton, as a district judge, proactively developed a program that teaches young people about the consequences of certain behavior in an effort to deter them from seeing him in his professional capacity as a judge. During his time on the district bench, some 20,000 students benefitted from his teachings, which often included parents. He has re-instituted his programs as a Justice and teaches students and their parents in standing-room-only auditoriums and gyms.

In addition to teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Tulane Law School and as faculty at the LSU Law Center Trial Advocacy Program, Justice Crichton works inside and outside of his district, visiting students to expound on the rule of law. Inspired by an experience as a district court judge when a juvenile litigant whose lack of knowledge of the law and consequences resulted in a negative penalty, Justice Crichton decided to make a difference by devising a way to inform young people about the law. He created The Crime Consequences and the Power of Choice program, which is a PowerPoint presentation he uses to teach about the law and the consequences of bad choices. Justice Crichton has shared the program with other judges via the Louisiana Supreme Court website and various Continuing Legal Education seminars to use as they visit schools or host students in their courtrooms. The presentation helps viewers by defining the justice system in an easily comprehensible manner.

Before his election to the Supreme Court, Justice Crichton served 24 years as a judge with the First Judicial District Court (Shreveport/Caddo Parish), presiding in both the civil and criminal divisions. See more on Justice Scott J. Crichton’s Bio here.

For more information visit lasc.org or contact Louisiana Supreme Court Public Information Specialist/Coordinator Trina S. Vincent at tvincent@lasc.org or (504) 310-2590.