RENO, Nev., July 20, 2023 (Newswire.com) - The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) honored Judge Michael Montero with its Innovator of the Year Award, presented at the 9th annual Justice Innovation Awards ceremony on July 18, 2023. The event took place in Baltimore during the NCJFCJ's 86th Annual Conference. Judge Montero, who presides over the 6th Judicial District in Humboldt County, Nevada, was recognized for his innovative work that includes creating the first transitional living center operated by a juvenile justice agency in the state of Nevada.
The Innovator of the Year Award is bestowed upon an active, in-good-standing NCJFCJ member who has demonstrated an ability to rethink, reimagine and redefine justice for children and families. The person embodies exceptional leadership and innovation in the fields of juvenile justice, child abuse and neglect, family law, and/or domestic violence.
"Judge Montero's commitment to improving our justice system and supporting the well-being of youth and families is truly commendable," said Joey Orduña Hastings, CEO of the NCJFCJ. "His innovative approach has made a lasting impact on youth and families in Humboldt County and beyond, and we are proud to recognize his remarkable achievements with the Innovator of the Year Award."
In addition to presiding over specialty courts, Judge Montero spearheaded the creation of a truancy diversion program and a family treatment court in 2017. In October 2022, Judge Montero opened a groundbreaking non-secure transitional housing center for youth involved with juvenile services. By repurposing a portion of the secure juvenile detention center, he created a safe and supportive environment staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The center, which is the first of its kind in Nevada, reflects Judge Montero's commitment to the well-being and rehabilitation of young individuals. He is noted by colleagues for his willingness to engage in conversations and take innovative actions that have led to long-term behavior change and improved outcomes for youth in Humboldt County. School district leaders credit Judge Montero with helping students who would have otherwise been in jeopardy of not meeting graduation requirements to successfully graduate with high school degrees.
"As an elected judge, I have always believed my work must contribute positively to the community and I should always strive to be a leader in some way," said Judge Montero. "I am beyond honored to be nominated and recognized for the work I love to do."
Judge Montero was born and raised in Winnemucca, Nevada, and brings a wealth of experience and a strong educational background to his judicial role. Earlier in his career, he practiced law in Reno, Nevada, specializing in litigating personal injury claims, premises liability, and insurance coverage matters. In 2008, he was elected as District Judge in the Sixth Judicial District Court, Department II, where he has since played a pivotal role in promoting justice and serving the community. Judge Montero has shared his expertise at conferences, including the National Association of Drug Court Professionals conference in 2019, where he joined other rural judges to discuss the importance of rural treatment courts and their role in community improvement.
He holds a bachelor's degree in agriculture and resource economics from Oregon State University and earned a law degree from Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas.
The NCJFCJ also honored the Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and Courts as the Impact of the Year Award recipient for its dedication to children and families in the state of Maryland.
For more information, please visit the NCJFCJ website.
About the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ):
Founded in 1937, the Reno, Nevada-based National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is the nation's oldest judicial membership and education organization focused on improving the effectiveness of our nation's juvenile and family courts. A leader in continuing education opportunities, research, and policy development in the fields of juvenile and family justice, domestic violence, and domestic relations, the 2,000-member organization is unique in providing practice-based resources to jurisdictions and communities nationwide. The NCJFCJ serves an estimated 30,000 juvenile and family court professionals in state and tribal courts throughout the country.
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