Judge Winston P. Bethel
Group shot - Judge Bethel
holds up his
award surrounded by the staff of OMHA
surrounded by the staff of OMHA.
From left to right: Alicia Thomas, Trina Cox, Susan Myrick, Sabrina Rhinehart, Judge Bethel
, Charles Hess, Cathy Sonier
The Office of the Mental Health Advocate recognized the Honorable Judge Winston P. Bethel, the Chief Judge of DeKalb County Magistrate Court, for his substantial contributions in providing alternatives for mentally ill persons caught up in the criminal justice system by awarding him the Debra J. Blum Award on March 2, 2006.
In 2001, DeKalb County became the first jurisdiction in the State of Georgia to implement a Diversion Treatment Court dedicated to
Sabrina Rhinehart presents Judge Bethel
with award plaque.
has worked tirelessly with many others in the community to research and implement a mental health court in order to divert defendants with mental illness from the inadequate consequences of the criminal justice system.
Judge Bethel has been the Chief Judge of the DeKalb County Magistrate Court since 1998 and has promoted the concept of Therapeutic Jurisprudence as demonstrated not only by the mental health court but also by various other initiatives including a domestic violence diversion court and a child support/abandonment court.
remains dedicated to idea of intervention and alternative sentencing as a way of treating mental illness.
and GPDSC Director, Michael Mears