Chief Justice Randolph to speak to McComb Lions Club October 8
October 1, 2019
Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph will speak to the McComb Lions Club on Oct. 8 at noon at the Golden Corral Restaurant.
Chief Justice Randolph is expected to talk about the role of drug courts and the judiciary’s budget request for the next fiscal year.
Pike County is home to the state’s first felony adult drug court, founded in 1999 by Judge Keith Starrett when he was Circuit Judge of the 14th District of Pike, Lincoln and Walthall counties. Judge Starrett is expected to attend the Lions Club meeting.
Chief Justice Randolph plans to establish eight mental health court pilot programs, add eight veterans court pilot programs and create three more drug courts.
The state currently has 40 drug courts. There are 22 adult felony drug court programs – one in each of the 22 Circuit Court districts. Special programs for veterans currently operate in three of them: the 8th Circuit, 12th Circuit and 19th Circuit. There are also three adult misdemeanor drug court programs, 12 juvenile drug courts and three family drug courts.
In a recent hearing before the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, Chief Justice Randolph told the members that the return on the State’s investment in alternative intervention courts is huge. The estimated savings in incarceration costs for the past 10 years is $450 million. Intervention courts graduated more than 5,400 participants. More than 450 of those graduates attended vocational schools, more than 600 attended traditional schools, more than 1,300 attended post-secondary schools, and more than 3,800 are now employed. More than 500 drug-free babies were born, increasing the savings to the State.
Chief Justice Randolph is the leader of the Mississippi judicial branch of government. He became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on Feb. 1. He is the longest currently serving member of the Supreme Court, having been appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour on April 23, 2004. He was first elected in November 2004, and re-elected in November 2012, for another eight-year term.
He was decorated for heroism in Vietnam, where he served with the U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division, the Big Red One. He was honorably discharged in 1967. During law school, he received an appointment as a Reserve officer in the United States Navy Judge Advocate General Corps. He is a graduate of the Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island. He was honorably discharged in 1975.
He graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., with a B.S. degree in business administration in 1972. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1974, where he served as president of the Law School Student Body.
He began practicing law in 1975 in Biloxi with the firm of Ross, King and Randolph. He then practiced with the firm of Bryan, Nelson, Allen and Schroeder on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He opened a Hattiesburg office for Bryan, Nelson, Allen and Schroeder in 1976, where he later formed the firm of Bryan Nelson Randolph, PA., serving as President and CEO until his appointment to the Supreme Court.
He has homes in Hattiesburg and Ocean Springs.