Gartin Building Courtroom with the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi

Chief Justice Randolph to speak to Biloxi business leaders Feb. 27

February 25, 2020

Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph will speak to the Biloxi Businessmen's Club on Feb. 27 at noon at Mary Mahoney's Restaurant in Biloxi. Chief Justice Randolph is expected to talk about the role of drug courts and the judiciary' s budget request for the next fiscal year.

Chief Justice Randolph hopes to establish eight mental health court pilot programs, add eight veterans court pilot programs and create three more drug courts if the 2020 Legislature approves the funding. The 2019 Legislature, as part of the Criminal Justice Reform Act, called for additional intervention courts to include veterans and mental health courts. The vote in the House of Representatives was 110 - 5 on House Bill 1352; the Senate vote was 49 - 2.

It is expected that the savings to the State of Mississippi in Fiscal Year 2021 will exceed $71. 7 million with the addition of the new intervention courts. Drug courts have saved the state more than $474.9 million in incarceration costs during the past eight and a half years.

The state currently has 40 drug courts. There are 22 adult felony drug court programs - one in each of the 22 Circuit Court districts. There are also three adult misdemeanor drug court programs, 12 juvenile drug courts and three family drug courts.

During the past seven fiscal years, intervention courts have graduated more than 5,717 participants. Accomplishments of drug court participants include:

• 478 attended vocational schools;
• 750 attended traditional schools;
• 150 attended alternative schools;
• 1,322 attended post-secondary schools;
• 438 earned GEDs;
• 4,062 are now employed;
• 1,143 obtained driver licenses;
• 528 drug-free babies were born, increasing the savings to the state. According to a study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, each healthy, drug-free infant saves the state an average of $750,000 during the first 18 years of life. Drug courts will save an additional $39 million over the next 18 years by avoiding the costs associated with caring for children exposed to drugs before they are born.

Chief Justice Randolph is the leader of the Mississippi judicial branch of govermnent. He became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on Feb. I, 2019. He is the longest currently serving member of the Supreme Court, with nearly 16 years of service.

He was decorated for heroism in Vietnam, where he served with the U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division, the Big Red One, before he was honorably discharged. 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, before he was honorably discharged.

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 ofMississippi School of Law in 1974, where he served as president of the Law School Student Body.

He began practicing law in 197 5 in Biloxi with the firm ofRoss, 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. 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.