- J.D. Nova Southeastern University
- B.A. University of Miami
Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren is currently the presiding County Court Judge of the Misdemeanor Mental Health Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit in Broward County, Florida. She pioneered the nation’s first therapeutic Mental Health Court in 1997 which has been dedicated to the decriminalization of persons with mental illnesses and neurological disorders. The Court defines itself as a human-rights strategy, prioritizing dignity and restorative justice goals and seeks to divert mentally ill persons, charged with misdemeanor and non-violent offences, into community based treatment as an alternative to incarceration. Judge Lerner-Wren is an adjunct Professor for Nova Southeastern University, Center for Psychological Services, Criminal Justice Institute for Behavioral Health, Forensic Doctoral Program and New York Law School, Center for Disability Law and Human Rights. She is an expert in therapeutic jurisprudence and problem solving justice and speaks nationally and internationally on mental health courts and policy, therapeutic justice, and cultural change leadership and the law.
Judger Lerner-Wren has received numerous awards and recognitions and her major highlights include:
- 1999, The Broward County Mental Health Court was showcased at the White House Conference on Mental Health
- 2000, The Broward County Mental Health Court was the model for the passage of The National Mental Health Court Demonstration Act. Signed by President Clinton
- 2002, Judge Lerner-Wren was appointed by President George W. Bush, to serve on The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, where she chaired the Criminal Justice, Sub-Committee.
- Huffington Post blog contributor: Criminal Justice and Mental Health
- 2003, The Broward County Mental Health Court was recognized by Human Rights Watch for its client-centered and recovery oriented approach to decriminalization;
- 2013, Judge Lerner-Wren was selected “Top Finalist” (Sustained Innovation) 2013 Innovating Justice Awards, The HiiL Foundation, The Hague, The Netherlands
- 2015 Award of Excellence by the National Council for Behavioral Health, Advocacy Leadership Award. Judge Lerner-Wren was recognized as the Elected Official Service in Advocacy for her efforts to expand access to services for people living with mental illness and addiction.
- 2016, Judge Lerner-Wren was appointed to serve as Judicial Representative for the Executive Committee of The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
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