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story.lead_photo.caption Stacey Zimmerman

FAYETTEVILLE -- Stacey Zimmerman, the juvenile court judge for Washington and Madison counties, is seeking a fifth term.

"Helping improve the lives of children is my life's work, and it is why I am seeking reelection," Zimmerman said. "I believe I have a firm but fair hand in the way I handle the cases that come before me."

Zimmerman, 56, said she has implemented and expanded programs to mentor youth, hold them accountable and pro-actively reach at-risk children and their families.

She said she hears about 150 cases each week involving children in foster care, abused and neglected children, adoptions, truancy and delinquency. She oversees 18 juvenile court officers. Zimmerman estimates she's heard 19,000 cases in her 20 years on the bench.

Zimmerman implemented a Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative with the Annie E. Casey Foundation to reduce the number of youths in detention by providing alternative programs to those not a threat to the community.

"The most serious decisions I make often involve a parent's rights to his or her child. Deciding to send a juvenile offender to the Arkansas Department of Youth Services is another decision I do not take lightly," she said. "Each situation is different. Rehabilitation at the local level must be balanced with community safety."

Zimmerman has partnered with area mental health providers for substance abuse counseling and mental health services for children and their families. She also partnered with the Washington County Juvenile Detention Center, the School of Social Work at the University of Arkansas and the Children's Safety Center of Washington County to obtain services.

Zimmerman serves as administrative judge for the 4th Judicial District, which includes Washington and Madison counties.

She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Texas Tech University and her law degree from the University of Arkansas.

The other announced candidate for the position is Robert L. Depper III.

Elections in Arkansas for circuit judges are nonpartisan. The 2020 election will be March 3. The judicial runoff will be Nov. 3.

Circuit judges are paid $168,096 per year and serve four-year terms.

NW News on 11/06/2019

Print Headline: Zimmerman seeks re-election as juvenile judge

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