Episode 11: Kathleen Russell of the Center for Judicial Excellence
On this episode, our guest is Kathleen Russell, Executive Director of the Center for Judicial Excellence (CJE), a non-profit based out of California whose mission is to protect vulnerable children in the family court system and to strengthen the integrity of all courts by creating judicial accountability. The organization’s strength is rooted in its unique mix of public education, media and judicial advocacy. We are here today to talk to Kathleen about CJE’s current work in judicial reform, how CJE is using the U.S. divorce and child murder statistics to inform media oversight and education efforts, and some of its past victories.
During our conversation, Kathleen refers to the term "protective parent"--a parent, usually a mother, who makes allegations of abuse, child abuse, and/or child sexual abuse against the other parent and is not believed. Often the parent is retaliated against for making such allegations by having custody given to the abuser and limiting the time or access the protective parent has with the abused child. Joan Meier of DVLEAP shares her research about this issue in en(gender)ed Episode 9. You can also reference earlier episodes of the family court crisis in Episode 7 when we speak with Nancy S. Erickson on Custody Evaluators and Mental Health Evaluations and with Barry Goldstein in Episode 10 about his proposed legislative actions.
Kathleen also referenced:
- The California Protective Parents Association
- The California Bill, AB-2044, which requires the court to consider domestic violence in making custody determinations
- Article by journalist, Laurie Udetsky, on "Custody in crisis: How family courts nationwide put children in danger"
- The Judge Aaron Persky Recall
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