Judge Shaun Floerke

Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment honors judge for his work with DWI Court

DULUTH, MINN. — 6th District Court Judge Shaun R. Floerke was honored today by the Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment (CADT) with the 2020 Gary P. Olson Visionary Award for his work with the St. Louis County DWI Court program.

The award was presented in a virtual event format attended by friends, family and colleagues by Gary Olson, retired CEO of the treatment and recovery services organization. Olson’s 40+ career in the chemical dependency field was highlighted by his advocacy regarding public policies that affect people with substance use disorders and the systemic obstacles that hinder recovery.

CADT Board Chair Glenn Anderson and CEO Tina Silverness praised Judge Floerke’s dedication to making DWI Court an effective means of helping people. “Judge Floerke’s leadership in the DWI Court exemplifies his compassion and understanding of the need for support for people struggling with addiction,” said Anderson.

Silverness noted Judge Floerke’s compassion and kindness in the court room: “He genuinely cares for the participants in his court for the teams he works with.” She added,” His continued passion for this work and his ability to get things done has helped this community and region move forward.”

Judge Floerke credited the people in the field who paved the way to the success of the DWI Court“ during the presentation ceremony. To Olson he said, “I tell people I’m blessed to be in Duluth, and part of the reason I’ve been able to do the work is because of leaders who have gone ahead, and you’re one of the key leasers in our community.”

Judge Floerke was appointed to the bench in 2004. Prior to his appointment by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, he served as a lead prosecutor, litigator in private practice and as a senior attorney in government civil litigation. Judge Floerke founded and presides over the South St. Louis County DWI Court, one of only four courts in the National Center for DWI Courts Academy Courts Network, which identifies exemplary DWI courts to host foundational trainings, receive staff from other jurisdictions for site visits, participate in research and media, and serve as a national model for DWI courts. He also serves as faculty for the Center, as well as for the National Drug Court Institute and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

He is a member of the National Judicial Opioid Task Force and serves on the Judicial Advisory Board for the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. Judge Floerke is the founding and presiding judge of Duluth Domestic Violence Restorative Circles Intervention, and founded and presides over the South St. Louis County Safe Babies Court. In addition, he is the American Bar Association Minnesota Judicial Outreach Liaison Judge, has served as co-chair of the Minnesota Treatment Court Initiative, and trains judges and other professionals on domestic violence responses, treatment courts and resiliency practice.

Judge Floerke was awarded a judicial leadership award by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 2011 and in 2017. He is also president of the Duluth Street Art Initiative, a nonprofit he co-founded.

The Gary P. Olson Visionary Award was established in 2018 upon Olson’s retirement to “honor those in our region who carry on the critical work of helping people with substance use disorders to recover; teaching us all how a supportive community can reduce harm and eliminate stigma; and working with health providers and policy makers to remove obstacles and collaborate for better individual, family, community and societal outcomes.”

The Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment is a nonprofit community agency founded in 1961 and provides treatment and recovery services for people with substance use disorders and the problems associated with drug and alcohol abuse and gambling problems. Its programs include residential inpatient treatment; outpatient treatment; detoxification facility and special detoxification unit for opioid withdrawal (Pathfinder); DWI programs; medically assisted treatment (ClearPath Clinic); and long term residential programs and aftercare.

CONTACT: Tina Silverness, CEO at tina@cadt.org or 715.817.6314

A recording of the event can be seen at: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/dYuZiZp4YEH3UwsdRi2QJqYjtSziSwO6w5EO92QMyMr7V mJyyxEV546y4jttXbwD.PH44lkwxb5h34l8L?startTime=1603898862000

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