Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Miguda-Armstead Will Head ‘Care First, Jails Last’ Program
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Barbara R. Johnson and Songhai Miguda-Armstead are retiring from the bench this month, with Miguda-Armstead readying to become executive director of the Los Angeles County’s “Alternatives to Incarceration Initiative.”
BARBARA R. JOHNSON
Los Angeles Superior Court Judges
The program Miguda-Armstead will head is under the county’s Chief Executive Office. She will coordinate efforts of county departments and community groups aimed at establishing a “care first, jails last” policy.
“I am honored to be selected for this great opportunity. I have been shaped by my own life experiences—and even more by being able to serve and listen to those most impacted by trauma and the justice system.
“I look forward to bringing all of my energies to this important effort to create innovative alternatives for people who deserve to get well in the community, not in a jail cell.”
The program was established on March 10 by a unanimous vote of the Board of Supervisors.
Miguda-Armstead, 44, whose last workday was Friday, will leave her judicial post Sept. 25. She has been a judge for slightly more than five years.
Johnson, 66, whose last actual day on the bench was Aug. 21, will use up available vacation days and officially retire on Sept. 30.
Highlighting Johnson’s career on the bench was serving as presiding judge of the Superior Court’s Appellate Division.
She was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court on Oct. 22, 1993 by then-Governor Pete Wilson, and became a Superior Court judge in 2000 through trial court unification. Johnson was an assistant city attorney in Inglewood at the time of her appointment.
A graduate of California Western School of Law, she was president of the Inglewood District Bar Association in 1988 and president of the Black Women Lawyers of Los Angeles in 1993.
Johnson did not respond to a reqyest for comment on her plans and reflections.
Miguda-Armstead—who ran unsuccessfully for a Los Angeles Superior Court open seat in 2014, losing to now-Judge Teresa Magno—was named to the bench by then-Gov. Jerry Brown on July 16, 2015. At the time of the appointment, she was a Los Angeles supervising deputy city attorney.
She went to work for the City Attorney’s Office after graduating in 2003 from the law school at UCLA, where she was student body president.
Miguda-Armstead also had, on the side, her own conflict resolution firm, which she founded in 2012.
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