Judge Recognized for Helping Those in Court System Battling Drug and Alcohol Addictions

DULUTH, Minn. — On Wednesday, a judge in Duluth received an award for his work helping those in the court system who are grappling with addictions and facing crimes related to drug and alcohol abuse.

6th District Court Judge Shaun Floerke was given the Gary P. Olson Visionary Award from the Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment over Zoom.

Judge Floerke was recognized for his work specifically with the DWI court program in St. Louis County.

Those honoring Floerke with the award, including Gary P. Olson himself, spoke about his compassionate approach to helping people who are battling addictions and falling into the court system, noting that he is focused on their recovery instead of trying to create more barriers for them.

Floerke thanked his family and everyone who works with him tirelessly in these programs.

“I’ll share one quote from Julie quoting Margaret Mead, maybe everybody quotes it, but Julie taught it to me,” Floerke recounted. “Margaret Mead said, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Judge Floerke is also incredibly involved in the community.

He both founded and presides over the South St. Louis County DWI Court, the Duluth Domestic Violence Restorative Circles Intervention Program, and the South St. Louis County Safe Babies Court.

Among his other initiatives, he is also the co-founder and president of the nonprofit known as the Duluth Street Art Initiative.

Categories: Community, Minnesota, News, News – Latest News, Public Safety