Home - Breaking News, Events, Things-To-Do, Dining, Nightlife


Hattiesburg Judge to Receive National Award for Impacts on the Justice System

Hattiesburg, Mississippi – Judge Wes Curry, the Municipal Court Judge for Hattiesburg, is the 2024 recipient of the Judge Stephen S. Goss Memorial Award for Leadership due to his long-term efforts in improving the systemic response for those who enter the justice system with behavioral health needs.

Curry has served as Municipal Court Judge since 2017, when Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker appointed him. In addition to presiding over the state’s first and only behavioral health court program in Mississippi, its successes also led to the development of other treatment courts, including a Drug Court and a Domestic Violence Court. 

Under his leadership, he has improved an often-complicated justice system by building bridges between its three most important links: law enforcement, advocacy, and mental health. 

The Goss Memorial Award was established in 2021 under the Judges and Psychiatrists Leadership Initiative (JPLI) through the Council of State Governments Justice Center. Named in honor of Goss’ commitment to improving the justice system, it is awarded annually to celebrate the work of one judge and psychiatrist who exemplifies a lifetime of achievement and commitment to bettering the justice system.  

“I’m humbled by the recognition, but this is an award for the City of Hattiesburg,” said Curry. “The work we do in Municipal Court is representative of a big vision to be a premier city in the Gulf South and is not possible without the incredible dedication of our staff. I’m grateful to be a part of the work we do daily.” 

Curry’s work with treatment court programs has also included working with community colleges to develop GED programs and workforce development classes at no cost to court program participants. He also authored the request for an official opinion by the Mississippi State Attorney General on the forgiveness of fines and court costs based as a conditional component of participants who attend and complete GED or workforce programming. 

“Judge Curry’s impact extends beyond the success of the state’s first behavioral health court program. He has pioneered a transformative approach, using this model as a springboard to establish additional court programs addressing drug use and domestic violence. His innovative thinking is reshaping how we perceive and approach our justice system,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “This approach is making a difference in our community, and we’re proud that a national organization like CSG is recognizing these efforts to make Hattiesburg a thriving place for all our citizens to live.”

In complement to his work with the Municipal Court system in Hattiesburg, Curry has served as the Justice Court Judge for Forrest County District One since 2011. Additional milestones in his career include serving with the Mississippi Supreme Court and working as a clerk for the Mississippi Court of Appeals.



Read original article by clicking here.

Local Dining Stream

Things To Do

Related articles