VILLANOVA, Pa. – The Villanova University Ethics Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has named the Honorable Judge Marc Carter – who presides over the 228th District Court in Harris County, Texas, and the first Veterans’ Court program in the State of Texas – as the recipient of the 2014 Praxis Award in Professional Ethics. Entering its eighth year, the Praxis Award highlights and celebrates the contributions of a professional or academic in the field of professional ethics. This year’s award will be presented Thursday, April 10, at 4:30 p.m., at Falvey Memorial Library.
“The Praxis Award was inaugurated to honor people who exemplify the highest ethical ideals of their profession,” said Mark Doorley, PhD, Director of the Ethics Program and chair of the Praxis Selection Committee. “The award recognizes individuals who connect their professional work to the common good and who champion ethical excellence within the circles of their peers, and that is exactly what Judge Carter has done.”
The mission of the Veterans’ Court program is to increase access to mental health and addictions treatment for those veterans with felony and misdemeanor offenses by diverting veterans directly into VA treatment – reducing jail time, costs, and criminal recidivism, while improving mental health recovery and successful re-entry into the community. Judge Carter’s program collaborates with the DeBakey Veteran’s Hospital to provide clients with mental health and drug treatment, as well as job training and housing. The Harris County Veterans’ Court has been featured nationally on programs such as CBS’ “60 Minutes” and PBS’ “Need to Know.”
“We honor Judge Carter for his creative use of the power of the courts to address the particular challenges that face US veterans upon their return from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq,” added Doorley. “Judge Carter crafted a response to the criminal behavior of the returning warrior that not only met the demands of retributive justice, but also addressed the demands of rehabilitation, and indeed, approaches the demands of reconciliation.”
Prior to his appointment to the 228th District Court by Governor Rick Perry in 2003, Judge Carter served as a trial lawyer with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and later as a criminal defense attorney in private practice. He also served as co-presiding judge of the Change Through Intervention, Mental Health Court that provides intensive structure and supervision to the most high risk mentally ill probationers.
Judge Carter comes from a military family. His father and brother were career soldiers serving in Vietnam and Desert Storm, while another brother served in the Air Force and is currently employed at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston. Judge Carter received his undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from The Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. He was commissioned in the United States Army Military Intelligence Corps in 1981, resigning his commission in 1988 at the rank of Captain.