Honorable Kim Berkeley Clark
Judge Kim Berkeley Clark is the current President Judge of the Family Division of the 5th Judicial District of Pennsylvania, where she primarily hears Juvenile Court cases. Judge Clark was appointed to the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County by Governor Tom Ridge in March of 1999. She was elected to a full ten-year term in November of 1999. Judge Clark is the first African-American to be appointed as an Administrative Judge in Allegheny County. Judge Clark has earned a national reputation for transforming the way children and families who enter the court system are treated, by creating a “trauma-informed” courthouse.
Judge Clark currently serves as the Chairperson of the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission and is a past president of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Juvenile Procedural Rules and Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committees; the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission on Racial, Gender, and Ethnic Fairness; the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency—Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee; the State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision; the Pennsylvania State Children’s Roundtable (chair of the Dependent Children of Incarcerated Parents Workgroup and Dependency Benchbook Committee); and the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network.
In June of 2013, Judge Clark had the honor of moderating a panel discussion on the needs of caregivers of children of incarcerated parents at the White House.
In 2017, she received the 2017 William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, the highest honor bestowed to a state court judge by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). The Rehnquist Award recognizes a state court judge who possesses integrity, fairness, open-mindedness, intellectual courage, and sound judgment.
Richard Steele, Executive Director
Richard Steele is the Executive Director of the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission. He began his career in 1979 as a juvenile probation officer in Northumberland County, and eventually became chief juvenile probation officer in that jurisdiction. He subsequently spent several years as an administrator of a delinquent youth residential treatment facility. In 2005, he was hired by the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission (JCJC) to provide leadership on the Commonwealth’s aftercare reform targeted area of improvement in conjunction with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s’ Models for Change juvenile justice reform initiative. He was subsequently promoted to the positions of Juvenile Court Consultant/Aftercare Specialist, Director of Policy & Program Development, Deputy Director, and Executive Director.
Mr. Steele is responsible for directing all operations of the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission including the agency’s legislative program, statewide grant program, development of juvenile court standards, juvenile court consultant services to advise judges, legislators, chief juvenile probation officers, and others on matters pertaining to juvenile court law. The JCJC’s Center for Juvenile Justice Training and Research (CJJT&R) at Shippensburg University houses the agency’s training, graduate education, data collection and analysis, research, balanced and restorative justice, and detention monitoring programs.
Since 2010, he served as a member of the Leadership Team responsible for the coordination, development and implementation of Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy (JJSES) in conjunction with juvenile justice system stakeholders across Pennsylvania to sustain and enhance the initiatives begun under Models for Change and to implement evidence-based practices at every stage of the juvenile justice process. From 2014 – 2016, Mr. Steele served as the statewide coordinator of these activities. Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy has become one of the most comprehensive juvenile justice reform efforts in the nation.
Prior to joining the JCJC, Mr. Steele was active for many years with the Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers, serving on the Executive Committee and eventually holding the elected offices of Secretary, Vice-President and President of the Council.
Mr. Steele holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Gettysburg College and a Master’s Degree in Administration of Justice from Shippensburg University.