On Feb. 2, 2016, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced the appointment of the Honorable A. Gail Prudenti as chair of the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children. Judge Prudenti succeeds the late Judith S. Kaye, New York’s longest-serving chief judge, who led the Commission with distinction from 1992 until her recent passing.
“I am both thrilled and humbled that Chief Judge DiFiore has asked me to lead this prestigious Commission, whose vital work is very close to my heart, intersecting as well as completing my objectives as executive director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law,” said Judge Prudenti. “While I can never fill Judge Kaye’s shoes, I am deeply committed to building upon her wonderful legacy and look forward to working with the distinguished members of the Commission to that end.”
Hofstra Law and the Center for Children, Families and the Law have a history of partnering with the Commission. In April 2013, Hofstra Law and the Commission hosted the New York State Leadership Summit on School-Justice Partnerships: Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court. The goal of the summit was to help children succeed in school and reduce the number of children entering the juvenile and adult court systems.
On March 11, 2016, the Center and the Commission will be hosting “Making College Success a Reality for New York’s Youth in Care Forum — Private Colleges and Universities” at the Law School.
Judge Prudenti joined Hofstra Law in September 2015 as executive director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law and special advisor to the dean. She leads a center devoted to improving the treatment and representation of children and families involved with the legal system, and provides counsel to Dean Eric Lane on a broad range of issues.
Judge Prudenti’s career on the bench has spanned more than two decades, culminating in her appointment in 2011 as chief administrative judge. During her tenure, Judge Prudenti’s achievements included reducing judicial backlogs, working to increase Family Court judgeships, and helping to create a pro bono scholars program that encourages law students to pursue public service.
“I am absolutely delighted that Judge Prudenti has so graciously agreed to take on the responsibilities as Chair of this pivotal Commission, whose dedicated efforts have resulted in a statewide network of Children’s Centers in the Courts, among numerous other accomplishments,” Chief Judge DiFiore said in the official announcement. “A passionate voice for children and families in crisis, Judge Prudenti is a highly regarded, long-standing member of New York’s legal community with a special gift for bringing together people from various backgrounds and disciplines in pursuit of common goals. We are fortunate to benefit from her extensive experience, administrative abilities and many other talents.”
About the Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children
Formed in 1988 to improve the lives and life chances of children involved with New York courts, the Commission is made up of judges, lawyers, advocates, physicians, legislators, and state and local officials. At its inception, the Commission predominantly targeted its efforts toward the youngest children before the court, including infants involved in child welfare proceedings. In 1994, the State Court of Appeals designated the Commission to implement the New York State Court Improvement Project (CIP), a federally funded project to assess and improve foster care, termination of parental rights, and adoption proceedings. Since 2006, the group has expanded its focus to include older youth involved with the courts.