HOUSTON, TX. – DECEMBER 2011 – JUDGE MARIA JACKSON, PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE 339TH STATE DISTRICT COURT, COMMUNITY LEADER, NATIVE TEXAN AND DEMOCRAT WAS RECENTLY NAMED AS “BEST CRIMINAL COURT JUDGE OF 2011” BY THE HOUSTON PRESS MAGAZINE
This recognition is particularly noteworthy because Jackson is the first African American in Harris County to be acknowledged as “Best Criminal Court Judge”. Elected to this position in 2008 replacing a respected Republican incumbent, emerging from municipal courts and having never served as a Harris County prosecutor, the Houston Press noted, “She had three strikes against her” and “most pundits thought she’d be way over her head,” well they were wrong and she has simply and effectively “gone about the business of dispensing justice.” Jackson states, “I am honored and humbled to be recognized by the distinguished attorneys that appear and practice in my court. Every day I strive to make a positive and impactful difference while properly employing the rule of law. I am so appreciative of this recognition.”
Not only revered by those who practice in her court, colleagues, elected officials and residents of Houston she was noticed for her diligent service in the City of Houston’s Municipal Courts. Judge Jackson received numerous accolades from citizens which led to her being the first judge to garner recognition in the Mayor’s Spotlight for the City of Houston’s newspapers. “Dispensing justice in an impartial and accurate way is a weighty responsibility,” said Mayor Bill White. “Judge Jackson’s determination to see every case to a fair conclusion while adding humanity and compassion is invaluable to Houston’s citizens. I hope all our employees will try to offer the same level of service.”
An added honor to note, Jackson was chosen as one of twenty-four judges from across the country by the partnership between the United States Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, the Alabama District Attorney’s Association and the National Judicial College to represent Texas and attend the National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI).
Judge Jackson serves on the Board of District Judges Administration of Justice and the Legislative Committees. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Texas State Bar College, a Fellow of Texas Bar Foundation, American Bar Association, Houston Lawyers Association, Houston Bar Association where she co-chairs the Speakers Bureau Committee. She has served as a trainer and instructor for the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center. Jackson’s community involvement includes being a lifetime member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, serving on the Lamb & Goat Committee. She is also an active member of the Houston Chapter of Links Incorporated, where she served as Chairman on the Services to Youth program facet, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and a sustaining member of the Harris County Democratic Party. In addition, Judge Jackson is a member of Windsor Village Methodist Church. Judge Jackson earned a B.A. in Political Science in 1987 from the University of Texas at Arlington (Honors) and a Juris Doctor in 1998 from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law.