The Honorable Calvin Johnson is a retired Chief Judge of, and first African American elected to, the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.
He was also the first African American to serve as Chief Judge in the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court. In 2002, Johnson established the first Mental Health Treatment Court in the State of Louisiana. By 2005, this Special Court had been selected as one of four demonstration courts in the country. Prior to establishing the Mental Health Treatment Court, Johnson served as Drug Court Judge from 1994 until 2002, during which time he saw firsthand the need for improved access to mental health services for individuals navigating the criminal justice system.
In 1969, Johnson received his undergraduate degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, served four years in the United Stated Air Force, and then received his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in 1978. He spent nine years as a professor of law at Loyola Law School, and served as a judge of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court for 17 years.
Johnson has received many awards in recognition of his commitment to working with individuals involved in the criminal justice system through every aspect of recovery, including job readiness, housing and community service. He is the recipient of the La. Supreme Court Justice Albert Tate Award for Judicial Excellence, the Louis A. Martinet Award for Judicial Excellence, the ACLU Ben Smith Award for Community Service, the Loyola Law School Alumni of the Year award, the Children’s Bureau of New Orleans Hero Award, the Juvenile Justice for Youth Award, the Louisiana Bar Association President’s Award and the Crime Stoppers Award.