Maida Milone, the president of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, recently spoke at Chestnut Hill College about the ins and outs of the judicial system during her educational workshop, “Court Basics 101.”
The workshop is the result of a new partnership between the College and PMC. The two institutions connected in an effort to inform the community both on and off campus about the judicial system and potential opportunities for reform. Because of the partnership, students from the College have the chance to volunteer and partake in a number of internships provided by PMC.
Speaking at the College on Tuesday, Nov. 13, Milone gave an extensive and detailed presentation on the judicial system. She covered a multitude of topics, ranging from the difference between the various types of courts to the qualifications a person must possess to become a judge or a justice. In her closing remarks, Milone noted that judicial decisions affect everyone in the country in significant ways, and she urged the audience to learn as much about the candidates as possible before casting a vote.
“The judicial system and the judges have so much influence on our society,” Milone said. “You have the opportunity to vote and select who ultimately makes the decisions on a local and national level, decisions that can and do affect our day-to-day lives.”
Lauren Barrow, Ph.D., an associate professor of criminal justice and chair of the department of justice studies at the College, played an integral role in bringing the College and PMC together. She believes the partnership will produce a range of benefits for students, who ultimately have the power to bring change to the judicial system through voting and community outreach.
“The opportunity for younger citizens to ensure that the judiciary and the justice system in general align with their perceptions of justice — that is fair, equitable and impartial treatment — is closely connected to their understanding of the election process and how it functions, including but not limited to political representatives on the state and local level as well as judicial representatives at the same levels,” Barrow said. “This level of civic education, embraced through the partnership of the College and PMC, promises to empower younger Pennsylvanians to become more active in the direction of their government and their justice system.”
Before joining PMC, Milone worked as an attorney and managed for-profit organizations for almost 20 years. She served as general counsel for the DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company and later as the vice president of business development and strategic planning for the Devereux Foundation. Throughout her career, she has worked for several nonprofits, such as The Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. At the latter, as the executive director of its Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter, Milone led a team of more than 30 professionals to support its mission of improving the quality of life of patients and finding a cure for leukemia and other cancers.
PMC is a statewide nonprofit and nonpartisan organization dedicated to ensuring that Pennsylvanians receive qualified and impartial judges. It seeks to accomplish this goal through its various programs, including the Landlord-Tenant Court, Citizen Court Monitoring and Community Outreach. Additionally, PMC advocates for a multitude of judicial reforms, most notably the merit selection of appellate judges, with five recent PA governors supporting its push to select competent jurists based on merit rather than partisan political elections.
Looking ahead, Milone said she is eager to continue building the partnership between PMC and the College. Their work together will better our communities and our judicial system, she said, and it will encourage and prepare young people to safeguard the future of our country.
“Our initiative with the College enables us to continue our outreach within the community and inspire a new generation of reformers,” she said.
- Kevin Dicciani
For more information, please visit www.pmconline.org.