First African American judicial officer in LaPorte County to be appointed
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WIMS on 2/17/2023
The first African American judicial officer in LaPorte County will be appointed this April.
Thomas Alevizos, Judge of the LaPorte Circuit Court, announced that on April 21, he will be appointing and swearing in Erika C. Stallworth as the first African American Judicial Officer in LaPorte County, Indiana.
Stallworth will be assuming the duties of Juvenile Magistrate upon the retirement of W. Jonathan Forker, who has served in the capacity of both Magistrate and Juvenile Magistrate since January of 2011.
She is currently the Executive Director of the LaPorte County Juvenile Services Center (JSC), a 24-bed emergency shelter care and detention facility for at-risk and children in need of services. Stallworth began her career at the JSC in 2000. She has served as the Executive Director since January 1, 2009. While at the JSC, Ms. Stallworth served as Assistant Director, Counseling Supervisor, Caseworker, and Youth Specialist Worker.
Stallworth grew up in Kingsford Heights, Indiana and is a 1996 graduate of La Porte High School, (where she was ranked #3 in her class). She graduated Cum Laude from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She earned a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. While in law school, Stallworth’s focus of study was in child and family law. As a result, she also earned a certificate in Child and Family Law. Stallworth has also had legal practice experience in criminal record expungement and family law matters.
In 2019, Stallworth completed the Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice certification program at Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. As a result of this program, Stallworth chaired a local team of stakeholders who collaborated on a project that brought law enforcement and young people together for a day of education,
learning and relationship-building.
As a child advocate, Stallworth has a strong interest in system reform. In 2008, she was appointed by the Indiana Speaker of the House of Representatives to serve on the Governor’s Commission on Disproportionality in Youth Services. As a result of the Commission’s work, recommendations for system improvement were made to the Governor. She has served on several local, State and national community boards. Some of these have included the State of Indiana Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) Conditions of Confinement Workgroup, past Co-Chair of the State of Indiana JDAI Alternatives to Detention Workgroup, past President of the Board of Directors for Family Advocates, Inc. (formerly LaPorte County Harmony House/Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)), the La Porte County Interdisciplinary Cooperative Education Program Advisory Committee, and past Co-Chair of the Membership Advisory Council of the National Juvenile Justice Network. She is an alumni Fellow with the National Juvenile Justice Network Youth Justice Leadership Institute and is a founding Board Member of the Children’s Policy and Law Initiative of Indiana (CPLI), a non-profit dedicated to protecting the rights of children. Her work with CPLI afforded her the opportunity help draft legislation that was later presented to State legislators. Stallworth is currently the secretary/treasurer of the LaPorte County Bar Association. She also serves on the LaPorte County Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Steering Committee, which is responsible for guiding some of LaPorte County’s juvenile justice programming.
Stallworth is a member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the Indiana Juvenile Detention Association, the National Juvenile Justice Network, the American Correctional Association, the Indiana Criminal Justice Association, and the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College. This year, Ms. Stallworth is celebrating 25 years of membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.