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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Center for Judicial Excellence

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Child Abuse Prevention, Civil Rights, Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Public & Societal Benefit, Sexual Abuse Prevention

Mission: The Center for Judicial Excellence is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established to improve the judiciary’s public accountability and strengthen and maintain the integrity of the courts. Founded in May of 2006, the Center has been dedicated to public education and outreach regarding individual rights in the court system. We are deeply committed to creating judicial accountability across all courts and to protecting the rights of society’s most vulnerable members, including the poor, the elderly, children and immigrants. The organization’s strength is rooted in its unique mix of media and legislative advocacy. Our ability to expose court failures and push for judicial accountability through the media has connected us with court victim survivors and lawmakers, who in turn have driven meaningful state policy reforms of the judiciary. The Center has been especially effective at working to protect the rights of children whose parents are going through divorce, and the organization has been in the forefront of exposing a national crisis in the family court system that is harming millions of innocent children.

Results: The Center has taken a quiet, hidden epidemic that has plagued divorcing families for decades and thrust it into statewide and national media attention through hundreds of news stories, while also passing numerous influential laws in the California Legislature that give children a voice in family courts and improve outcomes for them, which is particularly important for the millions of children being physically or sexually abused by a parent. We've become an effective voice for change for a segment of the population that has historically been isolated and muted because the court system routinely pushes protective parents and their kids into deepening poverty, abuse and desperation. We empower survivors of the family court system to speak their truth and advocate for changes at the California Judicial Council, the state legislature, and in the news media.

Target demographics: abused children and their protective parents

Direct beneficiaries per year: countless California families struggling in the broken family court system by changing state law and leading the effort to pass Senate Bill 594 into law.

Geographic areas served: California and across the United States

Programs: public education, courtwatch, media advocacy, legislative advocacy

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Center for Judicial Excellence (CJE) has worked tirelessly on a local, state and national level to shine a light on broken court systems that harm parents and children. Kudos to executive director Kathleen Russell and CJE for repeatedly going where no one else will in demanding child safety and effective judicial oversight, all on a limited budget.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter and her children were caught in an horrendous abuse situation that my daughter had been struggling with for years, to no avail. My husband and I were helping her as best as we knew how to, but we were running out of resources and ideas. Then my daughter was fortunate to find the Center for Judicial Excellence because it helped her with all the issues she had: domestic violence, child abuse, and family court corruption. We saw, as very involved grandparents, a turning point in our daughter's life as she was helped by Center for Judicial Excellence. She was given personal support, resources, and great advocacy. She has been better able to move ahead with her life and better able to help her children thanks to all she has learned and all the help she has received. We are so relieved and appreciative, as grandparents, to see how she and her children continue to benefit. The director of the center, Kathleen, is dedicated to her work, cares deeply, and is very knowledgeable. Thank you, Center for Judicial Excellence, for helping us all.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I found myself with nowhere else to turn, Kathleen Russell and her amazing organization gave me the lifeline I so desperately needed. Center for Judicial Excellence not only advocates for victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and family court corruption, but also brings the human rights crisis within the family court to the local and national forefront. I am deeply and eternally grateful for the help I received from the center personally, as it was a turning point for me and my children. I also believe, with a passion, that the work Ms. Russel is doing is crucial for the health and well being of our children, and our society as a whole.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Center for Judical Excellence is a powerful organization led by Kathleen Russell. Kathleen works tirelessly to drive positive change in the family court system. I have been aware of their work for the past decade, but have personally been engaged with this organization for the past year. Kathleen is passionately engaged on a daily basis, whether speaking at important engagements and meetings on identifying systemic issues or pushing for transparency and accountability, she gives a voice to the voiceless. One project that truly impacted the movement to create change and drive awareness, was the child murder database they built, which sadly demonstrates how many children have been murdered (over 600 and counting) by a parent. So many accomplishments in the history of The Center For Judicial Excellence- I can’t say enough.

1 Seth L. G.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

There can be no better acknowledgement of one's success than the opposition admitting you are a formidable force. That's what those who have opposed the Center's legislation have said.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We have worked with CJE for the past decade. It is a stellar non-profit and has done a tremendous job helping to encourage the California judiciary to protect abused children of divorce. We are grateful to CJE for being the lead partner in many projects we have done together and want to publicly thank them. Thank you, CJE!!
Connie Valentine M.S.
CA Protective Parents Association

Previous Stories
3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Center for Judicial Excellence is like the Cavalry. They came riding into the dark corner of the family court system nearly ten years ago, armed with the bright light of truth. What a powerful effect this has had!

Client Served

Rating: 5

CJE had done an interview for a publication which my aunt saw. She knew my story and realized this organization could be helpful to me. I met with Kathleen from CJE and was able to learn more about my rights, how to stand up for my children in family court and how to advocate for change. CJE also introduced me to CA Protective Parents Association. She connects people to provide even more help. Without CJE's work, we would not be as far as we are now in this movement. On a personal note, I know CJE's work helped me get custody of my children back. It takes a village and you want CJE in your village to end the family court crisis.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Center for Judicial Excellence works to keep parents and children safe when the judiciary has not kept the best interests of the children in mind. Kathleen Russell worked with the California Board of Psychology to understand their complaint processing process. She works with legislators so they understand how to address child safety. She works with protective parents to help them keep their children safe throughout the catastrophic legal processes that divorce creates for families. She is pleasantly determined to understand why judges turn over children to parents who abuse and sometimes kill them. In spite of personal turmoil caused by the behavior of an insurance company Kathleen continues to focus on the safety and welfare of children.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Over the years, I have worked loosely with several nonprofit organizations to cause integrity in the courts and in public policies. The Center for Judicial Excellence (CJE) is the most professional and effective nonprofit with whom I have had the pleasure to work. CJE's director, Ms. Kathleen Russell, has rare skills. She is able to understand and articulate the roots of problem areas which have led to erred policies and practices. She knows how to approach legislators and other decision-makers to cause change. CJE is a small organization. Yet, I know for a fact that they have caused more positive changes to legal systems than some organizations that are one hundred times their size. CJE is an organization that deserves recognition for their stellar work.

Stacey H.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the greatest organization. Thank God for Kathleen Russell helping victims or we would be lost. Her passion and drive are amazing.

Jon L.1

Donor

Rating: 5

These people are doing seriously important work! It's shocking but our family courts have no real oversight, and what's worse kids are being abused by a corrupt, broken Family Courts system. CJE is the only organization that I know that it's fighting this very important fight and they are doing so with AMAZING success. Well worth your support. They have mine.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Kathleen has helped so many children. She is an amazing advocate!!

3 Deb_51

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Please support in every way you can as this is critical work, whether you are a mother, father, child, grandparent or even a professional. Judicial integrity and transparency in our courtrooms affects everyone. Thank you, Kathleen, for all that you and CJE do for our citizens.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

CJE and its leaders and supporters have been relentless in confronting the judges in power and calling their attention to the attrocities to children and families which the Family Court system has facilitated. A child in my family was sent to live with her abuser and murderer by a clueless judge and a biased Family Court evaluator. CJE has helped me be tenatious ijn presenting important facts to the California Judicial Council.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Former Family Court Victim. Family Court is breaking down our families, putting our children in danger, stripping families of most and sometimes all of their money and property. Family court as it stands now, is corrupt. Money is their main motivator, far and above the needs of the family or the best interest of the child or children. There is currently no accountability in Family Court. They have complete and absolute control. Where there is not accountability and complete control there will be corruption, which has and is happening in Family Court.
Center for Judaical Excellence is and has been working to help make Family Court more accountable and helping to save our children, families and in the long run our country.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After 25 years of fighting this fight, it was a breath of fresh air to meet everyone at CJE and the wonderful volunteers who all have the courage to face the truth about the broken family court system. To most people, the truth is too difficult and too shocking to be believed -- that the family court system routinely, knowingly, places children with sexual abusers. The courageous folks at CJE who work tirelessly against those who would prefer this disaster remain a secret, will always have my admiration and continued support.

3 Daria S.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Center For Judicial Excellence is the only organization I know that is willing to speak truth to power on this issue, providing hope for so many parents who have lost their children in corrupt Family Courts.

1 barryg78

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with the Center for Judicial Excellence concerning the broken custody court system and have always been impressed with the great work they do. They make such an important contribution to keeping children safe.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When my daughter, Brianna was ripped away from her Family and Home in Jan., 2015, I did not know where to or who to turn to for help. I came across CJE's website and was able to gather respirces and information on this nightmare within our Family Courts. CJE was able to give me information and help me understand more on the crimes happening within the Family Courts. I am so greatful for CJE amd the support they give to Mothers and Fathers going through this. Thank you CJE and God Bless you and the progress you continue to make. Thank you for your continued fight to keep our children safe!!!