charleston — Supreme Court Chief Justice Beth Walker has appointed Twelfth Judicial Circuit (Fayette County) Judge Thomas H. Ewing to the Juvenile Justice Commission.
Judge Ewing replaces Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit (Hampshire, Hardy and Pendleton Counties) Judge C. Carter Williams as one of six judges on the Commission.
Judge Williams recently was named Chairman of the Court Improvement Program Board.
As CIP Chairman, Judge Williams will remain on the Juvenile Justice Commission, but as a non-voting member.
“I am honored to receive this appointment to the Commission,” Judge Ewing said. “I look forward to working with the other members of the Commission to help improve the juvenile justice system in this state to ensure that the courts have appropriate in-state placement options for juvenile offenders and that those juveniles in the system have access to a variety of rehabilitative services.
“The drug epidemic has resulted in way too many children around the state being affected by adverse childhood experiences. As a result of these experiences, juveniles in the system frequently suffer from addiction themselves, mental health issues, homelessness, and other conditions that have significantly contributed to their problematic behaviors,” Judge Ewing said.
“While these experiences do not excuse juveniles from suffering the consequences of their personal choices, it is important for courts in this state to have options to address these underlying problems in a meaningful way while the juveniles are under court authority.”
The Juvenile Justice Commission is the mechanism whereby the Supreme Court can monitor and ensure that the juvenile justice system provides safe, nurturing living conditions as well as rehabilitative services. Any children ordered into facilities, removed from their families/homes and who are outside of their home communities, are wards of the courts. The Commission reviews facilities and programs operated or contracted by the Division of Juvenile Services and the Department of Health and Human Resources and looks at strengths, gaps and needs within West Virginia’s juvenile justice processes.
Judge Ewing took office on January 2, 2019, after being appointed by Gov. Jim Justice. He is a native of Hico and has bachelor’s degrees in education and history from Glenville State College and a law degree from West Virginia University, where he was Order of the Coif and Executive Research Editor and Associate Editor of the West Virginia Law Review.
At Glenville State, he was a four-year member and captain of the men’s basketball team, won numerous student-athlete scholarships and was named the 2001 top graduating student-athlete.
Judge Ewing was an attorney with the law firm Kay, Casto & Chaney from 2004 until his appointment to the bench and was the managing member of its Fayetteville office from 2015 to 2018. He previously had a federal judicial externship with U.S. District Court Chief Judge Irene Keeley, was a research assistant at the College of Law and was a certified teacher in Fayette County. He is a member of the 2007 Leadership West Virginia class.
He has been a volunteer and coach with the Midland Trail Little League; Ansted Braves Baseball; middle school baseball, Upper Deck League in Beckley and the New River Patriots Youth Football Association. He has been an Organizer and President of the John A. Flournoy Youth Basketball League; President of the Board of Directors of the Midland Trail Community Center; Commissioner, Fayette County Deputy Sheriff’s Civil Service Commission; Member of the Board of Directors, Fayette County Public Defender Corporation; and Member-at-Large of the Board of Directors, Fayette County Community Criminal Justice Board.
He is active in the Sunday Road Baptist Church in Hico. Judge Ewing lives in Edmond with his wife, Mindy, and their four children.