TASC Awards


Due February 6, 2023

Judge John C. Creuzot Award for Judicial Vision and Leadership

“For Courage, Vision and Conviction in the Justice System”

Judge Creuzot is a pioneer of drug courts in Texas playing a significant role in changing the courts of criminal justice in Texas. Judge Creuzot recognized the need to steer the Texas criminal justice system in a different direction by giving repeat drug offenders an opportunity to change in the face of great opposition. Ignoring criticism and a new nickname, “let'em go Creuzot,” Judge Creuzot demonstrated courage, vision, and conviction to the belief that drug courts were and evidence-based practice worthy of establishing in Texas.

Established in 2010, the Creuzot Award honors a Judge who demonstrates visionary leadership and courage used to further the ideal and concept of problem-solving courts.

Past recipients:

Judge Ruben G. Reyes Outstanding Specialty Court Team Award

“For Effective Teamwork & Utilizing Best Practice Standards to Save Souls”

Judge Reyes is known for his passion and enthusiasm for specialty courts. To Judge Reyes, specialty courts are not only about saving lives but about saving souls. Anyone who ever heard one of Judge Reyes' presentations is familiar with his saying: Good intentions are not enough. The desire to help those addicted mandates the use of best practice standards – because the work of saving souls is too important.

And while the Judge may be the face of the specialty court, the Judge knows they must surround themselves with a great team. In fact, the specialty court idea is built on the team concept. An ineffective team results in an ineffective specialty court. Each team member contributes to the success of the specialty court.

This award, established in 2017, recognizes an outstanding specialty court team who epitomizes the idea that good intentions are not enough and reflects Judge Reyes' examples of passion and expertise.

Past recipients:

Mary Covington Outstanding Specialty Court Team Member Award

“Demonstrating Passion for the Specialty Court Team, Client and Recovery”

This award was established in 2017 in honor of Mary Covington, a dedicated Specialty Court team member for 14 years. She has served as coordinator of several Specialty Court programs in Harris County and is a past president of the Texas Association of Specialty Courts. She is known for her passion of putting the client first and believes in recovery with her heart and soul. She promotes a positive attitude among her team and the clients.

Nominees for this award should go above and beyond to encourage a positive environment for the team and the court as a whole. They are seen as a support for clients while helping them truly believe that sobriety and recovery is obtainable for all.

Past recipients:

The Joel Bennett Recovery Award

“For Outstanding Commitment to Helping Those in the Recovery Community”

This award was established in 2010 to honor Judge Joel Bennett of Austin, Texas. In 2010, Judge Bennett was recognized by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals as the longest active serving drug court Judge in the nation. Judge Bennett is committed to helping people obtain a clean and sober lifestyle.

The Joel Bennett Recovery Award is given to an individual who demonstrates devotion to recovery by living a life of sobriety and/or helping others to obtain such a life. The award recognizes the discipline and courage to lead a substance abuse free life and honors those who assist individuals in regaining control of their life such that they achieve their full potential as human beings. Award recipients may be a graduate of a problem-solving court program, a Case Manager, Probation Officer or a Counselor.

Past recipients:

Rusty Ladd Scholarship Award

The Texas Association of Drug Court Professionals Board of Directors approved this award in 2011 to honor Judge Rusty Ladd. This award recognizes an individual on a drug court team committed to the many values possessed by Judge Ladd.

Judge Ladd was a well-respected jurist who demonstrated a unique and magnetic personality as he served his profession, community and others. The Rusty Ladd Scholarship Award will be bestowed to an individual on a drug court team who manifests like characteristics of Judge Ladd.

In awarding this scholarship, TASC recognizes an individual who exhibits the initiative to do charitable work, the courage and heart to reach out to others, and who imparts in people the hope that change is possible for a better life.

Past recipients: