Canadian County Associate District Judge Bob W. Hughey has announced he is running for re-election.
He has held this position since 2008.
The associate district judge presides over all juvenile cases in Canadian County, and oversees the operations of the Children’s Justice Center.
Hughey became an attorney in 1985.
For the last 22 years he has worked in the area of juvenile law, 12 years as an attorney before becoming a juvenile judge 10 years ago. He believes that children and families are important, and that they deserve to have a judge who is experienced in juvenile law.
Hughey continues to look for ways to improve the legal process for children who have been abused or neglected. When children must be removed from their parents, it is important that the children maintain a bond with their parents. He established a supervised visitation program to allow children to visit with their parents in a safe setting until they can be reunited with the parents.
Hughey also has strived to improve the outcome for young people on probation. One way he has done that is by placing both the juvenile and the parents on rules of probation. Some of the rules for the parents are as simple as providing better supervision for their child. But Hughey also orders services for parents, if there is a need. He has ordered parents into counseling, parenting classes and substance abuse treatment. Hughey knows that it is very difficult for a teenager to stay off drugs if their parents are using.
Hughey began a truancy program because of his concern for young people who drop out of school. This program assists all of the public schools in Canadian County. With the help of this program, attendance rates as well as high school drop-out rates have significantly improved for every public school district in the county. The program adds to the security of the schools, by using uniformed deputies from the Sheriff’s department.
A judge’s goal is to address the needs of juveniles while they remain in the community, in their parents’ or guardians’ home. But sometimes there is little option but to place a juvenile in a state facility due to the seriousness of the offense or the juvenile’s continued negative behavior.
Because of these and other program which Hughey oversees, Canadian County has been more successful meeting the needs of the juvenile while they remain in the parents’ or guardians’ home. Comanche County, which is the closest in size to Canadian County, has placed 50 percent more juveniles in state’s custody over the past five years.
Cleveland County is roughly twice the size of Canadian County, but they have placed 750 percent more juveniles in custody over that time period.
Hughey said he is very proud of what has been accomplished so far, and looks forward to continuing his work to improve the outcome for children who become involved in the legal process.
Hughey and his wife, Garlanda, are both lifelong residents of Canadian County. They have five children and three grandchildren, with another grandchild expected soon.