More About John Creuzot

DECADES OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE EXPERIENCE

Award-winning lawyer and retired Judge John Creuzot has more than three decades of experience in the criminal justice system, including more than 21 years as a felony district court judge, first appointed by Democratic Governor Ann Richards in 1992. His background also includes seven years of service as a Dallas County Assistant District Attorney and Chief Felony Prosecutor, and private practice as a criminal defense lawyer.

INNOVATION AND NATIONAL REPUTATION

In addition to his trusted service on both sides of the bench, John Creuzot has earned a national reputation for his innovative work on drug courts, criminal justice reform and evidence-based sentencing. He regularly appears in the news and on television as an expert on these and other criminal justice topics. He has lectured and taught courses at the National Drug Court Institute, the National Judicial College, and the National Center for State Courts. He has also presented at several national training conferences for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, and has taught drug court teams from across the country. Creuzot has lectured and directed seminars for the Texas Center for the Judiciary, the Texas Bar Association, and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.

DIVERT, RE-ENTRY, DNA EVIDENCE AND PIONEERING CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM IN DALLAS COUNTY

In 1998, John Creuzot established Dallas County's first-ever specialty court for drug offenses, known as DIVERT (Dallas Initiative for Expedited Recovery and Treatment), which allows selected first-time drug offenders to go through intensive, court-monitored rehabilitation instead of facing incarceration. This program was the result of probing questions Creuzot began to ask about the outcomes for people and the community resulting from the criminal justice system at the time.

Creuzot subjected his DIVERT program to two different third-party academic studies conducted by Southern Methodist University. The study by the SMU Psychology Department showed that the DIVERT program achieved a 68% reduction in recidivism. The cost-benefit study by the SMU Economics Department showed that DIVERT saved taxpayers $9 in criminal justice costs for every $1 spent on participants in the program.

Just as important, the DIVERT program has had a dramatic impact on its graduates, helping people on the brink of self-destruction turn their lives around and become thriving, productive members of society. The legacy of Creuzot's pioneering work is the expansive growth of diversion courts in Dallas County and beyond.

Seeking to extend the success of court rehabilitation programs, Creuzot established the Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility Re-Entry Court in 2001, a program dedicated to helping formerly-incarcerated individuals adjust to normal life and work. Creuzot was also on the cutting edge as Dallas County began revisiting cases with new DNA evidence, leading to the exonerations of dozens of people. Creuzot worked closely with The Innocence Project, and he personally presided over the exonerations of numerous persons who had been falsely convicted.

SPECIAL RECOGNITION

After his retirement from the judiciary, Dallas County honored John Creuzot by renaming its drug treatment facility the Judge John C. Creuzot Judicial Treatment Center in May of 2013. The center provides an intensive residential program as an alternative to incarceration for Dallas County probationers. The facility is coordinated with the Dallas Community Supervision and Corrections Department and the Dallas County Courts. The center works to ensure successful substance abuse treatment and reintegration into the community. It also offers education and skills training and job search assistance to probationers, and education and counseling for family members. 

SELECT AWARDS

- Mental Health Association of Greater Dallas Prism Award
- National Association of Drug Court Professionals Drug Court Pioneer
- National Association of Drug Court Professionals Drug Court Hall of Fame
- University of North Texas President’s Award and Outstanding Alumni Award
- J.L. Turner Legal Association Outstanding Jurist Award
- Mothers Against Teen Violence Community Service Award
- Dallas Observer Best Criminal Judge Award
- Rev. Zan Holmes Leadership Award
- Southern Methodist University School of Law Outstanding Alumni Award
- Dallas Bar Association M.L. King Jr. Justice Award
- Texas Bar Criminal Justice Section Outstanding Jurist
- Texas Bar Criminal Justice Section Judge of the Year
- Dallas County Democratic Party Legacy Award
- Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Dallas Peer Recognition
- D Magazine Best Criminal Defense Attorney Recognition

SELECT BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

- U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Science Advisory Board, appointed by Attorney General Loretta Lynch
- Texas Punishment Standards Commission, which rewrote the Sentencing Provisions of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure
- Judicial Advisory Council to the Texas Board of Criminal Justice
- Texas Bar District Six Grievance Committee
- City of Dallas Ethics Task Force, appointed by Mayor Ron Kirk, which rewrote the Rules of Ethics for Officials for the City of Dallas
- City of Dallas Task Force on Homelessness, including spearheading The Bridge homeless shelter
- Dallas Urban League Block Grant Board
- Unlocking DOORS, Inc. Board and Chair
- Promising Youth Alliance Board
- Phoenix House of Texas Board

EDUCATION AND PERSONAL BACKGROUND

John Creuzot was born in New Orleans and spent his youth in Houston before coming to the Dallas area in the 1970s and graduating from the University of North Texas in 1978 and Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1982. He currently operates The Creuzot Law Firm and lives in East Dallas with his son, Ethan Creuzot. He is a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church.