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16th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
ACYF Commissioner's Award Book
Hon. John L. Ward II
The work of the Honorable John L. Ward II, District Court Judge under the High Court of American Samoa, clearly extends beyond the courtroom. For the past several years, Judge Ward has become increasingly vocal in the effort to prevent social problems among the youth and families of American Samoa. Often a speaker at gatherings targeting the prevention of child abuse, teen pregnancy, and domestic violence, he emphasizes the importance of providing a safe environment for American Samoa's children and encourages the involvement and essential contribution on the part of parents, families, and the community.
Judge Ward has lived in the U.S. Territory of American Samoa for 25 years, serving as a judge for 14. Prior to his appointment, he practiced law locally in private firms and for a few government executive boards. Currently, he also serves as presiding Justice of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court, which he was instrumental in establishing.
Known for his straightforward delivery regarding the extent and end result of social problems and crime among youth, Judge Ward strives to portray the problem accurately, thus enabling the community to realize the importance of both treatment and prevention. He consistently demonstrates compassion in his actions, persisting with writing letters to government and community leaders to enlist their support for stricter laws and law enforcement or to specify the need for government agencies to become equipped with the resources necessary to improve the delivery of services to prevent and treat child abuse. An active and involved member of his community, Judge Ward fights to realize a safe environment for all of American Samoa.