Now in her second year on the bench in the 212th District Court, Judge Patricia Grady puts convicted Galveston County criminals behind bars and helps offenders overcome issues like addiction.
“One of the proudest moments I have as judge is when our system has been successful in helping someone overcome a drug or alcohol addiction,” Judge Grady said. “That for me is some of the best feedback when I come in and hear someone thank me for incarcerating them because that was the push they needed to overcome their drug issue.”
The 212 handles civil and criminal cases, which covers felony up to capital murder.
"When I took office we had a tremendous backlog with people awaiting trial three years," she said. "We’ve worked really hard to bring our numbers down where people are getting an expedited trial."
Judge Grady said the hard work has all been worth it.
"I had a victims mom thank me for getting to trial as quickly as we did because they had been living in fear that this person would victimize her child again... he was found guilty and will spend the rest of his life in prison," she said. "It’s that type of feedback that keeps me going when I’m tired, when my staff is tired and we all worked a long day, it’s that type of feedback that we’re making a difference in our community."
So how does a Judge who works that hard, find time to blow off steam? Well during the day it’s right in her office with her workout equipment. When she heads home, it’s relaxing with her husband, who knows a thing or two about the stress of daily work life.
Mr. John Grady is also the other Judge Grady, for Galveston County Court at Law #1.
"When we get home we relax, we have dinner; very seldom do we ever talk about work," she said, "but it’s good because we understand one another’s work demands so when we go home we try to just create a conflict free environment."
For many who find themselves in Judge Grady’s courtroom, it’s the first step in the right direction as a motivation for change.
"Being a judge is position the people have entrusted me with, I feel honored to have been placed in the position that I can do what’s right and fair inside of a courtroom," she said.