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Two leaders in criminal justice to be honored at ABA Annual Meeting

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2023 — Two state prosecutors will receive the Curtin-Maleng Minister of Justice Award from the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section during the ABA Annual Meeting in Denver. The awards will be presented at the Grand Hyatt Denver on Friday, Aug. 4 at 5:30 p.m. MDT.

The Curtin-Maleng Minister of Justice Award is bestowed on a prosecutor who embodies the principles enunciated in the ABA Standards for Criminal Justice, Prosecution Function, particularly that “the Duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict.”

The honorees are:

Andrew H. Warren, state attorney of Florida’s 13th Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County. Warren heads an office of approximately 130 prosecutors and 300 total employees whose mission is to build a safer community while promoting justice and fairness for everyone in the criminal justice system. Since taking office in January 2017, Warren has been tough on violent criminals, fraudsters and repeat offenders who threaten neighborhood safety. He has utilized innovative reforms and created successful diversion programs to hold low-level offenders accountable while steering them away from the downward spiral of the system, including civil citation programs for juveniles and adults.

Warren has focused on treatment, prevention and rehabilitation for offenders with substance abuse and mental illness to reduce recidivism rather than further the revolving door of the criminal justice system. He has also minimized poverty traps that criminalize people because they are poor and has embraced data-driven approaches that improve safety, cut crime and save taxpayer dollars.

Warren previously served as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice. After initially prosecuting street crime in Washington, D.C., he spent the majority of his career with the DOJ prosecuting complex financial fraud all across the country. As a prosecutor, Warren earned multiple accolades from the Justice Department and federal law enforcement agencies, including the 2013 Attorney General Award for Trial Litigation. He has lectured and served on panels across the United States and abroad regarding criminal justice, and he was an instructor at the Justice Department’s national training center. The Gainesville, Florida, native earned a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University and a law degree from Columbia Law School. Following law school, he clerked in federal district court in San Francisco and then practiced complex criminal and civil litigation with an international law firm in New York and Washington, D.C.

Erek Barron, the 49th United States Attorney for the District of Maryland. Since October 2021, Barron has served as the chief federal law enforcement officer for Maryland, where he oversees the investigation and litigation of all criminal and civil cases brought on behalf of the U.S. in the state. He supervises an office of approximately 98 assistant U.S. attorneys and 73 support personnel who handle a high volume of cases including national security threats, domestic and international terrorism, organized crime, financial and health care fraud and civil rights violations.

Before taking office as the U.S. attorney, Barron was a partner in a law firm in Maryland, with a focus on complex business and criminal litigation. He was also a member of the Maryland General Assembly, serving in the House of Delegates. As a state delegate, Barron served as a member of the Maryland Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council and co-authored bipartisan legislation designed to enhance public safety, reduce corrections spending and reinvest savings in evidence-based strategies to decrease crime and recidivism.

Barron began his career as an assistant state’s attorney for Prince George’s County and then Baltimore City, primarily prosecuting violent crime. He continued his public service as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division. He then served as counsel and policy adviser to then-Sen. Joe Biden on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, where he focused on law enforcement, crime policy and oversight of the DOJ.

Barron previously served as president-elect of the Maryland State Bar Association and as president of the J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland, College Park and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School. He also earned a Master of Laws, focused on international and national security law, from Georgetown University Law Center.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world.As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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