Newsmaker

December 18, 2005|By GREG GARLAND

Martin P. Welch

Occupation

Judge in charge of the Baltimore City Circuit Court's family/juvenile division.

In the news

Welch summoned state juvenile service administrators to a closed-door meeting last week to discuss why classroom activities at the city's juvenile detention center were disrupted this month. He also has been trying to resolve problems related to the closure of long-term residential treatment programs at the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School in Baltimore County.

Career highlights

Welch, 52, grew up in Catonsville. He earned his undergraduate degree from Frostburg State University and his law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. He spent 12 years in the Baltimore City Law Department before being appointed to the bench in 1992. Advocates for youths applauded Welch in 1999 for ordering youths removed from abusive, state-run "boot camp" programs in Western Maryland. His 10-year tenure as Baltimore's chief juvenile court judge ends in March, when he will return to handling criminal cases.

Personal

He and his wife, Patricia, an attorney, reside in Ashburton. They married in 1982 and have three children. One attends Duke University; the others are in high school and middle school.

Philosophy

"You treat people the way you want to be treated. You treat them fairly and respect all people. As a judge, we really are servants of the public. We try to make the best decisions we can to try to preserve families and to protect children and, where children need services, to provide them with those services."

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