An interesting development in Broward County, FL recently revealed that a judge in a local drug court, Gisele Pollack, had fallen back into substance abuse after many years of being in recovery. The issue raises a concern for some people regarding her ability to do her job effectively, but on the other hand her honesty and seeking treatment may prove her to be even more qualified in the eyes of others.
The situation brings up a larger issue surrounding professionals in certain positions and whether or not they are afforded the same opportunities as others when they make mistakes. In this case, is it more of a policy issue, the subject at hand or the principle irony?
It is likely that prosecutors may feel that she will become too sympathetic with people who have broken the law and not hold them accountable for their actions. How she personally deals with this and performs professionally will be key, knowing that her actions will be scrutinized now more than ever.
For now, Judge Pollack has been allowed to continue her work on the circuit in the drug court. Whether or not she will continue to do her job and have people trust her will remain to be seen. What wasn’t revealed was to what extent her relapse had gone and whether or not a temporary leave of absence would have been better.
If she is successful in her treatment and able to maintain her professional duties, she would serve as a living example of the hope she tries to instill in others passing through her drug court – that problems can be corrected and people can reform their ways with the proper guidance.