Rayburn “Rim” Nall, judge of the 59th District Court, received the Judge John C. Creuzot Award for Judicial Vision and Leadership recently. Judge Creuzot is a pioneer of drug courts in Texas; playing a significant role in changing the courts of criminal justice in Texas. Judge Creuzot recognized the need to steer the Texas criminal justice system in a different direction by giving repeat drug offenders an opportunity to change in the face of great opposition.

Nall has been on the 59th District Court bench since 1997. He was responsible for bringing specialty courts to Grayson County. After taking the bench in 1997, Judge Nall noticed many individuals with substance addiction issues tended to be “frequent flyers” in his courtroom. The standard sentencing options for this population were not working, and he knew something different was needed.

A prepared statement said that in 2004, Judge Nall was working toward his master’s degree in judicial studies and learned of the innovative work specialty courts were doing nationwide.

He returned to Grayson County, and spent months planning, studying and preparing his vision. By 2005, Nall was confident a Drug Court was a feasible and effective way to deal with the criminal justice system’s revolving door for substance abusers, so the very first drug court in Grayson County was established. Nall’s leadership helped the Grayson County STAR Recovery Court to have a very successful first year. That was 12 years ago, and now the GC STAR Recovery Court is one of the most successful and respected courts in the state of Texas.

Nall has served as president of the Texas Association of Drug Court Professionals/Texas Association of Specialty Courts, and is a mentor throughout the state. He received the John C. Creuzot award on April 10 at the 2017 Texas Association of Specialty Courts Conference in Bastrop, Texas.