Observing Drug, DUI Court Brings Learning Home for CSUF Public Health Students Campus Department Honors OC Judge


OC Judge smiling with CSUF studentsCal State Fullerton’s Department of Public Health’s “Drugs and Society” class recognized the contributions of Orange County Superior Court Judge Matthew Anderson to their educational and professional development.

Dr. Ellen Lee, a faculty member with the Public Health Department, presented an acknowledgment plaque to Judge Anderson, on Thursday, November 21, 2019.

They held the ceremony to recognize the commitment and compassion the judge has shown to the participants of his Drug and DUI program.

Judge Anderson expressed his gratitude for the recognition. “We are honored to receive this award from Cal State Fullerton,” he said.

“Over the past five years, more than 1,000 students have filled our jury box to observe Drug and DUI Court at the Harbor Justice Center,” he added.

Dr. Lee has been assigning her “Drugs and Society” students to Judge Anderson’s program for 5 years. Her students have experienced life-changing stories during these graduation day educational observations. CSUF students have witnessed hundreds of Treatment Court participants commit to sobriety and become productive citizens as part of the immersive experience. 

CSUF student Christian Garcia, said the experience was “eye opening,” and “changed my perspective on drug and alcohol offenders.”

Ruth Jimenez added “Judge Anderson truly cares about the people in drug court.”

Judge Anderson has run the DUI Court at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach since 2010. For accepted participants, the program is rigorous. The intensive program includes regular court appearances, counseling, and substance abuse treatment. Additionally, frequent and random testing for drugs and alcohol is necessary. The goal for all graduates is a continued commitment to sobriety.

“Students consistently tell us that our programs, and the respect and compassion we show each individual, change their negative views of the criminal justice system,” Judge Andersons said. “We are very grateful for CSUF’s enthusiastic support and look forward to welcoming many more students in the coming years!”