Judge Jo Ann Ferdinand earned her BS from Cornell University and her JD from NYU School of Law. She recently retired after 30 years as Judge of the New York State Supreme Court.
Judge Ferdinand was appointed a Judge of the New York City Criminal Court in 1986 and was elevated to the New York State Supreme Court in 1994. She helped establish the Brooklyn Treatment Court, the first drug treatment court in New York City and was instrumental in the expansion of drug courts throughout the state.
Judge Ferdinand presided in the treatment court for 20 years, granting over 6,500 individuals the opportunity to resolve their felony charges by enrolling in court supervised substance abuse treatment and rewarding those who successfully completed their mandate with dismissal of all charges. The court was known for its innovative practices working with persons with mental health and trauma issues, and was a pioneer in the use of medication to assist treatment for those with opioid disorders.
She held two terms as President of the New York Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals, planning numerous conferences and developing policy for courts around the state.
At the 2016 National Association of Drug Court Professionals conference Judge Ferdinand was inducted into the Stanley Goldstein Hall of Fame in recognition of her contributions to changing the lives of thousands of criminal defendants.