Meet Mary DeBoer, Judge Porter Circuit Court Candidate
Mary DeBoer, Candidate for Porter Circuit Court Candidate
Mary's Top Three Issues
A Word from the Candidate on the issues:
Youth-Focused Services--our children are our future. Not all youths who commit delinquent acts turn into adult criminals. I want to increase the focus on the high-risk youths who are more likely to continue on a path of criminal activity and provide them with alternative services to get to and address whatever underlying issues they may have. Truancy is a statistical predictor of criminal activity. To address this, we will be introducing a new Truancy Court this year.
Integrity and Fairness in Court—As the Circuit Court judge, I will treat each case that comes before me, and the parties and attorneys involved in each of those cases, with respect and fairness. In the decade that I have served as a judicial officer, I have always followed the law to ensure that justice has been promptly and competently delivered. When there are victims, I will give them the forum to be heard. My goal is to promote a sense of confidence in the judiciary and in the legal system with attorneys and the public by being a fair and impartial judge who can balance toughness with compassion.
Substance Abuse—In spite of the efforts of many, our community continues to be scarred by substance abuse. Because I know there is much work to be done in the area of substance abuse, particularly opioid addictions, I spearheaded the successful effort to obtain for our county a $60,000 grant for programming related to opioids. As a result, Porter County entities who are impacted by this problem, including the Sheriff’s Department and the PACT community corrections program, are better equipped to effectively pursue and achieve solutions.
Mary DeBoer is a graduate of Western Michigan University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice and political science. Mary graduated from Valparaiso University Law School in 1993, and has gained 27 years of legal experience under her belt—over a decade of which has been as a judicial officer in two counties and in three courts. As an attorney, Mary primarily practiced as a Deputy Prosecutor for 13 years where she handled cases ranging from infractions up to serious felonies and murders. Mary DeBoer also worked with her husband in civil litigation matters at different points throughout her career in the legal field.
Mary's Legal Experience As both a judge and magistrate, Mary has gained extensive experience in all kinds of cases—civil, criminal and juvenile and as the presiding Judge in the Porter Circuit Court, she runs her courtroom and case docket in ways that keeps things moving efficiently. Mary serves on many committees locally and downstate related to the operation of courts and for various programs in which the Circuit Court participates: Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative, Community Relations Committee, Drug Court and Juvenile Services Foundation, Judicial Liaison for the Mayor’s Commission on Domestic Violence and Abuse, Community Corrections Board and others.
Mary's Accomplishments Mary DeBoer created a Domestic Relations Mediation Clinic for parties who could not afford attorneys. The parties would attend mediation with experienced local family law attorneys who, for free, would work with the parties to try to help them resolve their dispute(s). The attorneys received pro bono credit, the parties received free help with their cases, which would allow for a few less hearings when the parties settled their matters. Mary also worked hard to protect vulnerable members of our community by obtaining a $50,000 grant to begin a guardianship program for incapacitated adults who need care but have no one to provide it. The program pairs a guardian with the incapacitated adult through the court so the adult is protected physically and/or financially
Mary's Community Involvement Mary is very active in Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis where she initiated the Backpack and Snacks Program within Kiwanis for children in the Valparaiso school system. Since her volunteerism to help Parkview Elementary School, Mary and her team would sign up to pack bags of food for the children at the school who were considered “food insecure.” The kids would take bags filled with food home to sustain them over the weekend or during school breaks.
Mary is involved with many local organizations including: Kiwanis Northwest Indiana Excellence in Theatre Foundation. Each of these organizations generously donate scholarships to high school students to help them with their college expenses. Women United, which has allowed her to enjoy participating in various activities with the ladies of this group in support of Recovery Connections and Alice’s House.
Mary's other non-court-related volunteer efforts in the community span a variety of causes and events, including setting up and checking IDs at the Corn Roast, working the cotton candy machine for the Pancake Breakfast, walking for the Heart Walk, planting trees, or cleaning parks for Earth Day. Mary's community involvement allows her with opportunities to give back to her community.
About Mary Mary moved to Valparaiso 30 years ago to attend law school in 1990 and has lived here ever since with her husband, David. The DeBoer family includes their daughter, Lindsey, who is currently lives at home, along with two cats, Oliver and Harry. Mary is also a stepmom to three children from David’s first marriage: Aubrey, Ashley and Daane. Aubrey lives with her husband in Washington D.C. and Ashley lives in Virginia with her granddaughter, Arya, who is 6 years old. Daane, who would have been 34 this year, was a Marine killed in active duty in Afghanistan on June 25, 2010.
"I am truly honored to have the support of so many Porter County organizations, businesses and citizens. Thank you for your encouragement and support during my campaign to remain your Porter Circuit Court Judge." - Mary DeBoer, Candidate