Hon. Halee F. Weinstein
The District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City
The U.S. Army veteran founded the Baltimore City Veterans Treatment Court in 2015 and continues to preside over the court-supervised voluntary treatment-based program for veterans facing misdemeanor charges. The court incorporates 15 federal, state and local partners to address veterans’ needs and help them attain substance abuse and/or mental health treatment. Since its inception, 76 veterans have graduated from the program, and only three veterans were convicted of a second offense — making its recidivism rate 3.9%, she wrote.
“I could not be more proud of our dedicated and passionate VTC team and the veterans who have committed to changing their lives,” Weinstein wrote.
In 2016, Weinstein created Courting Art Baltimore, a scholarship program involving several municipal groups that awards Baltimore art students with scholarships and prizes and the chance to have their artwork professionally framed and reproduced. In four years, the program has awarded more than $52,000 in scholarships and $5,000 in prizes, she wrote.
In 2002, Weinstein was appointed by then-Gov. Parris Glendening as the state’s first openly gay judge. Weinstein was forced to resign her commission from the United States Army in 1986 due to her sexual orientation and has since advocated —publicly and privately — for the LGBTQ community, including lobbying public officials in the 1990s to lift the ban on gay and lesbian service members, Weinstein wrote.
“It is my hope and my belief that I have made a positive difference in the lives of other LGBTQ people, especially young people, through my advocacy and serving as an example of a successful, openly lesbian professional — that I have helped change hearts and minds to make this a more fair and just world for my community,” she wrote.
In 2019, she was named to The Daily Record’s Top 100 Women and received the Frank Miller “Spirit of Partnership” award from the United Way.
Weinstein earned her bachelor’s degree from Campbell University in 1984 and her juris doctorate from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in 1989.
It is my hope and my belief that I have made a positive difference in the lives of other LGBTQ people, especially young people … .”