Skinner served one term as judge of the County Court at Law No. 14 from 2014 to 2018. She has practiced law for 30 years, 15 of those with the Bexar County District Attorney’s office as a first-chair prosecutor. She spend seven years as a defense attorney.
Hear from the candidate
Why should voters choose you?
Given that County Court at Law No. 14 is a criminal court, I am the rare candidate for judge of this court who has practiced on every side of a criminal case as an adult probation officer (seven years), prosecutor (15 years), defense attorney (seven years), and finally judge (four years). In addition, I have a bachelors and masters degree in social work and I am a former Child Protective Services case worker and foster parent. I have dedicated my entire career to criminal justice and have over 34 years of well-balanced criminal justice work. I believe that such experience creates a more fair and efficient judge. As judge, I was recognized for my excellence, reducing the backlogged docket by over 40% and creating the first animal abuse docket in Bexar County.
What do you see as the top challenge facing our local court system, and how should it be addressed?
The top challenge facing the local court system is the backlog of criminal case pending in each court. The pandemic created a 55% backlog in cases in Bexar County. Personally, I think reducing the backlog begins with a judge who is willing to work hard every day. Starting court promptly, being prepared, ruling efficiently and working late will immediately reduce the backlog. Priority will be given to jury trials and open cases over a year old. As a former judge, I reduced the docket by more than 40%, and I’m ready to do it again. Another top challenge is reducing repeat incarcerations. I believe that it is the judge’s responsibility to reduce recidivism, since the judge is in a unique position to strongly impact a first-time offender to help prevent future offenses. With the first-time offenders, it is imperative to identify the underlying reason for committing the crime for which they are charged. If the underlying problem (which might be peer pressure, mental health issues, substance abuse and unemployment) is not addressed, there is a greater likelihood of repeated criminal behavior. During my time on the bench, I worked closely with several service organizations and the probation department to identify and address the underlying reasons, to help ensure that first offenders have a successful future and do not re-offend.