Judge Kenneth V. Desmond Jr. was at the District B-3 Crime Advisory meeting in Dorchester Wednesday night to instill the message of unity and acceptance in the neighborhood.
Born in Malden, Desmond is the presiding judge of the Dorchester Drug Court and was at the meeting Wednesday night to offer thoughts on bringing the community together.
“We understand that sometimes good people make bad decisions,” Desmond said. “And as judges we are called on in a short period of time to make big decisions in people’s lives.”
Desmond, a graduate of Boston College Law School, told the audience of about 200 that if people truly want to make a better life for themselves and the next generation, it starts at home.
“It starts with how you raise you children and how you live your life," he said. "You can tell them what to do, but it’s how you respond that shows them how they will respond.”
The judge had a lot of advice and said he understood what people in the community face and that is what inspires him.
“There are a lot of people out there who may not have had the opportunity to learn the lessons I did,” Desmond said. “Before I can judge somebody I need to be in tune with their background.”
Desmond also used Black History Month to highlight how residents need to not only look to one another for support but also to the community as a whole.
“Everybody here has the power to make change,” he said. “You can’t learn if you are talking all the time. It’s important to listen, to be tolerant of other people’s views and values.”
Desmond is vice president of Massachusetts Black Judges Conference and a member of the Board of Governors for the Tufts Medical Center. He is the recent recipient of an award from the North Shore Black Women’s Association for his commitment to the community and public service.
The next District B-3 Crime Advisory meeting will be Mar. 18 at 5:30 p.m. at the Joseph Lee School on Talbot Avenue.