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Judge Karla Kerlin
USC Gould School of Law

Judge Karla Kerlin

Lecture in Law

699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA

Last Updated: August 24, 2020




Judge Karla Kerlin was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008. Judge Kerlin currently presides over three collaborative courts: the Office of Diversion & Reentry (ODR) Housing Court, which provides housing and mental health treatment to homeless individuals with severe mental health disorders; the Department of State Hospitals Diversion Program, which is a grant-funded Mental Health Diversion program; and, the Maternal Health Court for women who are incarcerated and pregnant. These programs are alternatives to incarceration and are designed to divert defendants from jail into service-enriched housing with mental health treatment and wraparound services. Judge Kerlin frequently trains other judges on issues related to mental health diversion and collaborative courts.

Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Kerlin was a deputy district attorney for 18 years with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. In that role, she developed expertise in the prosecution of sex crimes, child abuse, domestic violence and worked in the Major Crimes Division prosecuting high-profile homicide cases. As a deputy district attorney, for many years Judge Kerlin served as a faculty member for the childPROOF Advanced Trial Advocacy for Child Abuse Prosecutors course sponsored by the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse. In that capacity, Judge Kerlin trained child abuse prosecutors from across the country.

Judge Kerlin has a BS in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, and a JD from Southwestern Law School.   

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