Louis J Presenza Award



Distinguished Service Award

In the 1999, under the leadership of Judge Louis J. Presenza, the Pennsylvania Association of Drug Court Professionals was formed. Judge Presenza had implemented the first Adult Drug Court in Pennsylvania just two years earlier, in Philadelphia’s Municipal Court, and during that two year period, eight more problem solving court programs had sprung up. If the movement was going to gain momentum in Pennsylvania, Judge Presenza recognized the need to create an affordable forum in which problem solving court teams from around the Commonwealth could meet, interact and exchange ideas. Working with a small group of volunteers, by-laws were formed, a board was elected and the Pennsylvania Association of Drug Court Professionals was born. This was just the beginning of the story of a man who decided to spend the last decade of his career trying to make a difference – and he did. During those ten years, the number of problem solving courts in Pennsylvania continued to grow and the problem solving court model was adapted to address a myriad of behavioral problems. All along the way, courts would turn to Judge Presenza for advice and guidance. In recognition of Judge Presenza’s commitment to the field of problem solving courts, to the citizens of Pennsylvania, and to his colleagues, the Pennsylvania Association of Treatment Court Professionals’ Distinguished Service Award was established in his name.



2022: James McMonagle, Luzerne County
2021: Honorable Daniel J. Milliron, Blair County
2019: Abbey Geffken, Union/Snyder County
2018: Honorable John Leete, Potter County
2017: Honorable William Cunningham, Erie County
2016: Christopher Ciprich, Wyoming County
2015: Cheryl Ondechek, Lancaster County
2014: Charmayne Raia, Blair County
2013: Honorable John A. Zottola, Allegheny County
2012: Jeff Shaw, Erie County Treatment Court
2011: Scott Kerstetter, Union/Snyder County Treatment Court
2010: Kelly Cesari, Luzerne County Treatment Court Coordinator


The Louis J. Presenza Distinguished Service Award is recognition by one’s peers of dedication and commitment to the field of problem solving courts. This unique award is intended to recognize an individual who has shown extraordinary leadership and support of those in the problem solving court field in Pennsylvania. Each year, during the annual conference of PATCP, one outstanding member of our community will be honored with this award. Any individual member of PATCP, retired or active in the field, who has helped propel success in our problem solving courts.


Nomination Procedure:

  • Nominations will be accepted from PATCP members through August 31 of each year.
  • Nomination forms should be submitted to the PATCP Executive Committee via the nomination form page.
  • Each PATCP member can only submit one nomination during each nominating period.
  • Nominees must have at least three years in the problem solving court field in order to be considered.
  • All nominees must be members of PATCP.


The Executive Committee of the PATCP will select the winner of the award via a majority vote. The name of the winner of the award will be kept confidential until the award is formally presented.


Every effort will be made to present the award, which will be a plaque engraved with the name of the recipient and year of the award, during the annual conference of PATCP. The presentation will be made by the President of PATCP, along with the individual providing the nomination, for the Louis J. Presenza Distinguished Service Award.