The Face Of Justice
Circuit Judge H.G. Foster
Circuit Judge Harry Gregory (H.G.) Foster has crusaded against domestic violence for over 40 years, ever since he became a deputy prosecuting attorney in Arkansas’ 20th Judicial District. He worked his way up the litigation ladder, focusing prosecution on spousal violence and child abuse. “Right out of law school, I did criminal defense work in state and federal courts, but it didn’t take me long to realize that it wasn’t the 25-year old crack smoker who needed me to protect him, it was the 4-year old girl he had raped that needed my protection,” Foster says. “That’s why I went to work for the prosecuting attorney and eventually helped create the Model Domestic Violence Collaborative Court.”
The Model Domestic Violence Collaborative Court’s roots run back to 1996 when Judge Foster was a prosecuting attorney. He worked with then-Circuit Judge David Reynolds to establish one court division where all domestic violence litigants could be heard on one day with a single judge. This division was approved, aiming to reduce court-related complications and ensure the court’s rulings were consistent since judicial consistency is the backbone of a fair legal system. Over the next few decades, the judicial landscape shifted, necessitating further collaboration between Judges Foster and Reynolds, who recreated the Court’s concept in 2013, bringing a level of synergy among all levels of the legal system to better support domestic violence victims and bring justice to violent offenders.
Unique in Arkansas, the Model Domestic Violence Collaborative Court consists of a district court judge who hears misdemeanor cases and Circuit Judge Foster, who hears the domestic violence-related felony cases, appeals and divorces. The Court also provides victim services personnel through Prosecutor Carol Crews, who also oversees civil attorneys in cases involving orders of protection for victims. Sheriff Tim Ryals ensures extra security on court days and provides welfare checks for petitioners who fail to appear.
Additionally, Judge Foster participated in the creation of a 501(c)3 Corporation dedicated to stopping domestic violence in Faulkner County. “Our goal is to minimize the revictimization of domestic violence survivors,” says Foster. “That and seeing the law is consistently applied to victims and offenders.”
Judge Foster is wholly dedicated to presiding over domestic violence cases and dispensing consistent justice, believing it to be his higher calling. “This job, this career, next to my family is the most important earthly thing in my life,” he says. His important work in the Model Domestic Violence Collaborative Court allows him to fulfill this purpose — help heal the physical and emotional damage inflicted upon victims. “I get to be a force for justice, for equality under the law, and I get to mitigate the fear that most people feel when they find themselves in court,” says Foster.
Beyond his work, Foster leads a full life. Outside of court, he has three great loves. “I love my family, I love riding my old Harley Davidson motorcycle and I love my 14-year old Blue Heeler rescue dog,” says Foster. “That is who I am.”
510 S. German Lane, Conway, AR, 72034