"How many people wish once in their life they could be out somewhere and see someone who is drowning and be able to rescue them or run in a burning house and rescue them?
In drug court, we do that everyday."
Tim J. Dwyer was born and raised in Memphis, TN; he is a 1972 graduate of Christian Brothers High School. Upon graduation he stayed in his hometown to earn his undergraduate degree from the University of Memphis in 1976, and graduated from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 1980. He was an Assistant District Attorney General for Shelby County and also practiced privately with the Law Firm of Owens and McManus before being elected to serve as Judge.
In 1984, at age 30, he was elected to General Sessions Division 8 -- the youngest Judge in the State of Tennessee. Judge Dwyer is a General Sessions Criminal Court Judge. In 2014, Judge Dwyer won reelection to a new eight-year term.
In 1997 Judge Dwyer founded the Shelby County Drug Court. The drug court is an intensive-treatment alternative to incarceration for nonviolent drug offenders - and those charged with crimes motivated by drug dependency - who must abide by a strict, year long program of treatment, counseling, monitoring and education. Upon completion of the program, the criminal charges can be expunged, dismissed, or the sentence is set aside.
There are over 1,800 Graduates from the Drug Court Program with a 38% recidivism rate compared to 80% for non participants.
In 2003 the court, under his direction, was named a “Mentor Court” by the National Drug Court Association.Of the more than 1,200 drug courts in the country, fewer than 100 courts have held that honor.
Just a few of the honors that Judge Dwyer has received:
- Named one of the top 15 leaders in Shelby County that Make Memphis a better Place to Raise a Family. Memphis Parent Magazine; May 2005.
- Awarded the Lifesaver Award in the State of Tennessee by the Governor’s Highway Safety Office; August 2005.
- Governor Phil Bredesen honored Judge Tim J. Dwyer and Shelby County Drug Court on November 30, 2005, for the success of their 90th Graduation.
- He has been twice Honored as Judge of the Year by the Criminal Law Division of the Shelby County Bar Association.
- He is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Memphis Police Department’s Organized Crime Drug Unit.
- Judge Dwyer has been honored as recipient of the 2008 Chancellor Charles A. Rond Memorial Award for Outstanding Judge of the Year which is presented each year by the Young Lawyer Division of the Memphis Bar Association.
- In 2009, Judge Dwyer was honored as the Distinguished Alumnus for Christian Brothers High School. The Distinguished Alumnus award is the highest honor for a CBHS graduate. The recipient is named based on his significant and broad accomplishments in the professional life which reflects distinction upon himself and CBHS.
- Received the Distinguished Alumni Award from The University of Memphis in 2017
- Received the Mike Dunavant Public Servant of the Year Award in 2018, presented by the Rotary Club of Memphis