Edward V. Healey, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award


Past Award Recipients


Ashbel T. Wall
Director (Ret.)
Rhode Island Department of Corrections


Vincent Vespia, Jr.
South Kingstown Police Department


Haiganush R. Bedrosian
Chief Judge
RI Family Court


Francis J. Darigan, Jr.
Associate Justice (ret.)
RI Superior Court


Joseph R. Weisberger
Chief Justice (ret.)
RI Supreme Court


Bruce M. Selya
Sr. Federal Judge
United States Court of Appeals
First Circuit


Edward V. Healey, Jr.
Sr. Associate Justice (ret.)
RI Family Court

The Honorable Edward V. Healey, Jr.

Edward V. Healey, Jr. graduated from LaSalle Academy, Providence College and Boston University School of Law.  A highly decorated World War II United States Army veteran, Judge Healey served in the Army’s 88th Infantry Division.  He was a recipient of the Bronze Star for bravery and the Combat Infantryman Badge.  He later served in the United States Army Reserve and was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain.

Appointed Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Juvenile Court in 1960, Judge Healey was subsequently appointed Associate Justice of the newly formed Rhode Island Family Court where he served with distinction until 1988 and retired as Senior Associate Justice.  Judge Healey’s remarkable public service experiences include his service as a delegate in 1970 to the White House Conference on Children; he was a member of President Gerald R. Ford’s National Advisory Committee on Criminal Justice and Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and in 1974, he was the first Rhode Island Judge to be elected president of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.  He later served on the Board of Fellows of the National Center of Juvenile Justice, as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the National Juvenile Court Foundation and as a Faculty Member of the National College of Juvenile Justice.  In 1982, Judge Healey was appointed by President Ronald W. Reagan as a member of the President’s National Advisory Commission on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Judge Healey had many honors bestowed upon him throughout his career.  To include, being the first recipient of the Justice Assistance Award.  Renamed the Neil J. Houston, Jr. Memorial Award in 1981, this prestigious award honors individuals who have demonstrated dedication, service and citizen contributions to the criminal justice profession and the public interest.

In 2009 Justice Assistance’s Board of Directors presented Judge Healey with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.  That same evening the Board of Directors announced that the award would be named in perpetuity theEdward V. Healey, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award.  This tribute to Judge Healey recognizes his many years of providing advice and counsel to the organization.  Eligibility for the Edward V. Healey, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award requires that a recipient must have previously received the Neil J. Houston, Jr. Memorial Award.  The award is not given out annually, and recipients are selected by the organization’s president and CEO.