Retirement of Associate Judge K. Patrick Yarbrough Print E-mail

Associate Circuit Judge K. Patrick Yarbrough has announced that he will retire from his position on August 31, 2019.   Judge Yarbrough was appointed as an associate judge on January 26, 2007.   During his tenure, he presided over criminal, juvenile and mental health cases in Winnebago County.  Since December 2009, Judge Yarbrough has been assigned to hear juvenile delinquency cases, an assignment charged with tremendous responsibility to balance core fundamentals of accountability and rehabilitation under the Illinois Juvenile Court Act.  Since September 2014, he has served as the Supervising Judge of the Winnebago County Juvenile Courts Division. 

Judge Yarbrough is a Rockford native who graduated from Guilford High School (1979), received his Bachelor of Arts from Ripon College (1983), and his Juris Doctor from Northern Illinois University College of Law (1988).  He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Judges Association.  He is the Co-Chair of the Judicial Engagement Committee of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Leadership Council.  Judge Yarbrough is a member of the Winnebago County Bar Association.  He has served as a member of the Winnebago County Bar Association Diversity Committee and the Community Service Committee. He is currently a member of the Rockford Area Schools Truancy Advisory Committee.

He has been a member and Past President of the Rock Valley Area Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors.  Judge Yarbrough is the Judicial Liaison to the Children and Our Courts Board of Directors as well as a former member of the Board of Directors of the Blackhawk Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.  Judge Yarbrough is a member and sponsor of the Veterans Memorial Hall Black History Month Committee’s Tuskegee Airmen and Montford Point Marines programs.  He is a yearly participant in the Rock Valley College Sankofa program for graduating minority students.  Judge Yarbrough is a member of the I Bike Rockford Bicycle advocacy organization and a board member of 17th Circuit Therapy Dog Volunteers, Inc.

Over the past two decades, Judge Yarbrough has had the pleasure to be a speaker or presenter at programs for the National Advocacy Center of the U.S. Department of Justice; Northern Illinois Arson Investigation Task Force; Northern Illinois University College of Law; the Winnebago County Bar Association; Rockford College (Rockford University); Rasmussen College; Upper Iowa University; Guilford High School; Rockford East High School; Rockford Jefferson High School; Keith Country Day School; Ellis Arts Academy; Lewis Lemon School; the Boy Scouts Law and Government Explorers Posts in Winnebago and Boone County; the Black-Latino Achievers of the YMCA of the Rock River Valley; and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Police DARE program.

Judge Yarbrough has been the recipient of awards for his service to his community and fellow citizens.  He has been honored to receive the national Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award and the Silver Beaver Award for Outstanding Service to Youth from the Boy Scouts of America, and the 2008 Outstanding Service Award from the Northern Illinois University College of Law Alumni Association.  He has also been named one of 815 Magazine’s 2016 “Noted Local Black Leaders”.  Judge Yarbrough was honored to be named one of the 2017 Pilgrim Baptist Church Trailblazers Award recipients and the Homer Hempstead Humanitarian Award from the Montford Point Marine Association of Beloit.  In 2018, he received a Winnebago County Board Chairman’s Service Excellence Award, the McKinley “Deacon” Davis Juneteenth Award, an Award of Appreciation from the Veterans Memorial Hall, and the WREX TV 13 Inspiring 815 Civility Award.

Eugene G. Doherty, Chief Judge of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, commented, “Judge Yarbrough has contributed so much to the youth of our community from his current position.  He has always had their welfare, and the long term betterment of our community, as his guiding purpose.   He impacted many, and he will be missed by many.”  Announcements pertaining to a retirement reception for Judge Yarbrough will be made at a later date.

The Illinois Supreme Court has authorized the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court to post a notice of vacancy for an Associate Judgeship.  The application period for the current vacancy will remain open until July 11, 2019.  

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