Dane County Judge Holds Court-Style Chess Game
MADISON, Wisconsin – In a Dane County courtroom, something other than law and order takes center stage.
Judge Mitchell Everett learned of the love of chess from drug court participant Charles Green, so he challenged him to a game – if he stayed sober and continued his treatment.
âI think it’s always good when you see us doing things that they don’t think we can do. Okay so two black men sitting down playing chess together, I think it just redefined what we were doing. let’s think about the criminal justice system, âEverett said, moving one of his pieces around the chessboard.
After court, Everett stepped off the bench to prove that advocacy, inclusion, and acceptance are important in recovery and that means nurturing the passions of its participants.
âOur job is to support the greatness of each of them so that they can achieve it on their own and that they can see it,â Everett said.
âYou know, I wasn’t a big friend of the courts and all because the court was like, ‘Oh, you’re in trouble.’ I don’t feel like I’m in trouble when I come here, âsaid Green, 52.
Since childhood, Green has been a lifelong chess player and knows the game essential for his sobriety.
âAs I love chess, so when I walk away from it, things normally happen that aren’t supposed to happen,â he said.
Everett has therefore released his own personal box. Rather than filled with traditional black and white chalkboard pieces, he symbolically uses copper and bronze. “
âI don’t like black and white; it’s more racial. Hey, always say white comes first,â Everett said as he set the stage for fair play.
He posted a photo from the game held earlier this month that garnered more than a thousand shares on Facebook. He writes poignantly: âHe (Green) won the game, I won his trust.
For our cameras, and because Green had done so well last week, Everett asked him that he would like a re-match.
âI’m going to be more thoughtful because the last time he took my queen,â he said with a chuckle. “I am stressed.”
Everett asks all of his drug participants to create or keep doing something that makes them happy, from writing and painting to puzzles and knitting. He believes hobbies are a positive path to take in any battle with drug addiction.
“And for Mr. Green, I know he has a lot to live for and I want him to be there for a long time,” Everett said shortly before the two ended the speed chess rematch with a partner blocked. end.