Wiggins runs for re-election

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 18, 2004

Marvin W. Wiggins believes that the 4th Judicial Circuit needs a judge who is not afraid of doing what’s right and respecting others. That’s one reason why he has chosen to run for re-election.

Wiggins has been a Circuit Court judge for about five years. Before becoming a judge, he practiced law for seven years. &uot;I’ve been respectful, honest and fair to the people and the lawyers,&uot; Wiggins said. &uot;I’ve been active in the community and social agencies to improve the quality of life.&uot;

Wiggins is involved with several organizations, including the Summer Employment Program and the 4th Circuit Community Corrections Program. Wiggins created the Summer Employment Program when he entered office in 1999. The program, which is supported by several governments in the 4th Circuit, partners with businesses and provides youth job opportunities. &uot;The youth learn skills and make relationships,&uot; Wiggins said. &uot;We’ve been very successful in Hale, Perry and Wilcox.&uot;

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According to Wiggins, the program tracks former participants to discover their level of success. &uot;They’ve gone off to college and done well,&uot; Wiggins said. &uot;In some cases, employers have hired the youth full time. It’s amazing what that program does.&uot;

Wiggins also created the 4th Circuit Community Corrections Program, which targets non-violent offenders. The program, scheduled to begin May 1, will bring improvements to the community and justice system, Wiggins said. &uot;They can get rehabilitation instead of being in jail,&uot; he added.

Other programs Wiggins has begun include a faith-based initiative. Wiggins started a program that partners with churches and non-profit organizations, which uses churches as community centers. &uot;Outside of Selma there are no YMCA’s,&uot; Wiggins said. &uot;Churches can be sponsors and sites for programs. I want to tap into funds for faith-based initiatives.&uot;

Wiggins serves as an assistant basketball coach at Greensboro East High School for varsity and junior high girls. He’s also a certified basketball official with the Alabama Athletic Association. &uot;I’ve been visible and active in the community as a judge,&uot; Wiggins said. &uot;I’ve been trying to meet people before they meet me on the bench.&uot;

Concerning Selma’s level of crime, Wiggins said he wanted to partner with churches and community organizations to find activities and events for youth. &uot;Crime is a serious problem that stems from the number of factors – unemployment and low self-esteem,&uot; Wiggins said. &uot;It’s no one’s fault, but it’s everybody’s problem. There’s lots of things we can do to be proactive instead of reactive.&uot;

Wiggins said he wanted the community to come together in the future. &uot;Selma’s become great because we can play ball together, we can eat together,&uot; Wiggins said. &uot;Once we learn and appreciate each other, we’ll become a better city. There are a lot of good things going on in Selma.&uot;

Wiggins is the eighth child of 10 children born to Anna and the late Jessie Wiggins. Wiggins has been married to Evangelist Zina Wiggins for 10 years. They live in Greensboro and are members of Williams Chapel.

Wiggins is the first black to serve on Alabama’s 4th Judicial Circuit Court bench.