After Being Jailed Three Times, He Then Became the Youngest Judge in Pennsylvania at Age 27

Judge Hanif Johnson

In 2018, at the age of 27, Judge Hanif Johnson made history as the youngest judge ever elected in the state of Pennsylvania, driven by his personal encounters with law enforcement.

During his teenage years, Johnson found himself in handcuffs on multiple occasions, reflecting on a system that he felt often failed to offer him a fair opportunity. He perceived a disparity in the treatment he received compared to individuals who didn’t resemble him or understand the realities of his community. 

Determined to turn those negative experiences into a force for change, Johnson took a brave step and left his well-paying job to embark on a campaign for public office. While some skeptics dismissed him as too young, he persisted, engaging in multiple conversations with those who doubted him until he proved his knowledge and capability to lead. 

The key to his success lies in his deep connection with the community he serves. In his free time, Judge Johnson dedicates himself to mentoring the youth in his neighborhood, guiding, and inspiring them to pursue their dreams relentlessly. Whether their aspirations lie in professional sports or the entertainment industry, he encourages them to take tangible steps toward their goals, instilling in them the belief that they can overcome obstacles and achieve greatness.  Since assuming office in 2018, Judge Johnson has made a significant impact during his six-year term. His approach to justice and the law is informed by the empathy and understanding he gained through his own experiences. This unique perspective allows him to address issues in a way that resonates with the people he serves.