RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Rankin County Court Judge Thomas Broome has died. He was 57.

He passed away on Sunday, May 21 surrounded by his family after battling an illness for several weeks.

Broome served as Youth Court Judge for Rankin County for more than 20 years. Among his many leadership roles, he was chairman of the Mississippi Council of Youth Court Judges for 12 years, and he served as co-chair of the Mississippi Supreme Court’s  Commission on Children’s Justice since its inception in 2006.

“Today, Rankin County lost a visionary genius in the world of juvenile justice. Judge Broome had served as County Court and Rankin County Youth Court judge since 2003. During that time, Judge Broome had been a champion for reforming troubled youth and broken families. His dedication and passion towards juvenile justice fostered the mending of many broken homes and helped reverse the downward spiral that many troubled youth and their families were caught up in. His work will never be forgotten,” the Rankin County Youth Court posted on Facebook.

Broome founded the Rankin County Juvenile Drug Court in 2006, and he started one of the state’s two earliest family drug court programs in 2010. He established a Safe Babies Court Team for Rankin County in July 2015 – the second in the state. He implemented the state’s second Zero to Three program, giving intensive services to children from birth to age three.

“We will deeply miss Judge Broome and his passion for the youth in the city and county he served so well. Please continue to pray for his family and friends,” the Brandon Police Department posted on Facebook.

Broome previously served as a member of the Mississippi State Intervention Courts Advisory Committee, a member of the Mississippi Uniform Youth Court Rules Commission, co-chair of the Legislation Committee on the State Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice, vice-chair of the Mississippi  Children’s Justice Act Task Force, and vice-chair of the Statewide Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Task Force.

A celebration of life service and reception will be held on June 10 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Muse Center in Pearl. A graveside service will be conducted on June 9 at 2:30 p.m. at Bay Springs Cemetery in Bay Springs.