Inspiring 815: Judge Patrick Yarbrough - – Rockford’s News Leader

Inspiring 815: Judge Patrick Yarbrough


Judge Patrick Yarbrough has been a judge in the Rockford Juvenile Court System for the past eleven years. but his roots in the city started long before that.

"I am a lifelong resident of Winnebago County." said Yarbrough.

Staying in Rockford was an easy decision for Yarbrough. While he says becoming a judge was never part of his plan, taking on that role came with another distinction - the first African American judge in Winnebago County. 

It's a title Yarbrough doesn't think makes him any different.

"I think that's just something that I take with the title, I don't emphasize that. Other people have, but I just do the job and try do the best I can." said Yarbrough.

But some members of the community think otherwise. That's why the Ethnic Heritage Museum currently has an exhibit dedicated to his life.

"The things I have here in my chambers, some being displayed in the museum, reflect my feelings I have about certain things, and remind me of good things." said Yarbrough.

The museum featuring Yarbrough doesn't surprise Judge Ron White though.

"No one else could've been nominated for that award other than him. He's an excellent judge and an excellent person." said White.

Decades long friends and colleagues, Judge White says Yarbrough goes above and beyond both on, and off the bench.

"Very kind and understanding person, is willing to do anything for anybody at anytime, and he gives of himself and doesn't ask for anything in return." said White.

Judge Yarbrough, inspiring 815, one court case at a time. 

"He's just a wonderful person, and wonderful man." said White.

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