Hon. Barbara L. Spencer

HON. BARBARA L. SPENCER is a Maricopa County Superior Court commissioner, who was appointed to the bench in 2005. This is her second rotation in the Comprehensive Mental Health Court, the first one occurring in 2007. Previously, she was assigned to a special assignment/master calendar criminal calendar, where she conducted criminal trials, settlement conferences, and guilty-plea proceedings and before that she was an initial-appearance commissioner at the Fourth Avenue Jail. After graduating law school in 1992, Commissioner Spencer worked for the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office for three years. She left the PD’s office and went into private practice until her appointment to the bench. The focus of Commissioner Spencer’s law practice was criminal law, with a special emphasis on offenders with mental illness. Before law school, Commissioner Spencer, who has a master’s in social work, worked for Maricopa County as a psychiatric social worker and then in private practice, where she treated the worried well. She has presented at state and Maricopa County bar association conferences on mentally ill offenders. She also served five years on the Governor’s Council on Offenders with Mental Impairments.