PORTLAND — The chief justice of Maine’s highest court is being honored for her years of work improving the state’s judicial system.

Leigh Saufley, chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, is this year’s winner of the Sampson Center Catalyst for Change Award. The annual honor is given by the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine at the University of Southern Maine.

Saufley will receive the award at a dinner in Portland on Thursday.

The Sampson Center promotes diversity and civil rights through research, education and outreach.

Saufley is being honored for helping focus the court system on domestic violence issues, strengthening the special adult and juvenile drug courts, and advocating that people with limited English skills have access to interpreters.

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