• Public Policy and Law Center Award

    Judge John Phillips was awarded the 2009 Public Policy and Law Center Award by CHILDREN AT RISK for establishing the Juvenile Mental Health Docket.

  • A Collaborative Approach

    The Harris County Juvenile Mental Health Court facilitates a multidisciplinary team approach--team members act individually and collaboratively to balance interests of family, youth and public safety. Youth and their family are involved in the Mental Health Court for a minimum of six months.

  • The Court Responds to a Houston Need

    Frustrated families frequently resort to the juvenile justice system as they struggle to manage their child's escalating emotional difficulties due to a lack of appropriate and accessible community behavioral health services. The program's development is a direct response to this need.

  • Judge John Phillips, Program Leader

    314th District Court Judge John Phillips provided the leadership for the development and implementation of Harris County's first Juvenile Mental Health Court. The Mental Health Court started on February 3, 2009 and presently oversees approximately 30 cases.

About the 314th District Court

Juvenile Courts have specialized jurisdiction over Juvenile Delinquency cases and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services cases involving abuse and neglect of children.

Juvenile Delinquency cases involve youth between the ages of 10 and 17 who are charged with criminal offenses.  The purpose of the Juvenile Justice system is to provide for the protection of the public and to promote the concept of punishment for criminal acts through treatment, training and rehabilitation that emphasizes the accountability and responsibility of both parents of the child for the child’s conduct.

In Texas Department of Family and Protective Services cases, the best interest of the child is the primary consideration in determining the issues of conservatorship, possession of and access to the child.