Specialty Programs

The Honorable Brandy Mueller, County Court at Law #6

Project Engage aims to reduce the number of revocations, convictions and jail sentences by providing teenage offenders the additional support and structure of regular judicial oversight within a probation term with maximum supervision, and an emphasis on school and/or work.

project engage
  • Monthly Group Court Appearances
  • Mandatory School and/or Work as a Condition
  • Community Service and Engagement
  • Mentorship Programming
  • Resume Building, Job Finding and Training Resources
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Project Engage is a docket created especially for misdemeanor defendants who are ages 17, 18 and 19 years of age. This docket takes place before Judge Mueller in County Court #6 every month. Misdemeanor cases that may be appropriate for Project Engage can be transferred into Court 6 from any Travis County criminal misdemeanor court at law or pled down to Court 6 as a reduction from felony District Court. Contact the Court 6 office if you have a case or cases you would like to be considered. This program is not offense specific.

What's Happening?

Project Engage Honored With Civic Futures Award by City of Austin

Mayor Adler congratulated Judge Mueller and her team. Read More

Project Engage YOuth Offenders PSA

Teenage Defendants of Judge Mueller's Project Engage youth offender docket created a public service announcement (PSA). Read More

Austin's Police Chief Comes to Court

Chief Brian Manley spoke to the defendants of Judge Mueller's teen court October 25th. Read More

Travis County's Jury Service Film Challenge

Austin Area High school students are invited to create a 2 to 4 minute video on why jury service is important. Read More

Free Movie Screening for Project Engage Participants

Project Engage presents a special movie screening exclusively for the members of Project Engage! Read More

Matthew McConaughey speaks to youth at Project Engage

On January 12, actor Matthew McConaughey visited and spoke before the youth offenders in Judge Brandy Mueller’s Criminal Court. Read More

Austin musician shares songs, wisdom with Travis County teen offenders

A few months after serving on a jury in a trial presided over by Judge Brandy Mueller, of Travis County Court at Law No. 6, Guy Forsyth found himself back in the courtroom Friday afternoon. Read More

Program

PARTICIPATION DETAILS

Conditions of probation

  • Appear in Court 6 monthly in a group setting (2pm Thursday usually the last week of the month)
  • Undergo random drug and alcohol tests
  • Complete a series of community service projects designed specifically for this program
  • Take part in mentor program
  • Complete treatment and counseling as may be recommended

Incentives for accomplishment and progress

Offenders will be recognized for improved compliance and accomplishment with:

  • Early Discharge
  • CSR credit
  • Recognition Certificate, letters and employment referrals
  • Fee waivers or reduction

The consequences of non-compliance

  • Work Crew community service through the probation department
  • Additional CSR
  • Increased Frequency of Random UA program
  • Placement on Electronic Monitoring
  • Referrals to Additional Counseling, Treatment, etc.
  • As a last resort, revocation and jail time at full exposure

Misdemeanor defendants should:

  • be 17-20 years of age
  • be a Travis County resident
  • not have a violent criminal history
  • not have had a previous commitment to TDC or TYC
  • not have unresolved cases pending

The program may be particularly applicable for offenders who:

  • lack a high school diploma or GED
  • are unemployed
  • are indigent
  • or who have limited vocational skills.

Download Project Engage contract

Appropriate cases can be transferred to CCL #6 from any misdemeanor court or plead down to CCL #6 from a felony court.

Contact court directly if you want a case to be considered. This program is not offense specific.

The Honorable Brad Urrutia, 450th District Court

lady justice

Veterans Treatment Court is a specialized court designed to meet the particular needs of the veteran community. The goal is to promote sobriety, recovery, and stability through a coordinated response that involves the cooperation and collaboration of many different levels of the Veterans Treatment Court team.

The program utilizes a non-adversarial approach in which the Veterans Court team works together with the Veteran to guide him/her toward successfully attaining their goals.

Veterans Court Administrator
Jolene Grajcyck
(512) 854-3856

Programs

Eligible veteran-defendants will be diverted from traditional or other specialty courts to a specialized criminal court docket specifically crafted for them via a 12- to 24- month program. Participating veterans must suffer from a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other mental disorder, including victims of military sexual trauma that occurred during or resulted from the defendant’s military service and affected the defendant’s criminal conduct at issue in the case. The court substitutes a treatment-based problem-solving model for traditional court processing in conjunction with the Veterans Treatment Court team.

Eligible veterans are those who find themselves in trouble with the criminal justice system because of criminal behavior resulting from their physical and mental injuries from combat and/or military service which has materially affected their conduct. In Travis County, eligible veterans are identified through self-identification, screening and assessments. Participation is voluntary on the part of the veteran-defendant subject to the consent of the attorney representing the state and the Veterans Treatment Court team.

  • The Veteran will submit the Veterans Court application to the Veterans Court Program Manager via his/her attorney.
  • Upon receipt of the completed application, the Program Manager will consult with the Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist (VJOS) to determine eligibility.
  • The Program Manager will also determine if the veteran has been evaluated for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a traumatic brain injury (TBI), or other mental health disorder.
  • If the veteran has met the basic criteria, the application is forwarded to the County and/or District Attorney based on the level of offense.
  • The County and District Attorney’s Office will then review the cases to determine if they are willing to accept the veteran into the program.

The Honorable Mike Denton, County Court at Law #4

lady justice

The purpose of Phoenix Court is to assist commercially sexually exploited persons who are considered victims of abuse. The pre-adjudication program, which lasts 1 to 2 years, aims to make lives more manageable through support and direction of an experienced Court Team by using a holistic approach providing comprehensive, community-based services as participants recover from trauma of sex trade.

Program

The voluntary Pre-adjudication program:

  • Consists of 4 phases providing integrated services, to include:
    • Case management
    • Service linkage to counseling
    • Job skills training, employment, education, and medical assistance
    • Housing
    • Substance use disorder counseling
  • Weekly meetings with case manager
  • Weekly to bi-monthly court attendance, depending on phase
  • Random drug testing

Upon completion, charges will remain dismissed and are eligible for immediate expunction

  • Must be 17 years of age or older
  • Available to women, men and transgendered individuals
  • Must have a current misdemeanor or reduced felony prostitution charge
  • May be brought into the program on a charge other than prostitution if a history of prostitution exists
  • No violent offenses, though exceptions may be made
  • No evidence of being a perpetrator, pimp or trafficker
  • Must reside in Travis County
  • Assessed as medium to high risk for criminal recidivism
  • Assessed as medium to high risk for being in an abusive situation over the past year
  • Assessed as having a substance use disorder or PTSD
  • Potential participants are identified at Central Booking and are screened by a Counseling & Education Services caseworker for eligibility
  • Participation in the program must be agreed to by the County Attorney, Defense Attorney (Ciara Williams and Chantal Eldridge), and Judge

Contact Person

Tony Frank
(512) 854-1435

The Honorable Nancy Hohengarten, County Court at Law #5

lady justice

The Special Reduction Docket provides consideration of defendants’ mental health issues as they relate to criminal conduct, with a goal of reducing recidivism and improving lives through appropriate treatment and services.

Programs

Dockets are held twice per week. A team including Integral Care (IC), Pretrial Services, TCSO counseling, prosecution and defense staff cases for appropriate services, treatment and disposition.

Defendants who have been screened and identified by the Travis County Sheriff’s Office as having mental health issues and who are incarcerated.

Eligible defendants are automatically placed on this docket.

The Honorable Nancy Hohengarten, County Court at Law #5

lady justice

The purpose of the Misdemeanor Mental Health Diversion Docket is to provide court supervision for defendants diagnosed with mental illness who have entered an agreement with the State to have their criminal case dismissed after a period of treatment and stability.

Program

Defendants are released on personal bond with conditions that are agreed to by the State and are supervised by specialized pretrial service officers. Defendants report monthly until their case is dismissed.

  • Mental health diagnosis
  • Pending misdemeanor offense
  • Approval by prosecution

Attorneys for defendants should contact the prosecutor below regarding application.

Contact Person

Jason Steans
(512) 854-9880