Skip to main content

Feedback

On May 6th, actor, producer, author, and philanthropist Matthew McConaughey spoke for a second time before the youth offenders in Judge Brandy Mueller’s Criminal Court during Project Engage’s monthly virtual docket.  This time, the now author, joined Court virtually from an Airstream in his back yard. McConaughey spoke before a virtual Zoom courtroom full of excited teens on topics like the importance of challenging yourself and “taking the dare” to make it in life. He also discussed approaching things one step at a time and how having a good attitude makes all the difference. 

Judge Brandy Mueller welcomes Matthew McConaughey

Project Engage, a Travis County youth offender program, created by Judge Mueller in 2012 is especially for the youngest members of the adult criminal justice system, defendants who are 17, 18, and 19 years of age.  “The teenage Defendant often falls within a gap that exists within our adult criminal justice system.  Teens are often too old to have their cases handled as juvenile offenders, yet often too young to be treated as that of an adult” said Judge Mueller. “The State of Texas is one of only a handful of states across the country that has a low age of criminal responsibility, at only 17.  A criminal conviction, for anyone 17 and up, will become a permanent part of his or her record.  Convictions at a young age often cut off opportunity for jobs, careers, higher education, housing and even loans when the need is greatest.  Project Engage is a supportive, yet structured probation, with consequences for probation violations, but the important opportunity to avoid a permanent conviction. Our mission is to allow a teenage Defendant to do this by providing the additional support and structure of a probation that emphasizes work, school and giving back to our community.”

The Defendants in Project Engage are considered high-risk for re-offending.  A good number of the participants have a family member who is incarcerated or are themselves former foster kids, having aged out of the system and without a consistent parental figure, even.  The program is designed to provide extra support to the defendants and enable them to earn a dismissal. “This specialty court places an emphasis on community involvement, attaining job skills and furthering education. By partnering with local organizations, Project Engage is able to connect participants to a broad spectrum of services, trainings and support to meet their individual needs.” said Project Engage defense attorney Michelle Mays.

After he spoke, McConaughey fielded inquisitive questions from the teens about his career, family, and life. “Outside of the excitement his celebrity status brought, the meaningful part of his visit was that what he said resonated with our teens.” said Judge Mueller.

Matthew McConaughey

TAX RATE: TRAVIS COUNTY ADOPTED A TAX RATE THAT WILL RAISE MORE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS THAN LAST YEAR'S TAX RATE. THE TAX RATE WILL EFFECTIVELY BE RAISED BY 3.6 PERCENT AND WILL RAISE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS ON A $100,000 HOME BY APPROXIMATELY $11.00.

logo tc seal
©  Travis County. All Rights Reserved.