Four years ago, Williamson County’s juvenile system was based on punitive measures but thanks to a great Judge and juvenile justice staff, today it is focused on youth rehabilitation and development.
Appointed to the 277th District Court in October 2013 by former Gov. Rick Perry, Judge Stacey Mathews, as the county’s juvenile Judge, is fulfilling her goal to ensure that both juveniles and young adults are treated supportively but not enabled to continue unlawful behaviors.
In Texas, children ages 10 to 17, and those over 17 alleged to have committed an offense which has a statute of limitations that exceeds juvenile age can be processed through the juvenile court.
The Juvenile Justice Code—in the Texas Family Code—is a hybrid system providing resolution for legal conflicts through both civil and a few criminal procedures.
Almost all cases begin with law enforcement bringing a child into the juvenile detention center. A prompt detention hearing is held to determine if the child is a likely danger to him/herself or the public, and if probable cause (a set of circumstances leading a prudent person to believe a person is subject to the charge) exists.