TEAM COURT

Brian GaryThe Grayson County Juvenile Board and Grayson County Juvenile Services have announced the creation of a new juvenile court in Grayson County.  Citing the success of STAR Recovery Court and Family Drug Court, Judge Brian Gary of the 397th District Court, on behalf of the Grayson County Juvenile Board, unveiled the creation of T.E.A.M. Court.  “Transition, Education, Alter and Mentor, or T.E.A.M., Court will combine successful elements of drug courts, mental health courts and, unique to Texas, problem solving courts,” stated Judge Gary. The new court will target juveniles that are high risk felony offenders, have multiple violations of court orders, have a family history of criminal activity, as well as those with a history of substance abuse. 

As part of its continuing overhaul of the Texas Youth Commission, the 81st Texas Legislature challenged each county in Texas to reduce commitments to the Texas Youth Commission.  Grayson County averages nine commitments a year and was targeted to commit only five for 2010.  “Our first priority is safety of our community; however, the Grayson County Juvenile Board believes we can meet the legislative directive through our T.E.A.M. Court,” reports Rim Nall, Juvenile Board Chairman.  Funding for the Juvenile Board’s new effort comes from the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission. 

T.E.A.M. Court will boost the enforcement, treatment and educational strategies each child and family receives as they are coordinated by the 397th District Court.  The T.E.A.M. Court’s Review Committee will include law enforcement, educators, the district attorney’s office, an attorney representing the juvenile, the Department of Juvenile Services, chemical dependency counselors, licensed professional counselors and representative members from the community.   

Even though only being on the bench since September 2009, Judge Gary has witnessed first hand the need for early family intervention.  “We continue to see many families with children in the juvenile justice system that have younger children growing up and following the foot steps of older siblings with delinquency issues.  T.E.A.M. Court has been developed to stop repeat patterns of delinquency by involving the entire family either cooperatively or, if necessary, by court order.” 

Today was a meeting of the stakeholders of T.E.A.M. Court, community leaders, counselors from local ISD’s, and law enforcement.  Representatives from Austin College, probation officers and STAR Recovery Court members each took part in the Juvenile Board’s kick off efforts.