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The Jurist in Residence (JIR) program is designed to facilitate communication among the JCMH, the judiciary, and mental health stakeholders such as judges, attorneys, mental health professionals, law enforcement, or other community and state leaders.
Judge John J. Specia, Jr. (Ret.) serves as the JCMH Jurist in Residence (JIR). John Specia’s life-long dedication for more than three decades to public service includes work in civil, family, and juvenile programs with a special commitment to children and the prevention of child abuse. He provided leadership in establishing the Texas Supreme Court Children's Commission and forming Child Protection Courts throughout the state. Judge Specia further brought his experience and vision to the Texas judiciary as the first Jurist in Residence with the Children's Commission in 2009.
Judge Brent Carr became the presiding judge of Tarrant County Criminal Court 9 in 1991. To fulfill a need to appropriately resolve cases involving mentally ill defendants, he established the Tarrant County Mental Health Court in 2003. He subsequently established the Tarrant County Veterans Treatment Court in 2010 and the Tarrant County RISE program for sex-trafficked female felony offenders in 2011. These programs have produced well over 1,000 graduates and significantly enhanced the lives of the participants.
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