Jurist in Residence Letter
From Senior District Judge John J. Specia, Jr. (Ret.)
This resource letter of the Jurist in Residence (JIR) program is designed to facilitate communication among the JCMH, the judiciary, and mental health stakeholders. Please forward this letter to any judges, attorneys, mental health professionals, law enforcement, or other community and state leaders who might be interested. To ensure that you regularly receive this letter, please click on the subscribe button at the bottom of this page, if you have not already. 
Announcing the Mental Health Court 10-Step Guide!
When I was on the bench, I presided over both the Bexar County Children’s Court and the Family Drug Treatment Court. Working with families and children in these specialty courts allowed me to use judicial authority and influence to promote treatment engagement, compliance, and better case outcomes for participants. I encourage each of you to support the creation of a Mental Health Court or a Mental Health Docket to address the complex needs of people who enter the court system by connecting them to appropriate treatment, community resources, and judicial monitoring. In support, I am pleased to announce the JCMH Mental Health Court 10-Step Guide, a quick reference containing resources to start a Mental Health Court in your community. Don’t forget that the JCMH also provides technical assistance with creating or enhancing mental health courts. I look forward to providing technical support if requested.
Registration Now Open for 5th Annual Judicial Summit on Mental Health
The 5th Annual Judicial Summit on Mental Health will be held November 2-4, 2022, at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas. Capacity for our in-person meeting is limited. Those who are not able to attend will have the option to livestream the event from their home or office. The Summit will include opportunities to connect with colleagues, establish new relationships, and engage in learning sessions designed to be inspiring yet practical.

Because every county counts, the JCMH is challenging every county to be represented by sending at least one participant to the 2022 Judicial Summit—virtually or live—with the Whole Body, Whole Mind, Whole Texas challenge.

This year’s Summit features a focus on Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) Programs and a Mental Health Court “Stump the Experts” Q&A session.  Participants will receive tools to help navigate the complex mental health laws. For more information, or to register for the Summit, click here.

Bench Books Now Online – and on the Lawbox App!
The third edition of the Bench Book and the second edition of the Juvenile Bench Book are now available on the JCMH website. Additionally, you can access the bench books on the Lawbox app, available free of charge in the Google Play store and the Apple App store. A limited number of print bench books are still available. To request a copy of either book, send an email to [email protected].

Local Mental Health Events
JCMH staff have attended and presented at several community mental health events this spring. We love attending and sharing these informative and inspiring events on our website and social media channels. To share an event, please email our Communications Manager, Rose McBride, at [email protected], and to request that I, Executive Director Kristi Taylor, or a JCMH staff attorney speak at your event, please fill out the online form.

John J. Specia, Jr. (Ret.)
Jurist in Residence
To receive the JIR Resource Letter and other special announcements, link below:
Judicial Commission on Mental Health | TexasJCMH.gov