About Judge Goodhart
Paula Goodhart is currently the Judge of Harris County Criminal Court at Law #1. Judge Goodhart grew up in Houston attending schools in the Pasadena Independent School District. After receiving her undergraduate degree with Honors from the University of Texas at Austin, Judge Goodhart received her law degree from the University of Houston in 1993. While in law school, Judge Goodhart was hired by District Attorney Johnny Holmes as an intern. Upon graduation, Judge Goodhart was hired as an Assistant District Attorney where she served the citizens of this county until 2007. While at the District Attorney's Office, Judge Goodhart served as a District Court Chief and was assigned to the Trial Bureau, the Public Affairs Bureau and Special Crimes. In 2007, Judge Goodhart resigned her position at the District Attorney's Office and began a private practice in criminal defense. In March of 2010, Judge Goodhart was appointed by the Harris County Commissioner's Court to fill the judicial vacancy in County Criminal Court at Law #1. In November 2010, Judge Goodhart was elected Judge of Court #1.
Judge Goodhart is only the 4th judge to preside
over Criminal Court #1 since its inception and the first female judge
elected to that court. While presiding over Harris County Criminal Court
at Law #1, Judge Goodhart received the 2013 Mothers Against Drunk Drivers
Judiciary Service Award and has been appointed to serve on numerous committees
including the Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department
standing committee, the Docket Control Committee, the J.I.M.S. committee.
Beginning in the spring of 2014, Judge Goodhart
will preside over the 4th Harris County S.O.B.E.R. (Saving Ourselves By
Education and Recovery) D.W.I. Court. The goal of the Harris County S.O.B.E.R.
Court program is to increase public safety and to reduce long-term costs
to the criminal justice system and the community through intense supervision
utilizing a multi-disciplinary, team effort. This program is a collaborative
effort involving the Harris County Criminal Courts at Law, the District
Attorney's Office, local defense attorneys, the Community Supervision
and Corrections Department, the Harris County Sheriff's Department and
other treatment providers and social services agencies in Harris County.
In DWI Courts, seriously alcohol addicted individuals remain in treatment
for long periods of time while under close supervision. The S.O.B.E.R.
Court in Harris County Criminal Court #1 will serve offenders between
the ages of 17 and 25.
Judge Goodhart is an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow and member of Criminal Justice Class IV. Along with her fellow classmates, Judge Goodhart organized an A.L.F. community dialog entitled "Ending the Jail to Prison Pipeline: How can the criminal justice system reduce recidivism in the 17-24 year old population?" to raise awareness of the challenges facing our community when young offenders commit crimes.
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