District Attorney Paul Johnson
Committed to Always Moving Forward . . . Always Improving
From the moment Paul Johnson stepped into office he began looking for ways to improve the District Attorney’s Office. During his 1st term, Paul improved efficiency by:
- Overhauling the Grand Jury process to eliminate the backlog of criminal cases clogging the system; and
- Developing a liaison program with local law enforcement to allow police officers to work inside the DA’s office and have direct contact with prosecutors about their departments cases.
During his 2nd term, Paul continued his innovative “forward thinking” by:
- Creating a Death Penalty Review Board, made up of experienced attorneys and investigators, to evaluate appropriate cases for the death penalty;
- Developing a paperless E-Filing System to allow police departments to efficiently file their cases with the DA’s office electronically; and
- Initiating the “Denton County Most Wanted Billboard Campaign” to obtain information on the whereabouts of violent offenders.
During this term, District Attorney Paul Johnson
Has shown he is Not Done Yet
Specialized Treatment Court Programs
With over 25 years experience as a prosecutor, Paul understands that justice sometimes requires providing a first-time drug offender, a worthy Veteran, or an individual with mental health issues a chance at rehabilitation and recovery. To this end, Paul partnered with the Denton County Courts and the Denton County Probation Department to develop Specialized Treatment Court Programs.
These programs include the Veterans Treatment Court Program (VTCP), the First Offender Drug Program (FODP), the Denton County Drug Court, and the Mental Health Treatment Court (MHTC). These programs are designed to enhance public safety and reduce recidivism rates by providing deserving individuals with an alternative path through the criminal justice process.
(click on tab for program details)
An intensive program designed to treat veterans suffering from combat related mental conditions that have contributed to a charged criminal offense. Veterans who honorably served their country and suffered the effects of their service participate in a serious 3 phase rehabilitation program focused on long term recovery. Veterans are given the opportunity to clear their record of the criminal charge upon successful completion of the treatment program.
This specialized treatment program is designed to improve the efficiency of the criminal courts by diverting low risk first-time drug offenders to a court supervised program that will increase sobriety among drug offenders and reduce the costs to our community. The criminal case is dismissed and eligible for expunction upon successful completion of the program.
This program provides intensive supervision and treatment to high-risk felony offenders that abuse drugs but show a genuine desire to break the cycle of addiction. The Drug Court is divided into four phases. Participants must successfully complete each phase to the satisfaction of the Treatment Team before progressing to the next phase. Random drug testing is performed throughout the program. The ultimate goal is to give participants the necessary foundation to maintain their recovery and reintegrate into their families and communities.
The mission of the MHTC is to reduce recidivism in our community by emphasizing treatment, stability, and accountability for mentally ill offenders. The program diverts offenders suffering from a legitimate mental illness out of the traditional criminal justice process and into appropriate rehabilitation alternatives. The Treatment Team incorporates accountable mental health treatment into an intensive community supervision model. Successful completion of the program results in case dismissal and possible expunction of the criminal charge.
Brady Compliance Committee
All prosecutors have a legal and ethical duty to disclose favorable evidence to the defense in a criminal case. This obligation goes hand and hand with a prosecutor’s primary duty “not to convict, but to see that justice is done”.
Paul created the Brady Compliance Committee to make sure his office pursues justice with the highest degree of integrity and fairness. The Brady Compliance Committee includes experienced prosecutors, DA investigators, and a member from the Denton County Law Enforcement community. The committee thoroughly reviews information and quickly identifies evidence that must be turned over to the defense. The information is maintained on a secure server and available to prosecutors throughout the office for use in current cases as well as future prosecutions.
Domestic Violence High Risk Team (DVHRT)
Recently, Paul directed his Family Violence Unit to collaborate with the Denton Police Department and Friends of the Family to start a Domestic Violence High Risk Team (DVHRT). Prosecutors from the DA’s office work with Denton PD and Friends of the Family team members to identify and discuss high risk Family Violence cases. The focus of the team is to offer family violence victims a way out of potentially dangerous situations. The team hopes to provide family violence victims with needed resources, such as protective orders, safety plans, counseling, and shelter.
Felony – Misdemeanor Prosecutor Mentor Program
Paul implemented a Prosecutor Mentor Program where experienced felony prosecutors provide guidance, training, and courtroom instruction to new misdemeanor attorneys. The program ensures misdemeanor prosecutors gain valuable experience and exposure to various courtroom situations as they progress through the office.