Judge Hazel B. Jones is proud to have been born and reared in Houston, Texas. Judge Jones developed a sense of commitment to the Houston community by witnessing the examples of her parents, the late Mr. & Mrs. Robert and Larnita Jones, who each served over thirty years as educators and school administrators in the Houston area.
Judge Jones attended Mary Brantley Smiley High School where she was elected “Miss Smiley High School”, and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Because of the educational foundation laid at M.B. Smiley High School, Judge Jones was a Texas Achievement Award scholar and matriculated at the University of Texas at Austin.
Judge Jones graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and immediately pursued a career in leukemia research at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Although, leukemia research was more than a worthwhile endeavor, Judge Jones had a keen interest in the legal field and matriculated at Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C.. While at Howard University Law School, Judge Jones worked in the Criminal Justice Clinic, defending citizens charged with misdemeanor offenses and representing prisoner s in disciplinary hearings. During her time in law school, Judge Jones also interned for the Honorable Judge Carolyn Garcia of the 151s t Civil Di strict Court of Harris County and for the Honorable Judge Vanessa Gilmore of United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Although Judge Jones obtained her law degree in Washington, D.C., she has been an active member of Houston’ s legal community since 1996. From 1996 -2003, she served as an Assistant Di strict Attorney for the Harris County District Attorney’ s Office obtaining extensive trial experience handling misdemeanor and felony cases. After serving as a state prosecutor, Judge Jones worked as a Special Assistant United States Attorney from 2003-2005 where her primary focus was the pursuit of the federal government initiative of “Project Safe Neighborhoods” which focused on the prosecution of dangerous felons carrying firearms during drug trafficking crimes.
In 2005, Judge Jones went into private practice zealously representing persons charged with crimes in state and federal court in the Houston and surrounding areas.
By 2008, Judge Jones was elected judge of the 338t h Criminal District Court of Harris County, Texas where she served a four-year-term presiding over felony cases and over the Change Through Intervention docket which focused on more frequent court contact with probationers to ensure their successful completion of probation. In 2012, Judge Jones lost a close election and returned to private practice.
However, on November 8, 2016, the citizens of Harris County re-elected Judge Jones to the 174t h Criminal District Court bench where she currently presides in her third term as a State District Judge, senior status.
Judge Jones is also the Administrative Judge for the Felony District Court Board of Judges; in addition to this assignment, Judge Jones volunteers as a Star Drug Court judge; she and a team of professionals focus on the mission to help probationers lead a life of recovery and success for themselves, their families, and for our community.
Judge Jones is also active in our community as a front-line volunteer for philanthropic organizations, and as a requested keynote speaker at community and organizational events. In addition, Judge Jones serves on the board for the Texas Center for the Judiciary which is a not-for-profit organization that provides judicial excellence through education for judges in the State of Texas. Judge Jones has served as a member of the board since 2018 and is currently the Board Chair.
Judge Jones is invested in our community and its children; and as such, she has spent her time educating the youth through tutoring, judging mock trials, and speaking to boys and teenagers about the law and the legal ramifications of certain conduct.
Judge Jones’ s membership in Jack & Jill of America, Incorporated (a not-for-profit philanthropic organization dedicated to strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving, and civic duty) denotes her dedication to our youth.
Lastly, Judge Hazel B. Jones is led by her faith in God and credits her family for the daily support, encouragement, and love she receives to help her on this journey called “life”.