Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 14, 2020

Governor appoints Philyaw to Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth


Gov. Bill Lee has appointed Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Robert Philyaw to a three-year term on the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth.

As a member of the commission’s 21-person policymaking body, Philyaw will further the organization’s mission of improving the quality of life for children and families and providing leadership and support to child advocates.

“That’s what I do in my day job as a judge, so this is just another way to better serve the residents of Hamilton County and hopefully have a broader impact as well,” Philyaw says.

Much of the TCCY’s work is done in support of special programs such as KIDS COUNT. The commission serves as the Tennessee affiliate of KIDS COUNT, which provides data and policy recommendations to state leaders.

Each year, the TCCY publishes “KIDS COUNT: The State of the Child in Tennessee,” a book analyzing statistics about child well-being in the state.

Another prominent TCCY program is the Second Look Commission, which examines data about children in Tennessee who are repeat victims of severe abuse.

The Second Look Commission is led by Craig Hargrow, who also serves as deputy executive director of the TCCY. Philyaw previously worked with Hargrow to exam the issue of disproportionate minority contact in the justice system. The TCCY has a task force dedicated to that issue.

Philyaw says he hopes to be able to direct special attention to an issue especially important to him: juvenile justice.

“Juvenile justice is going to be an important topic over the next few years,” Philyaw says. “I hope to help in more ways with the rehabilitation of serious youthful offenders.”

Philyaw earned a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Christian Brothers University. He earned his juris doctor from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, where he received the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence and the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award.

Philyaw has received numerous awards during his time on the bench. In 2015, Legal Aid of East Tennessee honored him with the Chief Justice William M. Barker Equal Access to Justice Award. In 2019, Philyaw received the McCain-Abernathy Memorial Award from the Tennessee Council of Juvenile and Family Law Judges.

Philyaw is a member of the Chattanooga and Tennessee Bar associations, the Tennessee Judicial Conference and both the National and Tennessee Councils of Juvenile and Family Law Judges.

He will be one of two judges serving on the TCCY. The other is Washington County Juvenile Court Judge Sharon Green.

Source: Tennessee Appellate Court