We Are Dedicated to Fairness, Safety, and Beauty of Our Southwest Detroit Community.


The mission of the Southwest Detroit Community Justice Center is to increase public trust in the justice system,

assist in the reduction of crime, improve the quality of life and meet the needs of the  community.



Tonya Myers Phillips, ESQ

Executive Director

Tonya Myers Phillips is an attorney with a passion for social justice and improving the quality of life for Detroiters. In her role, as Executive Director for the Southwest Detroit Community Justice Center, she is able to combine her legal skills and love for community work, by facilitating the first Community Court program in the City of Detroit.

Tonya was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She attended Renaissance High School in Detroit, MI. She received her bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Michigan. She also went on to attend and receive her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. Ms. Phillips has been honored with the Distinguished Young Lawyer Award from the Wolverine Bar Association. She was also a past recipient of the Maryann Mahaffey Public Servant of the Year Award from the United Community Housing Coalition.

Tonya is very active in the community. She was appointed to serve on the City of Detroit Charter Revision Commission from 2010-2012. She is active with the State Bar of Michigan, being appointed to serve on Justice Policy Initiatives Committee and the Character and Fitness Committee. She serves on the Board of Directors and volunteers with several organizations, including the Detroit Chapters of Habitat for Humanity, the National Lawyers Guild-Detroit, and the New Leaders Council. Tonya enjoys reading, arts performances, and spending time with family and friends.

Prior to joining the Southwest Detroit Community Justice Center, Tonya worked as a staff attorney with Michigan Legal Services. Tonya has also worked in private practice representing nonprofit organizations and small businesses, and with the Maurice and Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice performing impact litigation

Patricia Terteling, LLMSW

Clinical Case Manager

Ms. Terteling came on board to the community court project as a social work intern where she became familiar with resident concerns specifically to southwest Detroit. She now serves as Clinical Case Manager. Ms. Terteling is committed to serving the needs of community court defendants by providing case management and wraparound services as well as developing other relevant clinical services for the program.

Ms. Terteling has extensive experience working in the substance disorder treatment field. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Healthcare Services from University of Phoenix and earned her Master’s of Social Work at of the University of Michigan.

James Phillips, BSc. Engr.

Community Service Coordinator

Mr. Phillips has extensive experience working with community service volunteers and the prison re-entry population. He has an exhaustive knowledge of issues and barriers facing defendants and how to inspire change and success. He has expertise in prison reentry programming and job preparation and readiness. Mr. Phillips has an educational background in mechanical engineering.

Juan M. Ochoa, M.A.

Program Assistant

Juan Ochoa, Communication / Program Assistant, joined the SWDCJC in early 2016. With a background in Media, Global Communication and a concentration on visual and material culture, Juan understands the importance of how people can better come to trust, identify, and believe in the judicial system. Juan acts as a liaison between the people and public officials.