Skip to main content


Employees Receiving Tenure Awards

Recent posts

Ministries of the Third Cross Visit Ayres House

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Ministries of the Third Cross (MOTC) joined Ayres Halfway House youth for their annual spring retreat on March 16-18, 2018.
MOTC is a retreat ministry focused on criminal justice, which aims to provide an experience of supportive, spirit-filled transformation. The retreats have taken place at Ayres House since 2003 thanks to Dr. Jorge Cuellar and his team, in collaboration with church members across the city.

Ayres staff are extremely grateful to Diana and Henry Alameda and team leader Greg Guzman for coordinating this event. The next retreat will be in July.

PAWS Dogs Getting the Run Around

GIDDINGS, Texas – Just as TJJD has been increasing exercise time for youth, the PAWS program is working to raise the duration of exercise and play outings for the PAWS dogs in residence at TJJD facilities.
To that end, PAWS is providing more toys and longer lines (exercise leashes) to the youth who work with the dogs. The longer lines will allow greater running distances for the dogs, enabling the youth to give them a workout on the wide grassy areas available on campus. These runs will supplement the dogs’ regular play times within the PAWS fenced areas.
The dogs will benefit, and so with the youth who take them for a jog. Everyone wins! And after the work out, the youth trainers and their canine charges can relax in the spring sun.
PAWS operates at three TJJD secure facilities – Gainesville State School, Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex and the Giddings State School, where these photos were taken.
(If you are interested in adopting a PAWS Dog, please visit the “PAWS at T…

Tamayo House Students Help at Rotary Club fundraiser

HARLINGEN, Texas – Students from Edna Tamayo Halfway House and Harlingen High School’s Ruben Trevino helped the Harlingen Rotary Club raise $40,000 dollars for Loaves and Fishes at an event Feb. 27, 2018. 
Loaves & Fishes is one of those few organizations that cut across every ethnic, cultural and socio-economic barrier here in Harlingen Texas.  Loaves and Fishes offers food, shelter, job training and placement for the city of Harlingen and surrounding areas. 
The students from Tamayo House sold tickets and cooked more than 1500 lbs. of shrimp. People at the site complimented the youth for their contributions, saying  "We would not have done this in one day without the students of Tamayo House."

A fun-filled Family Day at Evins

EDINBURG, Texas -- Bingo, pizza and prizes made for many happy moments at Family Day at the Evins Regional Juvenile Center, on Feb. 24.

More than 100 family members visited 38 youth at this gathering sponsored by the South Texas Youth Council. The council provided pizza and beverages.

Evins youth in the academic horticultural class cultivated potted flowers, which were given out as bingo prizes to the winning participants. Other prizes included beanie toys and toy cars.

Elva Benitez, Family Liaison at Evins, coordinated and ran the event. Superintendent Tamu Steptoe, Assistant Superintendent Daniel Siam, Chaplain Luis Alvarado and central office’s Family and Community Program Supervisor Suzanne Scharlé attended, participated and assisted as needed.

Thanks to all the case managers, dorm supervisors, JCOs and volunteers and facility managers who helped!

TJJD and Juvenile Law Section Host 31st Annual Juvenile Law Conference

HORSESHOE BAY, Texas – The Texas Juvenile Justice Department partnered with the Juvenile Law Section of the State Bar of Texas to sponsor the 31st Annual Juvenile Law Conference in Horseshoe Bay, Feb. 25-28, 2018.

The conference welcomed about 350 juvenile justice professionals from across Texas. It kicked off with a pre-conference focusing on the nuts and bolts of juvenile law, followed by more advanced topics during the rest of the conference. Distinguished professionals presented on various topics aimed at enhancing the juvenile justice system. The speakers demonstrated great passion and enthusiasm in sharing their knowledge and expertise.

For the fourth year, the Juvenile Law Section hosted disciplinary caucuses with facilitated discussion, providing a place to network within an individual’s personal discipline and discuss best practices, current issues, and ways to improve the system.

The Juvenile Law Section honored Nydia Thomas with the Robert O. Dawson Visionary Leadership Aw…

Reunion Coming Up!

If you are a graduate of the Capital Offender or Violent Offender group programs, you are invited to a reunion at the Giddings State School on

April 7, 2018, 1:30-4:30 pm

We hope you will share your successes and challenges with youth currently enrolled in COG and VOG. Please call 979-542-4571 or contact
to register.

No money is needed. There will be refreshments (i.e., food!).

(If you’re on parole, please request permission to attend. Show your parole officer this announcement. Sorry, family are not invited. Bring your ID, follow dress code and expect search procedures.)

Jerome K. Williams, PREA expert, retires

AUSTIN, Texas – Jerome K. Williams, director of TJJD’s Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) compliance program, has retired after 18 years with TJJD/TYC.
His going away party on Feb. 16 drew a crowd. Naturally, there was cake, but also vegetables and fruit. Williams, in addition to being a nationally known expert on the PREA law and unfailing resource in this area for those at TJJD, is an advocate for good nutrition and was known to keep carrot sticks close at hand.

Williams also plays golf, something he says he’ll be doing more of now. Several of his co-workers said they look forward to continuing to play with him and noted that he could use his newfound leisure time to work on his game. The retirement commemoration was partly a roast, as well as a fond farewell to a beloved colleague. Several friends thanked Williams for having mentored them, and longtime buddy Bill Parks, superintendent of the Mart facility, confirmed with deadpan humor that Williams could indeed stand to focus on his…


Discussing racial and ethnic differences and the disparate treatment of people of color can be difficult.
It’s one thing to put it out there that you love tomatoes or fast cars or hate kombucha. These are not emotionally charged matters – well, unless you’re a kombucha brewer.
It’s a far more sensitive matter to probe those unconscious, implicit biases around race and ethnicity. Yes, we’re talking about stereotypes but also the seemingly innocuous snap judgements that we all make every day in our jobs, in traffic, out shopping and recreating. 
Picture this: A white woman crosses the street when she sees a young black man in a hoodie walking her way. A guard dismisses an outcry from a youth of color as histrionics. A teacher groans audibly in front of a youth of color who’s struggling to read at his grade level.
But was it really histrionics, or was there a serious emotional backdrop or event leading to that outburst? Was that young man really threatening or just cold? Was our young r…

Youth swim and play games after earning ‘Incentive Day’ points

BROWNWOOD, Texas – Every six weeks the youth at the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex have the opportunity to attend an educational “Incentive Day.”
Incentive Day offers the kids a chance to play games, swim in the pool and enjoy snacks. In order to be eligible to attend, a youth must have a good record in school. They must be passing all classes and not have had any security referrals or major rule violations.
At the Incentive Day in February, 30 youth qualified. They were treated to hot dogs and cookies and were able to play pool basketball, shuffle board, bean bags and video games. In addition, they had “glamour” pictures taken.