Thank you for visiting the website of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. Our agency is dedicated to caring for the youth in our system and promoting the public safety of all Texans. As executive director, I am committed to building a shared, collaborative juvenile system in which state services work hand-in-hand with county juvenile probation departments.
Since I became executive director in January 2018, my focus has been on implementing the Texas Model of juvenile justice. The main tenets of the model are:
- Keep youth as shallow in the system as possible
- Grow probation resources and preserve local control
- Focus on the needs and risks of youth
- Provide scalable, graduated options to meet youth and system needs
- Commit to the shortest appropriate time period for youth to be in our system
- Have youth stay as close to their communities whenever possible according to their best interests
- Infuse trauma-informed care into everything we do
As we have reimagined how our system works, we have been guided by the central principle of putting kids first. We have focused on safety and security to improve outcomes for youth while at the same time phasing resources to our probation departments, supporting models for youth with the most intense needs, and implementing trauma-informed corrections across the state. Though we are proud of our accomplishments, we also know there is much work to be done. I hope that you will join us as we move forward in our mission.
Thank you again for visiting,
Camille Cain was appointed the executive director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department in January 2018. For almost 30 years, she has focused on improving and innovating government programs and has built policy experience in a broad range of criminal and juvenile justice issues as well as expertise in strategy development and implementation, process improvement, strategic stakeholder relations, technology solutions, data analytics methodologies, and grants.
Ms. Cain has served in the Administration of President George W. Bush, the administrations of five Texas Governors, and the private sector. Most recently, she was the executive director of the Criminal Justice Division within the Office of the Governor. She has served as deputy associate attorney general in the US Department of Justice, the principal deputy and acting director of the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance, and the director of regional services for the US Department of Education.
Ms. Cain is a native Texan and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.
Sean Grove serves as TJJD's Chief of Staff. An accomplished lawyer, Sean has worked in the public sector in county-level criminal justice agencies and assisted Governor Abbott’s policy team on criminal justice issues during the 85th Legislature. Immediately prior to joining TJJD, Sean was in private practice representing governmental entities on a wide range of issues. He grew up in Dallas and received a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Kansas Wesleyan University. He earned his law degree from Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth, where he concentrated on criminal law, justice, and policy issues.
Emily Anderson joined the agency in 2014 as the director of fiscal affairs. In August 2018 she became the chief financial officer, and in January 2020 she assumed the additional title of chief operating officer. Anderson has deep experience in state government. Before her work at TJJD, she spent 11 years at the Texas Department of Transportation, where she worked as a lead budget analyst and a manager of business operations. A proud Red Raider, she is a graduate of Texas Tech University and worked in the Mayor’s Office for the City of Lubbock for three years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and most importantly, spending time with her young son.
Jeannette Cantu provides administrative support to the TJJD Board of Directors and leads the agency's administrative support staff team. Cantu joined the former Texas Youth Commission in June of 2008. She was awarded the Dedication to Excellence Award by the Texas Youth Commission Board of Directors in 2011. Cantu also worked with the Texas Attorney General's Office Division of Families and Children and the Child Support Division. She began her career at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Endangered Species Program in 1993.
Shandra Carter is an accomplished mental health professional with 20 years of experience in the human services field. She has dedicated her career to the field of trauma care, specializing in child development, abuse and neglect, and sexual violence treatment. She has worked primarily in residential and correctional settings, developing trauma-informed programming. Most recently she worked with Texas-area programs serving child sex trafficking victims to implement Trust Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI) as their trauma responsive model of care. Carter has extensive experience working with both victims and offenders. She worked at the Sexual Offender Treatment Program at the Washington State Department of Corrections, recognizing that rehabilitation of offenders is pivotal for successful
transition back into society. Carter earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Law, Societies & Justice from the University of Washington. She went on to earn her master’s in Social Work at Eastern Washington University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) - Supervisor in Texas as well as a Licensed Childcare Administrator. When not on the job, Shandra enjoys spending time with her husband, trying to keep up with her energetic young daughter and playing with the family’s three dogs.
Nate Jackson is a veteran administrator and strategic thinker with extensive experience in governmental and non-profit organizations. He has specialized in program management, strategic planning, policy development, and data analytics. He previously worked for such respected organizations as Deloitte, Bonner Group, and Master Key Consulting. He earned a Master of Public Administration with a focus in criminology from the University of Baltimore and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati.
Lou Serrano has worked in the field of juvenile justice since 1989, beginning in Deaf Smith County as a field supervision officer. In 1990, Lou was appointed Chief Juvenile Probation Officer for Deaf Smith/Oldham Counties. While serving in this capacity, Serrano was able to obtain both state and local funding to open the Deaf Smith County Youth Home, a 12-bed residential facility for male delinquent offenders. At the time, the facility was noted for its innovative and creative approach in dealing with delinquent offenders. In 2001, Lou was appointed the Director of Juvenile Services for Ector County. The department employed over 50 dedicated juvenile justice professionals and administrative staff. The department operations included the Ector County Youth Center, a 48-bed secure juvenile justice facility. The Ector County Youth Center "post-adjudication" program was the first of its kind in the State of Texas, opening in 1974. After retiring from Ector County in 2016, he was hired by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department as regional county program administrator. Serrano is a past member of the Panhandle Juvenile Probation Officer's Association and the West Texas Juvenile Chief's Association. He is a member of the Texas Probation Association. Serrano is a graduate of West Texas A&M University, obtaining his degree in Criminal Justice Administration in 1988.
Preston Streufert started as a Texas House intern during his last year of undergraduate studies in business at the University of Texas at Austin, and that is when he caught the bug to continue work in state government and politics. After a brief stint with a press organization covering the Texas Capitol, he worked two sessions for State Senator John Carona of Dallas. Preston took off the 2011 Session to get his JD from Texas Tech University School of Law and become licensed by the State Bar, but he returned to the Texas House as General Counsel and Interim Committee Clerk for then-Representative Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham in 2013. In 2015, he returned the Senate as Legislative Director for State Senator Joan Huffman of Houston, which paved the way for him to be a criminal justice advisor in 2017 for the Governor’s Office of Budget and Policy. Applying his Capitol experience to state agency work, he liaised between the Legislature and the state’s Medicaid program for the Health and Human Services Commission for the 2019 Session. As Director of Stakeholder Relations for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, he brings over fifteen years of Capitol experience to help communicate and cultivate TJJD’s mission with the Legislature, Governor, state agencies, local probation departments, and advocates.
Brian Sweany has been active in Texas media and communications for more than two decades. An alum of TEXAS MONTHLY, he started his journalism career as an intern, in 1996, and ultimately served as Editor-in-Chief. In his final year, TM earned two National Magazine Award nominations and 19 City and Regional Magazine Association nominations, more than any other title in the country. He was also named to the Folio 100 as an "Up and Coming Trailblazer" and was cited for leading "one of the highest quality regional magazines in the US, where editorial excellence is the norm."
Prior to becoming EIC, Sweany served as the magazine's chief political editor, supervising a team of writers and editors who covered the Legislature and produced print stories, digital content, and live events. A native Texan who was born on Texas Independence Day, Sweany has long been interested in politics and public policy. His father served as an election judge in Collin County, and as a boy he can remember driving to the courthouse after elections to deliver the returns. He lives in Austin with his wife Noelle, who is a professor at Texas A&M, their two kids, and a large golden doodle. When he's not working, he's either on a tennis court or researching a book about the legendary cattleman Charles Goodnight.
Christian von Wupperfeld oversees the Office of General Counsel, which provides in-house legal services for TJJD. This includes providing legal counsel to the TJJD Board of Directors and management, including counsel regarding rules, policies, practices, and proposed legislation; managing the youth grievance system; disciplinary hearing findings or the findings of abuse, neglect and exploitation investigations; managing the functions of the release review panel, which makes decisions regarding release to parole, discharge from TJJD custody or extended lengths of stay; conducting administrative due process hearings for youth and employees; and overseeing any litigation involving TJJD. Prior to joining TJJD in September 2018, Christian’s legal practice focused on government contracting and civil litigation emphasizing defense of governmental entities and employees. He also served as General Counsel for a group of privately held companies engaged in government-funded research, data-center operations and operation of a regional airport. A career Infantryman with combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, von Wupperfeld retired as a colonel from the Texas Army National Guard in June 2018, after 35 years of Active Duty and National Guard military service. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, a Masters in Strategy from the United States Army War College and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law Center.