The Texas Juvenile Justice Department Board has 13 members. Pursuant to Senate Bill 653 of the 82nd Legislature, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department combined the Texas Youth Commission and Texas Juvenile Probation Commission to create a unified juvenile justice agency to work in coordination with other state and county offices to produce positive outcomes for youths, their families and communities.

Board Members

David "Scott" Matthew

matthew dsDavid "Scott" Matthew of Georgetown was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott in December 2022 to be the Chair of the Texas Juvenile Justice Board. Matthew is executive director of Williamson County Juvenile Services, and a municipal judge for the cities of Jarrell, Granger and Bartlett. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Texas Probation Association and Texas Municipal Courts Association. Matthew is a board member of the Georgetown Health Foundation, past board member of the Girls and Boys Club of Georgetown, Williamson County Children's Support Coalition and is an ex-officio member of the Georgetown Project. Matthew is a former Texas Governor's appointee of the Juvenile Justice Services and Facilities Transition Team, which coordinated and oversaw the transition of services and facilities during the formation of TJJD in 2011. He previously served on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board for the Criminal Justice Division-Office of the Governor from 2007-2011. Matthew received a bachelor's degree from Southwestern University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Committee Assignments: Finance & Audit (Chair), Safety & Security, Executive

Term Expires: 2/1/25

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Edeska Barnes, Jr.

Photo of Edeska BarnesEdeska Barnes, Jr. of Jasper is the chief juvenile probation officer for the First Judicial District Juvenile Probation Department. He is on the board of directors for the Texas Probation Association, a member of Deep East Texas Council of Government, a member of the board of directors for Doches Credit Union and a facilitator for the New Chiefs Development Program for Correctional Management Institute of Texas at Sam Houston State University. Barnes is also a past member of the Jasper Independent School District Board of Trustees. Barnes received a Bachelor of Science from Lamar University.

Committee Assignments: Programs (Chair), Executive

Term Expires: 2/1/27


James Castro

Photo of James CastroJames Castro of Bergheim is the Director of the behavioral health division for Renewing Family Strength and is the CEO of The Divine Mind, LLC, a company he co-founded with his wife. In March 2017 Governor Abbott appointed Castro to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department’s Board of Governors.

This appointment follows a long career in public and community service. Governor Abbott appointed him to the Texas Task Force on Improving Outcomes for Juveniles Adjudicated for Sexual Offenses in 2015. That same year he participated in the San Antonio FBI Citizens Academy. Previously he was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to the Texas State Task Force to Reduce Child Abuse & Neglect. He has also served as the Co-Chair of the Bexar County Blue Ribbon Task Force. He served six years on the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors, and he also served on the Board of Mental Health America of Texas. His commitment to children and families includes serving as the Chair for the Bexar County Community Resource & Coordination Group (CRCG) from 2002 to 2008, as one of the initial leaders for the Bexar County Children’s Diversion Initiative and also serving the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission as a member of its Models for Change initiative.

A former CEO for St. Peter-St. Joseph Children's Home (St. PJ’s) in San Antonio, his prior professional work includes having served as the Director of Children’s Operations at the Center for Health Care Services (CHCS). While there he transformed the children’s division into a community partner and leader in assisting children with mental health needs. As a member of the Texas State Children’s Directors Consortium he was instrumental in bringing innovative programs to Bexar County through CHCS. He volunteered for Catholic Television of San Antonio for six years as a host of one of their longest-running programs, Catholicism Live.

Castro earned a Master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from St. Mary’s University and has since become a leader in Texas promoting children and family’s well-being. He currently holds licenses as a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and recently joined his local fire department as a community volunteer.

Committee Assignments: Trust, Programs, Safety & Security

Term Expires: 2/1/23


Mona Lisa Chambers

Mona Lisa Chambers Photo

Mona Lisa Chambers of Houston has been an Adjunct Professor with Houston Community College for more than 18 years in the Digital & Information Technology Department. She teaches hybrid Business Computer Application Systems courses.

She also teaches high school Computer Science and Javascript Programming in a virtual environment to students in Illinois, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin, where she holds professional certifications in Computer Science and English in each state. 

Formerly, Chambers served more than 10 years in Houston ISD as a secondary Career and Technology Teacher and Associate Teacher. 

She holds a Bachelor of Science in AutoCAD Technology from the University of Houston and a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems from the University of Phoenix. 

She earned a certificate in Music from Clayton Johnson School of Music and performed gospel music as a church pianist, organist, choir director, and soloist for more than 25 years.

Chambers is a member of the Fort Bend Church, its prison ministry, and church choir ministry. She is a member of the University of Houston Alumni Association and formerly served with the Emancipation Economic Development Council in Houston's historic Third Ward.

Committee Assignments: Programs, Trust

Term Expires: 2/1/25


Pama Hencerling

Photo of Pama HencerlingPama Hencerling of Victoria has been the Juvenile Chief Probation Officer of Victoria County for more than three decades. Her professional experience includes serving as former adjunct instructor in criminal justice at the Victoria Police Academy at Victoria College, a consultant to other agencies and organizations and a frequent workshop presenter for conferences and trainings. She has also served as chair of the Texas Probation Association Legislative Committee, president of Texas Institute on Children and Youth, and as a member of the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission Advisory Board, Central Texas Juvenile Chief's Association, Victoria College and University of Houston Criminal Justice Advisory Board and the Criminal Justice Alumni Association Charter Sam Houston State University College of Criminal Justice. She is a graduate of Leadership Victoria and past president of the Junior League of Victoria.

Hencerling helped in the planning and implementation of the first juvenile detention facility in Victoria County in 1992 and went on to expand it to the existing 72-bed facility, which opened in 1995 with then-Governor George W. Bush as the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony. In 2014 the facility became the first county operated in Texas to become PREA compliant.

Hencerling is a graduate of Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Corrections, and has postgraduate hours at the University of Houston-Victoria in education. She holds certifications as a Juvenile Probation Officer from the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

Committee Assignments: Programs, Safety & Security

Term Expires: 2/1/23


Pat Sabala Henry

Judge Pat Sabala HenryPat Sabala Henry of Morton is the County Judge of Cochran County. He received an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science Law Enforcement Technology at South Plains College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Education from Wayland Baptist University. He has been a dispatcher and Sheriff’s Deputy for Cochran County and was employed by the Cochran and Hockley Counties’ CSCD for eighteen years, where he ran community service crews, did the absconder caseload, and handled misdemeanor and felony cases. He also taught classes for the CSCD.

Committee Assignments: Finance

Term Expires: 2/1/23

Ann Lattimore

Ann Lattimore of Cedar Park is a former educator. She is a volunteer committee chair and assistant Scout Master with the Boy Scouts of America and a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Baylor Women’s Network of Austin, and the National Rifle Association. Lattimore received a Bachelor of Science from Baylor University and Master of Arts in interior design from the SDC School of Design in Milan, Italy.

Committee Assignments: Trust

Term Expires: 2/1/2027


Melissa Martin

Photo of Melissa MartinMelissa Martin of Deer Park is a career and technology teacher for the Deer Park  Independent School District. She is a member of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, advisor for the Family Career and Community Leaders of America, and a former advisor for the Texas Association of Future Educators. She was previously appointed to the Texas Commission on Public School Finance. Martin received a Bachelor of Science in family and consumer science and a Master of Education in education administration from Lamar University.

Committee Assignments: Finance & Audit, Programs

Term Expires: 2/1/25





Allison Palmer

Photo of Alison PalmerAllison Palmer of San Angelo is the district attorney for the 51st Judicial District of Texas. She currently serves on the Task Force on Improving Outcomes for Juveniles Adjudicated of Sexual Offenses and is a member of the National District Attorneys’ Association, Texas District and County Attorneys’ Association and the State Bar of Texas. Palmer received a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Texas and a Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s School of Law.

Committee Assignments: Trust, Safety & Security

Term Expires: 2/1/23


Cynthia Wheless

JudgeCynthiaWheless 2Cynthia "Cyndi" Wheless of McKinney is the presiding Judge of the 417th District Court in Collin County. She is board certified in juvenile law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She previously worked for Haynes and Boone LLP and Wheless & Walker, and as a Mental Health Master, Municipal Judge, and Juvenile Court Referee. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas, American Bar Association, and the Collin County Bar Association and a Commissioner of the Judicial Commission on Mental Health. She is a founding member of the Collin County Women Lawyers Association; served on the Serenity High School Advisory Board, Collin County Coalition for Mental Health, and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Collin County. Wheless received a Bachelor of Science in Government and Politics from The University of Texas at Dallas and a Juris Doctor degree from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, where she served on Law Review.

Committee Assignments: Finance and Audit

Term Expires: 2/1/27

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