TCJC Team

ANA YÁÑEZ-CORREA, PH.D.

Executive Director
acorrea@TexasCJC.org

Ana Yáñez-Correa was born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States at the age of 10, where she worked as a domestic worker with her mother until she entered college. She has earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration; she also holds a Ph.D. in Policy and Planning in Education Administration, focusing her dissertation on the school-to-prison pipeline. Throughout every stage of her education and career, Ana has taken an active leadership role in the community. She served as Chief of Staff for a State Representative during the State Legislative Session in 2001 and focused on criminal justice-related policies. In 2002, Ana became Policy Director for LULAC of Texas, where she developed and advocated for LULAC’s legislative platform during the 2003 State Legislative Session. In 2005, Ana became Director of TCJC’s Solutions for Sentencing & Incarceration Project, which focuses on promoting proven, pro-family criminal justice policies that save taxpayers money and improve the safety of Texas communities. During the 2007 state legislative session, Ana was formally honored by the Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate for “working toward real solutions to the problems facing the Texas criminal justice system.” During Texas’ 2009, 2011, and 2013 legislative sessions, Ana was instrumental in educating and organizing key stakeholders about the importance of adopting policies on prison diversion, probation and parole reform, fair defense, reentry, and overall criminal and juvenile justice efficiency. Since late 2005, Ana has been the Executive Director of TCJC, successfully fostering relationships among a wide range of coalition partners, criminal justice practitioners, law enforcement groups, civil rights organizations, and other community members, allowing TCJC to promote policies that serve all facets of society.

LEAH PINNEY

Finance and Operations Director
lpinney@TexasCJC.org

Leah Pinney is a graduate of St. Edward’s University, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science with honors. Leah has worked with the TCJC team for several years and in various capacities, but she officially joined the organization in 2007. Leah brings work experience from both corporate and nonprofit sectors, including work involving project research for a national civil rights organization. On joining TCJC, Leah supported our youth project, where, through research efforts, she helped to advocate for increased safety and accountability within the Texas Youth Commission. Leah later shifted her focus to pretrial and defense, where she worked with key partners to promote best practices and policies that ensure opportunities for indigent defendants to receive timely and well-qualified counsel. Leah currently serves TCJC as an organizational and financial manager. Leah has background experience in banking and capably handles TCJC’s bookkeeping, financial reports, and organizational records, as well as providing human resource functions for staff, work-study students, interns, and volunteers.

MOLLY TOTMAN, J.D.

Senior Editor and Grants Manager
mtotman@TexasCJC.org

Molly Totman graduated with honors from the University of Texas in 2000, where she earned a B.A. in English. In 2003, she graduated from the University of Texas School of Law with a concentration in racial studies. She passed the Texas Bar Exam later that year and began an internship with TCJC in November 2003, during which time she also worked as a Researcher for the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank in Austin. Molly was hired by TCJC in March 2004 and went on to become TCJC’s Public Safety Project Director, where she served as the sole statewide repository and analyst of required, annual racial profiling reports from Texas law enforcement agencies from 2004 to 2008.  She also assisted agencies in understanding their data, streamlining their reporting practices, and improving the way they protect the public through the implementation and institutionalization of needed policy changes. Ultimately, Molly was the chief contributor to the production of four comprehensive racial profiling reports on behalf of TCJC. Currently, Molly serves as TCJC’s Senior Editor and Grants Manager; in addition to drafting grant proposals and reports, she contributes heavily both as a researcher and an editor during the production stages of various TCJC policy guides, manuals, and educational materials published by all of TCJC’s projects.

JENNY WEBER, M.S.

Development Coordinator
jweber@TexasCJC.org

Jenny Weber graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2007, where she earned a B.A. in English. As an undergraduate in Minneapolis, she volunteered with Communities United Against Police Brutality and was exposed to the challenges and opportunities for improvement within the criminal justice system. Jenny has worked as a nonprofit professional for over seven years in the areas of fundraising, marketing, and communications. In 2014, she graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she earned a M.S. in Urban Studies. Jenny joined the TCJC team in 2015 to develop an individual giving program and manage donor relations.

CAITLIN BARILLAS

Executive Assistant
cbarillas@TexasCJC.org

Caitlin Barillas graduated from Columbia College in Chicago as a Production Design Major.  She worked in film for six years and later transitioned into teaching and mentoring for three years.  She joins TCJC as an Executive Assistant and plays a critical role in ensuring the successful day-to-day operations of TCJC's office.

JENNIFER CARREON, M.S.C.J.

Policy Researcher, Solutions for Youth Justice
jcarreon@TexasCJC.org

Jennifer Carreon graduated with honors from Texas State University in 2007, where she earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice. She continued her education, earning an M.S.C.J. from Texas State University in 2009. During her post-graduate studies, Jennifer was the recipient of various awards, including Applied Arts Graduate Award [Fall 2007], College of Applied Arts Fellowship Award [Fall 2008], and Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year: Department of Criminal Justice [Spring 2009]. Pursuing her passion for research, Jennifer remains in academia as an adjunct professor for her alma mater and has taught courses in Forensic Evidence, Cybercrime, Crime Theory, and Juvenile Justice. In 2011, Jennifer joined TCJC, working to address issues currently facing the Texas juvenile justice system. Jennifer has focused her research in a multitude of areas that lend perfectly to TCJC’s Solutions for Youth Justice project, including the development of juveniles and its impact on delinquency, comparative juvenile justice systems across the globe, gender disparities among juvenile delinquents, treatment versus punishment, and the need for a national juvenile justice evaluation center.

ELIZABETH A. HENNEKE, J.D.

Policy Attorney
ehenneke@TexasCJC.org

Elizabeth A. Henneke is the third generation in her family to demonstrate a commitment to Texas criminal justice issues; she follows in the footsteps of her grandfather and father, both of whom retired from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and her grandmother who was a Walker County Sheriff’s Deputy.  Elizabeth graduated from Yale University where she earned a B.A. in History with a concentration on race relations in the South.  After completing a Fulbright Fellowship in South Korea and a year as a paralegal for Mayer Brown, where she helped prepare several death penalty appeals, she returned to the University of Texas School of Law.  During law school, Elizabeth worked with the Texas Defender Service investigating and preparing federal habeas petitions for individuals on Texas’ death row.  Elizabeth graduated from UT Law with honors and received the University Co-op Public Interest Award honoring her commitment to public service.  She then represented Guantanamo detainees as a clinical instructor for the University of Texas' National Security and Human Rights Clinic.  She received the 2007 Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award for her work there.  Elizabeth also worked as a law clerk for the South Africa Constitutional Court and for Judge Edward C. Prado on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, and she was a litigation associate at Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C.  Most recently, Elizabeth was the inaugural Audrey Irmas Clinical Teaching Fellow at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.  There, Elizabeth supervised students in the Post-Conviction Justice Project, the Immigration Clinic, and the International Human Rights Clinic, successfully receiving legal status for over 35 individuals and obtaining new sentencing hearings for three (and counting) individuals facing life without parole sentences for crimes they committed while juveniles.  She also taught first-year criminal law and a seminar on the death penalty. Elizabeth joins TCJC as a Policy Attorney with the Solutions for Youth Justice project, where she bolsters TCJC's efforts to create a more humane, safe, and transparent juvenile justice system in Texas.

JOHN J. KREAGER, J.D.

Policy Fellow
jkreager@TexasCJC.org

John J. Kreager graduated with highest honors from the University of Southern California in 2011, where he earned a B.M. in Cello Performance with a minor in Business Law and was selected as a Renaissance Scholar for demonstrated excellence in two disparate fields of study.  He then returned to the University of Southern California, where he graduated from the Gould School of Law in 2014.  During law school, John focused his studies on criminal justice and worked in the Felony Preliminary Hearing Unit of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.  His law review publication, which offered solutions to the problems posed by the federal government’s attempts to remove individuals from non-death penalty states’ criminal justice systems for federal capital prosecution, was selected the “Most Outstanding Note” for the Class of 2014.  John joins TCJC on its juvenile justice team, and his research focuses on addressing the unique problems faced by Texas’ crossover youth, who are involved with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

SARAH PAHL, L.M.S.W., J.D.

Policy Attorney
spahl@TexasCJC.org

Sarah Pahl graduated with honors from Southwest Baptist University in 2005, where she earned a B.A. in Sociology.  She received her M.S.S.W. from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2007, with a specialization in community and administrative practice.  She later went on to earn a J.D. from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and was accepted to the State Bar of Texas in 2013.  As a social worker, Sarah partnered with community coalitions to effect policy change, and she worked with individuals with Class C offenses in a restorative justice setting.  Sarah also has several years of experience working with immigrant victims of violence seeking legal status in the United States.  Sarah joined the TCJC team in January 2014 as a Policy Attorney focusing on the adult criminal justice system.  She hopes to fuse her multidisciplinary experience with her passion to be a voice for vulnerable populations in order to effectively carry out TCJC’s mission.

DOUGLAS SMITH, M.S.S.W.

Policy Analyst
dsmith@TexasCJC.org

Douglas Smith graduated magna cum laude from St. Edward’s University in 1994 with a B.A. in Psychology. He trained peer counselors at a crisis hotline in Austin, and served as a Program Director for a homeless-service organization. In 2000, he earned his M.S.S.W. from the University of Texas at Austin with a concentration in macro-level practice. He served as a Policy Analyst in the House Committee on Human Services, as well as a Legislative Director for a member of the Texas House of Representatives. He helped to develop workforce development, public assistance, and poverty alleviation policies for the state. He also served as an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, teaching courses on Public Policy Analysis, Poverty and Public Policy, and the Dynamics of Organizations and Communities. Doug brings a unique perspective to criminal justice issues. In addition to his policy and social work experience, Doug also served nearly six years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for crimes committed as a direct outcome of addiction. While incarcerated, he was a Peer Educator, helping to change the culture of violence inside prison. Doug brings an important perspective on strategies to address substance abuse to avoid incarceration, conditions of confinement, and reentry issues for formerly incarcerated individuals.

JAY JENKINS, J.D.

Harris County Project Attorney
jjenkins@TexasCJC.org

Jay Jenkins graduated from Wake Forest University in 2005, earning a B.A. in Biology and Classical Languages. He received his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, graduating magna cum laude in 2009. While at Northwestern, he worked at the Bluhm Legal Clinic’s Children and Family Justice Center, focusing on a number of juvenile justice issues. In his third year, Jay was the lone law student at the newly-formed Juvenile Post-Dispositional Clinic, where he promoted policy reform throughout Chicago while also advocating on behalf of juvenile clients.  After graduating in 2009, Jay was admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois and worked as a civil litigator in the private sector for three years. Most recently, Jay worked in Washington, DC, for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, assisting the United States Department of Justice in their evaluation of claims and implementation of legislation passed in 2010.  Jay serves as TCJC's Project Attorney in Harris County, where he continues TCJC's efforts to support the work of the local Public Defender Office while assisting TCJC in promoting broader criminal justice reforms throughout that county.

MARK WEIMER, M.S.W.

Inmate Correspondence Coordinator
mweimer@TexasCJC.org

Mark Weimer received both his B.A. in history and M.S.W. from the University of Iowa.  He worked as an adult probation and pretrial release counselor in one of the first such programs in the State of Iowa.  Mark has worked in group homes for juveniles, as a clinical social worker/therapist with emotionally disturbed adolescent males in residential placement, and at home as a full-time parent.  Following retirement, he worked as a substitute teacher then began volunteering with TCJC.  Mark has since joined TCJC part-time as an Inmate Correspondence Coordinator.  He is passionate about bringing change to the criminal justice system that will end racial disparity, the targeting of the poor, and the use of the death penalty.