The Harris County Justice Administration Department extends best wishes to its Director, Jim Bethke, who retires on October 1st.
Bethke began serving as Director of JAD in October of 2019 upon its creation. Under his leadership, JAD has experienced growth and navigated changes and advancements. In November 2020, Bethke served Harris County in dual roles upon being appointed as Interim Director of Pretrial Services.
"I am grateful to the County for providing me this opportunity and appreciative of the support given to me by the Commissioners Court to build a new department effectively," said Jim Bethke, Director of JAD. "Our greatest strengths are the incredibly gifted and talented people serving throughout the County. Much has been accomplished and much more still needs to be done. I wish all of Harris County the best of success in making this County the model other jurisdictions in Texas and across the country aspire to be."
Bethke came to Harris County after serving as Executive Director and Chief Defender for the Lubbock Private Defender and Executive Director of the Texas Indigent Defense Commission. His thoughtful style of leadership has helped our Department become more of a supportive family.
We know that you all join us in wishing Jim well as he embarks on more quality family time, traveling, and maybe a few rounds of golf! - Cheers to you, Jim!
The Harris County Justice Administration Department (JAD) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ana Yáñez-Correa, as Interim Director, following the departure of Director Jim Bethke.
Dr. Yáñez Correa joined JAD in June of 2020 as Deputy Director. In this role, she helped manage a team made of talented professionals, assisted the Director in developing and implementing the Department's strategic direction, maintained and managed the relationships with internal and external stakeholders, and helped oversee the public education, outreach, and policy research effort of the Department.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to continue my service at Justice Administration Department during this transition, especially given the many challenges our community faces daily. These are unprecedented times, and it will take all of us at the County to help the County Leadership build a vibrant, safe, healthy, and thriving community for all Harris County residents," stated Dr. Ana Yáñez- Correa, Interim Director, JAD. "JAD is poised to build on the momentum of the past two years led by Jim Bethke. The JAD team and I look forward to being a part of the effort to bring the Department to the next level and having a positive and lasting impact."
Dr. Yáñez-Correa brings over 25 years of service and experience to the role of Interim Director. Before joining the JAD team as policy director in 2020, she served as the Community Engagement Director and Policy Director for Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis.
Before making Harris County her home, Dr. Yáñez-Correa served as the Criminal Justice Program Director at the Public Welfare Foundation, where she developed and oversaw organizations in nine states that were seeking to tackle justice system-related challenges and to address the needs of crime survivors, individuals reintegrating back into their communities, and supporting other justice-system stakeholders striving to improve their policies and practices. Prior to that, she served for ten years as Executive Director of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization focused on advancing bipartisan justice improvements in Texas. During her time as ' 'TCJC's Executive Director, Ana successfully fostered relationships among a wide range of legislators, criminal and youth justice practitioners, law enforcement groups, civil rights organizations, and other community members, allowing TCJC to promote policies that foster public safety and community wellness while saving Texas billions in taxpayer dollars.
In 2014, she helped launch the Smart-on-Crime Coalition, a bipartisan effort that includes business, public policy, and civil rights groups in Texas. Her leadership helped ensure the passage of more than 150 smart-on-crime policies at the Texas Legislature that have positively improved the justice system outcomes in Texas.
Welcome Dr. Ana Yáñez-Correa to her new role.