Carmella Jones recently joined the staff at the Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT), assisting with programs for jail administrators, the Texas Jail Association (TJA), Women in Criminal Justice, and a new mental health conference that was held Oct 27-30 in Conroe. The program was designed for correctional officers, jail staff, probation officers, parole officers, law enforcement, and judicial personnel to address mental health issues in the system. It focused on the assessments for mental health, first line responders, collaborative programs, effective services, veterans and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, medication and reentry.
“We are very excited that Carmella has joined our CMIT team,” said Doug Dretke, Executive Director of CMIT. “In our passion to continue to develop and deliver critical, relevant, and valuable training and professional development programming, Carmella brings a rich level of experience both from a criminal justice professional perspective as well as from a training perspective. Carmella has a high level of knowledge, energy, excitement, and passion that will be a tremendous benefit to CMIT, Sam Houston State University, and the thousands of criminal justice professionals across our state that we seek to serve.”
Limestone County Sheriff Dennis Wilson.“She is a tremendous hire for CMIT,” said Sheriff Dennis Wilson of Limestone County, who served as Vice President of the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas and is a board member for TJA. “Her reputation is known across the State of Texas, and she is well respected by law enforcement. She will be a great asset.”
Carmella says it has been a direct road to CMIT, but she has built experience for this position for her entire life. As the Sheriff of Armstrong County in the Texas Panhandle, Carmella Jones learned to handle the unexpected and conduct herself with diplomacy and confidence.
Jones served as Armstrong County Sheriff in his earlier career. “Twenty four percent of the population of Armstrong County is over the age of 65,” Jones said. “And the lower third of the county is part of the Palo Duro Canyon. Those two factors require a different type of policing.” From lost cowboys to welfare checks, Jones learned that the most important issue is the current person in crisis.
Following her career as sheriff, Jones became a law enforcement liability specialist for the insurance risk pool at the Texas Association of Counties (TAC), where she trained law enforcement agencies how to avoid lawsuits by boosting training and supervision. Jones retired from TAC in 2011. She traveled the world going to Hawaii, Italy, France and the Caribbean.
Jones is Historian for the TJA.Jones became active in the Texas Jail Association and has continued to be reappointed as historian for the last 10 years. She worked with Dan Beto, former Director of CMIT, and an advisory group to develop the jail administrator’s curriculum for the Jail Administration Operations and Management Program which has trained over 450 participants in jail administration. Coming full circle, she will now run that program for CMIT, as well as a lot of other initiatives in the field.
“Carmella Jones possess the knowledge, skills and prior experience which brings such a benefit to the Correctional Management Institute of Texas,” said Kim Howell, President of the TJA and Assistant Chief Deputy – Detention in Lubbock County. “From her experience as Sheriff to her work as a Law Enforcement Specialist with the TAC, Carmella understands what the emerging trends and needs are of our profession. I have worked closely with her through the TJA and I look forward to collaborating on future projects as she begins her new position with CMIT. “