Governor Abbott Appoints Seven To Advisory Committee To The Texas Board Of Criminal Justice On Offenders With Medical Or Mental Impairments

Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Communication

The committee advises the board and the director of the Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments on matters related to offenders with medical or mental impairments and perform other duties imposed by the board.

Governor Greg Abbott has reappointed Denise Oncken and appointed Sanjay Adhia, M.D. and Roger Rodriguez to the Advisory Committee to the Texas Board of Criminal Justice on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments for terms set to expire on February 1, 2021. Additionally, the Governor appointed Yolanda Waters, Ph.D. for a term set to expire on February 1, 2023 and reappointed Robb Catalano and Trent Marshall and appointed Brian Eby for terms set to expire on February 1, 2025. The committee advises the board and the director of the Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments on matters related to offenders with medical or mental impairments and perform other duties imposed by the board.

Denise Oncken of Houston is an assistant district attorney with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and bureau chief over the Mental Health Bureau, which includes Mental Health, Victims Services, Child Fatality, and the Juvenile Justice Divisions. She is a member and co-chair of the Senior Lawyers Committee with the Houston Bar Association and a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association. In a volunteer capacity, she has served as a chapter chair of the Arthritis Foundation and is a member of the Houston Bar Foundation and the Texas Prosecutor Society. Oncken received a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston and a Juris Doctor degree from South Texas College of Law at Houston.  

Sanjay Adhia, M.D. of Sugar Land is the medical director of Pace Mental Health. He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians, and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. He is board certified in Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry, and Brain Injury Medicine by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Adhia completed his Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Psychiatry Residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and received a Doctor of Medicine from MS Ramaiah Medical College.

Roger Rodriguez of El Paso is a presiding judge of a municipal court within El Paso County. He is vice president of the Binational Commission Rule of Law and former member of the Texas State Bar Municipal Court Association, Texas State Bar Committee on Taxation, and the Texas State Bar Committee on Criminal Justice. He volunteers with the American Patriots Veterans Association, EP BUILD, and the Network, Int. Business Association. Rodriguez received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from The University of Texas at El Paso, a Juris Doctor degree from Texas Tech Law School, and a Master of Laws degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Yolanda Waters, Ph.D. of La Marque is CEO of Houston Modular Services. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Society of Police and Criminal Psychologists and a former member of the American Psychology Law Association. Waters received a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from Purdue Global University, a Master of Arts in forensic psychology from Argosy University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in psychology with a specialty in forensics from Walden University.

Robb Catalano of Fort Worth is the presiding judge of Criminal District Court No. 3 in Tarrant County and is the chair of the committee. He is a master fellow of the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court, a fellow of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation, and a member of the Tarrant County Juvenile Services Committee. He volunteers for the University Little League in Fort Worth Board of Directors and previously served on the Cassata Catholic High School Advisory Council. Catalano received a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from St. Edward’s University and a Juris Doctor degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law.

Trent Marshall of Burleson is the founding attorney with Marshall Law Firm. He is a member of the Texas Bar Association, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Tarrant County Bar Association. Marshall received a Bachelor of Science from Lamar University and a Juris Doctor degree from Texas A&M University School of Law. He served the Texas Army National Guard and received an honorable discharge.

Brian Eby of Wichita Falls is a professional counselor with Entrust. He is member of the National Board of Certified Counselors and a former member of the American College of Forensic Examiners and American Psychological Association. Previously, he was a project team member with Hospice of Wichita Falls. He is a licensed in marriage and family therapist and social worker and a national certified counselor. Eby received a Bachelor of Science in health and English from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, a Master of Arts in biblical studies from the Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Master of Arts in counseling from Grace Theological Seminary.

These appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.