About the Commissioner

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With over four decades of juvenile justice experience, Commissioner Carey D. Cockerell has built his career around improving the lives of at-risk children and the juvenile justice system. He has played an integral role in the aggressive reforms that have gone on in the Commonwealth since his appointment as Commissioner in 2016, including the implementation of Senate Bill 200. Today, Commissioner Cockerell leads a workforce of more than 1,000 state juvenile correctional employees working in 29 facilities and 20 community service offices all of whom are fully engaged in the restorative justice of more than 1,100 Kentucky Youth.

Prior to his appointment, Cockerell served as the Commissioner for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, where he implemented one of the largest juvenile justice reforms in Texas history, overhauling practices in child and adult services, expanding staff and establishing a first-ever healthcare project in child protection. During his time in Texas Cockerell also held high-ranking leadership positions with the Texas Youth Commission and served as the Director of Juvenile Services for 20 years in the Tarrant County Juvenile Services System.

Cockerell received his bachelor’s in philosophy from Ouachita Baptist University and later received a master’s of science in social work at the Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville. The Commissioner currently resides in Georgetown with his wife Carolyn.​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​