Another supposed front-runner has emerged to head the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: Vicki Spriggs of the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, reports Youth Today. The agency has been headed by Acting Administrator Jeff Slowikowski since the beginning of the Obama administration.
The Texas agency, with a staff of about 66, oversees the county departments that each year handle more than 40,000 juveniles on probation. “OJJDP needs strong leadership after the long dark years of the Bush administration,” said Mark Soler of the Center for Children's Law and Policy. “Vicki Spriggs has demonstrated dynamic and effective leadership in Texas and would bring those skills to OJJDP.” Other names that may still be in the mix are Ernestine Gray, chief judge of the Orleans Parish (La.) Juvenile Court, and Gladys Carrion, director of the New York Office of Child and Family Services. Carrion reportedly declined an offer to be considered, however. The Senate has been so slow to confirm nominations, and is about to consider Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. That means it seems likely that Obama’s term could be nearly half over before some key Justice Department jobs are occupied.