Vicki Spriggs, executive director of the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, has withdrawn from consideration for the top job at the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, reports Youth Today. Spriggs had been considered by some to be the front runner for the nomination before she withdrew last week. She will remain in Texas because the state, facing an $18 billion shortfall for 2011, is poised to make deep budget cuts and Spriggs wants to protect funding for juvenile probation as much as possible.
Texas began reforming its juvenile justice system in 2007, downsizing the role of state-run facilities and placing more of the responsibility and funding with counties. Spriggs’ commission oversees those county offices, and it would seem she fears a backslide coming if their budgets are cut. It could be 2011 before anyone could be confirmed by the Senate as OJJDP administrator. The Texas website Grits for Breakfast first reported the Spriggs withdrawal.