A group of 19 congressmen is urging President Obama to fill the long-vacant administrator’s post at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention – a position never filled by the administration, reports Youth Today. “As we are over halfway through the current presidential term, we are distressed by the lack of a nominee and would like to schedule a meeting with you or a surrogate to discuss the issue,” they said in a letter to Obama and Vice President Biden.
Leadership at the agency is critical because of the “drastic depletion of funding and support” in the past 10 years at OJJDP, the letter said. “Federal funding for OJJDP and its programs has declined 90 percent since 2002 and the [Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act] is four years overdue for reauthorization.” Attorney General Eric Holder has said he wants juvenile justice to be his legacy in this administration. Jeff Slowikowski, the agency's associate administrator of demonstration programs since 2004, has served as acting administrator since Obama was sworn in.