The U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is reorganizing itself in a way that may make the role of research more prominent, Youth Today reports. Details apparently won’t be available until fall, but Mark Lipsey of Vanderbilt University, who surveyed former officials of the agency for a Justice Department committee, noted that the agency no longer had a separate research division.
“A particularly salient question for the reorganization plan, therefore, is whether the research functions and personnel should be more consolidated than they are currently,” he said. Former officials opposed the idea of dispersing research throughout the agency. As it is, former officials told Lipsey, “the centrality and importance of research at OJJDP, and its research-oriented functions and contributions, are less visible to Congress, undermining the ability to advocate for adequate support for those functions and contributions.” The Obama administration never has nominated anyone to head the juvenile justice agency, which is now being run by acting administrator Melodee Hanes.