Robert Listenbee, chief of the juvenile unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, will be named to head the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, says the Chronicle of Social Change. Listenbee serves on the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice. “I have high hopes for his leadership there,” said Marsha Levick of the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center.
The administrator position at OJJDP has not been filled by a permanent appointee since J. Robert Flores stepped down in 2008. During President Obama's first term, the Justice Department vetted a number of candidates for the job, including former Atlanta Juvenile Judge Karen Baynes and former Texas Juvenile Probation Commissioner Vicki Spriggs. Both women withdrew from consideration. Listenbee would inherit an agency that has shrunk in stature amid federal budget battles in fiscal 2011 and 2012. Listenbee’s appointment need not be confirmed by the Senate. Congress in 2011 removed the confirmation requirement for many federal posts.