As expected, William Sabol is being appointed director of the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Sabol has served as acting BJS director since early last year, when James Lynch resigned to return to academia, heading the University of Maryland’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. The Justice Department didn’t explain the delay in Sabol’s appointment. In fact, it wasn’t characterized as an appointment but as President Obama’s “intention to nominate” him, even though the position no longer requires Senate confirmationl.
Sabol joined BJS in 2006 as chief of the corrections statistics unit and became Principal Deputy Director in 2010. Previously, he served from 2003 to 2006 as the Associate Director of Homeland Security and Justice at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), where he also had worked from 1991 to 1995. He also has served as Associate Director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Social Change at the Mandel School of Applied Sciences at Case Western Reserve University (2000 to 2004) and Senior Research Associate at the Urban Institute (1995 to 2000). The White House also filled a key Justice Department vacancy recently after a long delay when it selected criminologist Nancy Rodriguez of Arizona State University to head the research agency the National Institute of Justice.