New Administrator of OJJDP

Posted June 14, 2013
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Robert L. Lis­ten­bee has been appoint­ed Admin­is­tra­tor of the Office of Juve­nile Jus­tice and Delin­quen­cy Pre­ven­tion (OJJDP). Pri­or to his appoint­ment, Lis­ten­bee spent 16 years as Chief of the Juve­nile Unit of the Defend­er Asso­ci­a­tion of Philadel­phia and 27 years as a tri­al lawyer with the asso­ci­a­tion. While serv­ing on the Juve­nile Jus­tice and Delin­quen­cy Pre­ven­tion Com­mit­tee of the Penn­syl­va­nia Com­mis­sion on Crime and Delin­quen­cy, he advised the gov­er­nor on youth jus­tice issues. Lis­ten­bee has also served as pres­i­dent of the Juve­nile Defend­ers Asso­ci­a­tion of Penn­syl­va­nia and was a mem­ber of the Juve­nile Indi­gent Defense Action Net­work, which works to improve qual­i­ty access to coun­sel for Penn­syl­va­nia youth.

In a video mes­sage to atten­dees at the 2013 annu­al JDAI inter­site con­fer­ence, Lis­ten­bee rec­og­nized the impor­tant role JDAI has played in improv­ing youth out­comes and con­grat­u­lat­ed the JDAI com­mu­ni­ty on help­ing to decrease youth deten­tion across the coun­ty. Speak­ing from a pub­lic defender’s per­spec­tive, he empha­sized that much work still needs to be done to ensure that all youth in the sys­tem get the coun­sel they deserve and often des­per­ate­ly need. He also warned against unnec­es­sar­i­ly widen­ing the net of super­vi­sion for juve­nile jus­tice cas­es and stressed that prac­ti­tion­ers and advo­cates need to con­cen­trate on pro­tect­ing chil­dren from being treat­ed and tried as adults. Lis­ten­bee con­clud­ed by thank­ing those involved in JDAI for mak­ing juve­nile jus­tice pro­grams and process­es more humane and fair for children.

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