New Acting Administrator at OJJDP

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Melodee Hanes

Melodee Hanes

After nearly three years as acting administrator of the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Jeff Slowikowski is stepping down. According to a statement Wednesday by Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Laurie O. Robinson, the White House has named Melodee Hanes as new acting administrator.

Hanes was formerly the principal deputy administrator for OJJDP, serving as counselor to Slowikowski.

“We have welcomed the expertise and energy that Melodee Hanes has brought to the office in her role as counselor to the acting administrator–and will continue to bring to her new leadership role,” Robinson said. “Improving the quality of life for children, while ensuring their safety, is a priority for the Attorney General and I look forward to her leadership within the Office of Justice Programs.”

Slowikowski will remain at OJJDP as acting deputy administrator for policy. As acting administrator, Slowikowski oversaw more than $1.5 billion in funding for juvenile programs.

“I want to thank Jeff for his exceptional service,” Robinson said. “Jeff’s leadership has been vital to the important work of OJJDP and to the many successes we have had in the office over the past three years.”

Prior to her tenure at OJJDP, Hanes served 16 years as a deputy county attorney in Polk County, Iowa and Billings, Mont., primarily prosecuting child abuse, sexual assault and homicide cases. As an adjunct professor of law at Drake University, Hanes taught child abuse law among other subjects.

OJJDP is a component of the Office of Justice Programs and supports states and local communities to implement effective programs for juveniles.

As JJIE reported in August 2011, President Obama has drawn fire for not appointing a permanent OJJDP administrator. Part of the delay stems from new legislation that would eliminate Senate confirmation for the job of acting administrator (among other federal positions). That bill, S. 697, the Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlinig Act of 2011, passed the Senate but has yet to go before the House for a vote.

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