AFTER 4 YEARS OF LAGGING, OBAMA NAMES HEAD OF THE DOJ’S JUVENILE JUSTICE DIVISION (OJJDP)
On Friday, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint Robert Listenbee, Jr. as the head of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The OJJDP has been without a permanent leader for the past four years (the longest period in its 40 year history), and the lack of a permanent chief for the agency has driven juvenile justice advocates crazy.
We’ll have more on Listenbee shortly, but suffice it to say that the experts we’ve spoken to thus far are very happy with the president’s choice (belated though it may be).
Listenbee, who is a long-time champion of reforms in the juvenile justice system, is the head of the Juvenile Unit at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, a member of the federal advisory council on juvenile justice, and a co-chair of the national blue-ribbon taskforce that examined the effect of childhood trauma from violence on kids.
NOTE: The above interview with Listenbee is from 2011.
PRIEST WHO IS ALLEGED SEXUAL ABUSER WENT TO WORK FOR LAUSD AFTER HE LEFT CHURCH, WHICH KNEW OF EXTENSIVE ABUSE ACCOUNTS (GEE, THANKS AGAIN, ARCHDIOCESE!)—UPDATED!
The LA Times reports:
A former priest and suspected child molester left employment with the Los Angeles Archdiocese to work for the L.A. Unified School District, officials confirmed Sunday.
The former clergyman, Joseph Pina, did not work with children in his school district job, said L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy. He added that, as a result of the disclosures, Pina would no longer be employed by the nation’s second-largest school system.
MONDAY UPDATE: ARCHDIOCESES SAYS IT WARNED LAUSD ABOUT PRIEST
So Cal Connected reports that a spokesman for the Archdioceses says it warned LAUSD about Pina. But read the story. It’s not clear how strenuous the warning was, whether it was a CYA warning (cover your….you know) that may or may not ever have been noticed, or something more open and to the point.
Over the weekend, Deasy was unable to pull together Pina’s full employment history, but said the district already was looking into the matter of Pina’s hiring.
“I find it troubling,” he said of the disclosures about Pina. “And I also want to understand what knowledge that we had of any background problems when hiring him, and I don’t yet know that.”
SoCal Connected has even more.
Here’s clip from their story:
Joseph D. Pina was a Catholic priest for 26 years in Southern California until he left the church after repeated admissions of a sexual relationship with a minor. “Socal Connected” has learned Pina later went to work at Los Angeles Unified School District.
According to recently released church documents, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was aware as early as 2009 that Pina was working for LAUSD, despite his extensive record of sexual misconduct as a Catholic Priest. It’s unclear if church leaders informed the district of Pina’s past.
Pina, whose last assignment was at St. Emydius Church in Lynwood, Calif., resigned from the priesthood in March 1998. A review of the LAUSD website shows Pina has worked as a community organizer for the school district as early as February 2002.
Here, by the way, is a link to the statement made on the matter by Archbishop Jose Gomez. While the Archbishop appears genuinely upset, as Steve Lopez wrote in the LA Times, the words just aren’t enough. We need some more substantive action.
WHEN POLICE LIE UNDER OATH
Here’s a clip:
THOUSANDS of people plead guilty to crimes every year in the United States because they know that the odds of a jury’s believing their word over a police officer’s are slim to none. As a juror, whom are you likely to believe: the alleged criminal in an orange jumpsuit or two well-groomed police officers in uniforms who just swore to God they’re telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but? As one of my colleagues recently put it, “Everyone knows you have to be crazy to accuse the police of lying.”
But are police officers necessarily more trustworthy than alleged criminals? I think not. Not just because the police have a special inclination toward confabulation, but because, disturbingly, they have an incentive to lie…
There’s a lot more here. Whether you agree or not with Alexander, what she has to say has about the incentives to lie is worth reading.