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Robert Hildum is out again as DYRS’ Interim Director. Hildum had announced his resignation last week. Almost Mayor Vincent Gray then asked him to stay on—apparently after Hildum had boxed up his stuff. Now, a few days later, Hildum is out again.
Today, Neil Stanley, DYRS’ general counsel since 2008, has been brought in as DYRS’ Interim Director. It’s third such director in the past year. Stanley is considered a moderating force, according to a source familiar with his work. He’s committed to the progressive legacy left from Vinny Schiraldi’s tenure and yet is sensitive to law enforcement issues.
Memo after the jump.
Here’s the announcement:
“TO: All DYRS Managers
FROM: Christopher Shorter, Chief of Staff
SUBJECT: Neil Stanley Appointed Interim Director for DYRS
I am pleased to announce that Neil Stanley has been appointed Interim Director for the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. As you all know, Neil has served as DYRS General Counsel since 2008 and came to the agency with a strong blend of public management and juvenile justice experience.
Prior to DYRS, Neil held executive-level positions within the District of Columbia Government; including, Chief of Staff with the Department of the Environment, Deputy Director with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, and Interim Director with the Department of Parks and Recreation. Additionally, while working as a Public Welfare Foundation program officer, Neil facilitated over $12 million in grant-making to non-profit organizations focusing on criminal justice and disadvantaged youth programs. Neil also worked as a staff attorney for the Children’s Defense Fund’s Black Community Crusade for Children where he managed the Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ Leadership Council, oversaw judicial projects involving minority youth, coordinated research on issues related to the disproportionate representation of children of color in juvenile justice systems, and designed community-based prevention and early intervention models.
Neil earned a Masters in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University Law Center, a Juris Doctor from the University of Florida, and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Wake Forest University.”
Hildum became interim director in late July. He was not well liked by juvenile-justice advocates. First thing this morning, DC Lawyers For Youth wrote Almost Mayor Vincent Gray urging him to drop Hildum. “I think thought he was a prosecutor and that’s the lens that he brought to DYRS. You saw that in the increase in revocations and increase use of isolation—that’s a punishment-first model,” says R. Daniel Okonkwo, executive director of DC Lawyers for Youth, who adds that he felt Hildum had set the agency back.
The agency never really moved forward on the reform efforts. Under Hildum, the agency was mired in an internal debate. “I think the rifts between the staff that liked to be correctional officers and the ones that wanted progressive reforms widened,” says Okonkwo. “(Hildum) was never a champion of the agency reform.”
It’s now Stanley’s job to repair those rifts.