PJDC President Patti Lee Appointed to Federal Board by the Obama Administration

Patti Lee

In one of her last actions as head of the US Department of Justice under President Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch honored PJDC Board President Patti Lee with an appointment to the Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Science Advisory Board for a four-year term.

For decades, Patti has championed and served justice-involved young people in San Francisco through her work at the Juvenile Unit of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. As a managing attorney, she has led the office’s efforts to secure social work services for youth clients, and directed San Francisco to adopt defense-based reports that recommend alternative dispositions for justice-impacted youth. Her leadership on these issues contributed to substantial declines in the number of juvenile commitments to state correctional facilities. Patti also serves on the board of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice.

The Science Advisory Board, which was established in 2010 by former Attorney General Eric Holder, seeks to “bridge the divide between research and practice in criminal and juvenile justice.” In recent years, the board has developed recommendations to the OJP on evidence standards for criminal justice programs, place-based and community-based efforts, and data collection practices. Current and past board appointees include esteemed criminologist and Co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, Joan Petersilia; Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, John Wetzel; Stockholm Prize winners Alfred Blumstein, David Weisburd, and Robert Sampson; and former New York City Police Commissioner, William Bratton.

In her letter inviting Patti to serve on the Science Advisory Board, Loretta Lynch conveyed the importance of exceptional membership, writing that the Science Advisory Board supports “Department of Justice efforts to ensure that the programs and activities of the agency meet the highest standards of evidence-based practices, as well as have a positive impact in the criminal and juvenile justice fields.”

PJDC congratulates Patti on her appointment to the Science Advisory Board and looks forward to her courageous leadership in service of systems-impacted youth and adults nationwide.

(** This article was written by Maureen Washburn of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ). It has been reposted and slightly modified with the permission of the author.)