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D.C. youth services chief Schiraldi leaving for N.Y.

Vincent N. Schiraldi, director of the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, is leaving for New York. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday that Schiraldi would be the city's new commissioner of the Department of Probation.

"Reducing crime requires tough law enforcement and smart, aggressive policing, but it also means ensuring that those who've been arrested and sentenced to probation don't get into trouble again," Bloomberg said in a statement. "I know Vinny will bring the innovative thinking that has produced success at rehabilitation agencies around the country to the Probation Department ... "

In 2005, Schiraldi, founder and former executive director of the Justice Policy Institute in Washington, was well known as an advocate of alternative juvenile detention when then-Mayor Anthony A. Williams tapped him to head the youth rehabilitation services department.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty kept him in place when he took office in 2007. "For nearly five years, Vinny Schiraldi has been a tremendous asset to the District, aggressively reforming the city's juvenile justice system," Fenty said in a statement. "He's created and implemented innovative programs that will serve as national best practice models for years to come. Some of the District's most troubled youths have greatly benefited from his work and commitment during my Administration as well as the previous Williams Administration. I wish Schiraldi much success, and congratulate Mayor Bloomberg on an excellent choice for probation commissioner."

Schiraldi has been recognized nationally for turning around the District's troubled system. But he has also had some missteps: A 17-year-old escaped while attending a Memorial Day cookout at Schiraldi's Columbia Heights home in 2008. The youth was part of a Shakespeare troupe, one of the alternatives Schiraldi promoted. This summer, a teen scaled the fence and escaped the New Beginnings Youth Center, a day after Schiraldi, Fenty and others opened the $46 million campus.

"I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg for giving me the chance to come home to New York and work to make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers who have gotten in trouble with the law," Schiraldi said in a statement. "Working in an administration where innovation and willingness to try new solutions to age-old problems is encouraged is an opportunity to take full advantage of and I look forward to working with the dedicated men and women of the department."

-- Nikita Stewart

By Washington Post Editors  |  November 30, 2009; 12:12 PM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety , D.C. Employees , Mayor Fenty , Nikita Stewart  
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Wow! Another one goes to New York! Although that is his home, we seem to have a revolving door with New York and the Fenty administration. Will Bloomberg have a job for Fenty in 2010?

Posted by: candycane1 | November 30, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

One wonders why anyone would want this guy? Is he really viewed as a success? While he may have reduced corruption, juvenile crime is as rampant and violent as ever. NYC should be ready for its violent offenders to be released ASAP, no questions asked, by Schiraldi. The guy defines "cake eater".

Posted by: mendelsonmustgo | November 30, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Bloomberg will not mind it if Schiraldi continues his practice of taking the boys home for a little Shakespeare practice?

Posted by: KBlit | November 30, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Schiraldi made it longer than anyone expected. Maybe that says something about Mr. Fenty. Hopefully Mr. Fenty will take input from all involved in replacing Mr. Softy, I mean Mr. Schiraldi.

Posted by: jr4408 | November 30, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance to Vinny "cookout" Schiraldi. He couldn't reduce juvenile crime or handle the union here; wait to he gets a taste of the various corrections unions of NYC. He'll be had for lunch. One hopes the Post will report on his professional demise.

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | November 30, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Under Mr. Schiraldi's tenure, youth re-offending rates have gone down, juvenile crime has been reduced, and public safety overall has increased as a result. The juvenile corrections union has fought these changes every step of the way. Seems like it is time Colby King and others who are critical of this reform to take a hard look at what the juvenile corrections union has done (or not) to promote public safety in DC. Mr. Schiraldi's efforts have been successful in increasing public safety despite the undermining work of the juvenile corrections union.

Posted by: ConcernedReader2 | November 30, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

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