Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has named an advocate for youth justice reform as the new director of Baltimore's crime policy office.

Angela Johnese, an attorney who has served as juvenile justice policy director for Advocates for Children and Youth, will lead the Mayor's Office on Criminal Justice, coordinating criminal justice efforts across different agencies as well as administering state and federal grant money.

In a statement, Rawlings-Blake said Johnese's "commitment to developing alternatives and solutions for young people will support our efforts to create long-term reductions in crime."

Johnese replaces Sheryl Goldstein, who was appointed by Mayor Sheila Dixon and left the office in June 2012 after Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III announced his retirement. Johnese has a law degree and has previously worked for organizations serving youth and families in New Orleans.

A major part of Goldstein's work was coordinating youth violence prevention efforts, and with Advocates for Children and Youth, Johnese worked on issues such as reducing school arrests and disparities in school disciplinary actions.

"The city has a number of great partnerships that address the needs of at-risk youth and vulnerable communities. We need to build on our recent success to keep lowering crime and creating opportunity for residents," Johnese said in a statement released by city officials.

jfenton@baltsun.com


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