Baton Rouge, La. – The Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice today appointed Otha “Curtis” Nelson Jr. next Assistant Secretary of Office of Juvenile Justice, (OJJ). Nelson, recently serving as Deputy Judicial Administrator for the Louisiana Supreme Court Division of Children and Families, will succeed Assistant Secretary Perry Stagg, who announced his retirement earlier this month.
Nelson comes to OJJ with 30 years of experience working with children and families. He has worked as an adolescent mental health technician in mental health settings, a court appointed special advocate, a family attorney for children in need of care and delinquency proceedings, and juvenile prosecutor for the 19th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
A public servant for over 21 years, Nelson has been involved in several initiatives to help develop effective administrative processes for public agencies. He is currently the Co-Chair of the Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) Children’s Law Committee, Co-Chair of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Leadership Collaborative, and Committee Member of the Louisiana Children Justice Task Force, Committee Member of the Governor’s Advisory Board of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and Advisory Board Fellow for the Pelican Center for Children and Families. He is a veteran of the United States Army, having served six years with the Louisiana Army National Guard (Combat Medical Unit) and six years with the United States Army Reserve (Theater Support Command-Judge Advocate General Corps).
A Baton Rouge native, Nelson earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in sociology from Louisiana State University in 1992, a juris doctor from Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans in 1997.
Nelson’s appointment is May 30th 2022.