Dora B. Schriro, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction, is a nationally recognized innovator in reentry, and the only person in the nation to have led two state and two city correctional systems.
Dr. Schriro was appointed to direct New York jail system by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on September 21, 2009. Immediately prior, she had served as Special Advisor to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Detention and Removal, and Director of the Office of Detention Policy and Planning for the Department. In that role, she directed work on the Department’s plan to overhaul the nation’s immigration detention system. The Department released the report and its plans for reform in October, 2009.
Previously, she served for six years as the Director of the Arizona Department of Corrections and, from 1993 to 2001, as Director of the Missouri Department of Corrections. In each state, she was the first woman selected to lead the agency.
Dr. Schriro’s appointment as NYC Commissioner of Correction signals her return to New York City. A native of Staten Island, Dr. Schriro served in the administration of Mayor Edward I. Koch from 1984 to 1989, first as Assistant to the Deputy Director in the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and then as Assistant Commissioner in the Department of Correction. As Assistant Commissioner, she was responsible for delivery of inmate educational programs, the grants office, Ministerial and Volunteer Services, law libraries, recreation programs, work release and special events.
In announcing her appointment, Mayor Bloomberg cited her “distinctive, dynamic style, and innovative thinking” as well as qualifications to “focus on reducing violence, ensuring inmate and staff safety while also preparing inmates to transition back into their communities and lives after release.”
Throughout her career in Corrections, Commissioner Schriro has been committed to and involved in sentencing reform, the crime victims’ community, the Corrections workforce and re-entry efforts. She served for six years as Vice Chair of Missouri’s Sentencing Commission and was a founding member of the Vera Institute of Justice State and Local Sentencing Program. She has also co-led sentencing seminars at the law schools of St. Louis University and Arizona State University, spearheaded passage of the nation’s first Restorative Justice legislation and established offices of crime victim services and labor relations in the State correctional systems in Missouri and Arizona. Her efforts on behalf of the workforce yielded appreciable pay increases and increased representation. Focusing on the impact of crime on victims resulted in donations of over one million dollars to crime victim organizations. Her practical approach to problem solving reduced inmate litigation by greater than one half in both state correctional systems.
Commissioner Schriro earned a JD from St. Louis University, an EdD from Columbia University, an MS from the University of Massachusetts-Boston and a BA cum laude from Northeastern University. She has taught graduate level courses in law and criminal justice throughout her career. Published in the fields of re-entry, sentencing and immigration, Commissioner Schriro has been honored for her work. In 1999, as Director of the Missouri Department of Corrections, she received the Michael Francke Award recognizing her as the top correctional administrator in the United States. She received the National Governors Association Distinguished Service to State Government Award in 2006; and in 2008 her work in Arizona on the comprehensive pre-release strategy titled Getting Ready earned the Harvard University’s Innovations in American Government Award.