For immediate release: September 12, 2023
The New York City Board of Correction (“Board”) has named Jasmine Georges-Yilla as its Executive Director. The Board approved Ms. Georges-Yilla’s appointment during an executive session meeting held on September 8, 2023. Ms. Georges-Yilla has served as the Board’s Interim Executive Director since March 9, 2023, leading the Board’s efforts to monitor and promote compliance with the Board’s Minimum Standards regulating conditions of confinement, correctional health and mental health care, as well as its other oversight mandates.
Ms. Georges-Yilla brings 16 years of legal and managerial experience in New York City public service, beginning her career at the New York City Law Department’s Administrative Law Division, where she became one of the division’s Criminal Court Supervisors. Ms. Georges-Yilla also served as Deputy General Counsel at the New York City Employees’ Retirement System and Acting General Counsel at the New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, after which she returned to the Law Department as Senior Counsel in the Legal Counsel Division, where she advised City agencies, the Mayor’s Office and other elected officials on policy initiatives, local regulations, and pending state and local legislation. Ms. Georges-Yilla joined the Board in May 2022 as its General Counsel, ensuring that the Board maintains the highest standards of ethical conduct and conformity with government statutes and regulations. In March 2023, Board Chair Dwayne Sampson selected her as Interim Executive Director. The Board formally appointed Ms. Georges-Yilla as Interim Executive Director on June 5, 2023.
For the last six months, Ms. Georges-Yilla has led the agency through many challenges, including unprecedented restrictions on Board access to Department of Correction video footage. Ms. Georges-Yilla has excelled in the performance of her duties, has worked diligently with Board members and Board staff alike, and has modeled professional excellence through her empathetic and collaborative leadership. Ms. Georges-Yilla has also demonstrated her commitment to the work of the Board as the independent oversight agency for the New York City jail system and the goal of smaller, safer, and more humane jails.
For immediate release: August 9, 2023
On August 9, 2023, the New York City Board of Correction (“Board” or “BOC”) filed an Article 78 proceeding in Bronx County Supreme Court and requested a preliminary and permanent injunction against the New York City Department of Correction (“DOC”) and the City of New York.
On January 9, 2023, DOC unlawfully terminated the Board’s long-standing and unfettered access to DOC’s video footage systems and implemented a series of unworkable restrictions on the Board’s access to DOC video footage.
The Board has engaged in multiple good-faith efforts with DOC and the New York City Law Department over the last seven months in order to restore BOC’s access to DOC’s video footage systems. Those efforts have been unsuccessful. DOC has demonstrated no willingness to restore access on fair and reasonable terms.
The Board, as well as individuals in DOC’s custody, cannot afford to wait any longer.
For immediate release: June 5, 2023
Five members of the Board of Correction convened an Emergency Board Meeting this afternoon to formally appoint Jasmine Georges-Yilla as the Board’s Interim Executive Director, amend the Board’s Rules of Procedure and elect a vice chair. Board Members Rachael Bedard, Robert Cohen, Felipe Franco, Deanna Hoskins and Jackie Sherman attended the meeting. Chair Dwayne Sampson and Board Members Jacqueline Pitts and Joseph Ramos were not in attendance. In the Chair’s absence, the Board Members in attendance appointed Board Member Bedard as Interim Vice Chair to preside over the meeting.
Over the weekend, Chair Dwayne Sampson notified Board members, in writing, that he had made a unilateral decision to replace Ms. Georges-Yilla with an Interim Executive Director of his choosing. Chair Sampson’s written notice provided no rationale for the decision. The majority of the Board expressed deep concern regarding the Chair’s action and convened the meeting to reaffirm Ms. Georges-Yilla’s authority and their confidence in her work. The members present voted to keep Ms. Georges-Yilla in the interim role and to launch an executive search committee for a permanent Executive Director.
At the meeting, the Board also amended the Board’s Rules of Procedure to clarify the scope of the authority of the Board and to encourage participation of all Board members in the work of Board committees. The amendments also clarify the scope of authority and responsibilities vested in the Chair, Vice Chair and Executive Director. A copy of the amended Rules of Procedure are attached and can be accessed here.
The Board Members present also voted unanimously to appoint Board Member DeAnna Hoskins as vice-chair of the Board of Correction.
These steps were necessary to affirm that the New York City Charter vests authority and responsibility in the Board as a whole, as opposed to a single member of the Board.
The New York City Board of Correction (BOC) is a nine-person oversight board that regulates, monitors, and inspects the correctional facilities of the City. The Board of Correction has carried out critical independent oversight for the City of New York since 1957, despite being a relatively small agency with limited resources. The Board’s staff are its "eyes and ears" inside the jails, working to evaluate complaints, review incidents, and make recommendations for compliance with the Minimum Standards for confinement. The Board sets a baseline for what New York City must provide to people in custody in order to maintain humane jails.
For immediate release: May 18, 2023
The Board of Correction ("BOC") is saddened to hear of Mr. Rubu Zhao's passing, which marks the second death in New York City Department of Correction ("DOC") custody in 2023. Mr. Zhao, 52, died on May 16, 2023, at approximately 11:51 pm at Elmhurst Hospital. Mr. Zhao had been in custody since December 14, 2022, and he was housed in the George R. Vierno Center leading up to his death. BOC expresses condolences to his family, friends, and community during this difficult time.
Moreover, BOC is investigating Mr. Zhao's death and will convene DOC and Correctional Health Services ("CHS"), together, to examine the circumstances surrounding his death. BOC will report its findings with recommendations to both agencies to prevent future tragedies. BOC remains committed to fulfilling its City Charter and legal mandates to investigate serious injuries, near deaths, and deaths, toward the end of addressing systemic issues that can contribute to such events.
For immediate release: February 7, 2023
The Board of Correction is deeply saddened by the death of Marvin Pines, marking the first death in New York City Department of Correction ("DOC") custody in 2023. Mr. Pines, 65, died on February 4, 2023, at approximately 6:18 am, following a medical emergency while in DOC custody. Mr. Pines had been in custody since August 3, 2022, and he was housed in the North Infirmary Command at the time of his death. Mr. Pines left behind his daughter, his girlfriend, and other loved ones. We express our condolences to his family, friends, and community during this difficult time.
The Board is investigating Mr. Pines' death and will convene the Department of Correction and Correctional Health Services ("CHS"), together, to examine the circumstances leading up to the death. We will report our findings with recommendations to both agencies to prevent future tragedies.
The Board of Correction remains dedicated to fulfilling its City Charter and legal mandates to investigate serious injuries, near deaths, and deaths, toward the end of addressing systemic issues that can lead to such events.
February 2, 2022
The New York City Council appointed Dr. Rachel Bedard and Deanna Hoskins as members of the New York City Board of Correction. Dr. Bedard will serve the remainder of an unexpired six-year term that ends on October 12, 2026 and Ms. Hoskins will serve a six-year term that expires on February 1, 2029.
STATEMENT ON LOSS OF ACCESS TO JAIL VIDEO
For immediate release: January 18, 2023
The New York City Board of Correction (BOC) is a nine-person oversight board that regulates, monitors, and inspects the correctional facilities of the City. The Board of Correction has carried out critical independent oversight for the City of New York since 1957, despite being a relatively small agency with limited resources. Our staff are the Board's "eyes and ears" inside the jails, working to evaluate complaints, review incidents, and make recommendations for compliance with the Minimum Standards for confinement. The Board sets a baseline for what New York City must provide to people in custody in order to maintain humane jails.
The Department of Correction recently revoked the Board staff's access to independently view Genetec, the Body worn Camera System, and handheld video at any time, and forbade the recording and use of such video in our work.
The revocation of access to video at any time stands at odds with the New York City Charter. Under the NYC Charter the Board must have the right to:
Therefore, the Board of Correction requests immediate and full restoration of access to and recording of Genetec, the Body worn Camera System, and handheld video.