Commissioner Ponte Names Correction Veterans to Key Positions
James J. Walsh Tapped for Adult Programming & Community Partnerships; Cynthia Brann for Quality Assurance and Integrity
East Elmhurst, N.Y. – New York City Department of Correction (DOC) Commissioner Joseph Ponte today announced the appointments of Deputy Commissioners James J. Walsh and Cynthia Brann to newly created posts. He named Mr. Walsh as Deputy Commissioner of Adult Programming & Community Partnerships and Ms. Brann as Deputy Commissioner of Quality Assurance and Integrity.
The appointments are important steps for DOC as it advances to become a national leader of correctional reform. As part of the 14-point anti-violence agenda Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Ponte announced in March 2015, DOC is enhancing inmate education opportunities and services in order to provide skills training to reduce inmate idle time, and by doing so, decrease the likelihood of violence. Adult programming plays a key role in 14-point anti-violence reform agenda due to facilitating re-entry into society, potentially reduces recidivism. The reform agenda also calls for raising DOC facilities to a state of good repair, a major part of quality assurance and integrity.
“Deputy Commissioners Walsh and Brann are outstanding corrections professionals, together totaling 70 years of experience,” Commissioner Ponte said. “Both Mr. Walsh and Ms. Brann will play major roles in our agenda to create meaningful adult programs and partnerships while overseeing DOC-wide policies and regulations.”
Mr. Walsh will lead DOC’s efforts to launch innovative adult programs and create partnerships between the Department and community organizations.
His 37 years of experience in corrections include posts at Sullivan Correctional Facility, Ulster Correctional, Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill and the New York State Department of Corrections in Albany. He is a past President of the New York State Association of Correctional Facility Superintendents.
Ms. Brann will oversee the department’s internal audit division which includes the Office of Policy & Compliance, Environmental Health, Fire Safety, Nutritional Services, PREA Compliance, Financial and Engineering Units. She will ensure the safety, quality and efficiency of DOC operations and identify needs across the agency. With 33 years of corrections and public-safety experience, the last 26 at Maine Department of Corrections, Ms. Brann comes to DOC with four years of executive responsibility as the Associate Commissioner providing strategic planning, leading cultural and organizational change, implementing evidence based practices as well as integrating the work of the facilities and community divisions.
About the New York City Department of Correction
The New York City Department of Correction (DOC) manages the jail system for New York City. It operates Rikers Island, which houses 10 individual facilities, four borough-based jails and two hospital prison wards, as well as court pens in all five boroughs. In FY 2014, DOC had 77,141 admissions involving 56,218 individuals.
Its Average Daily Population is approximately 11,400, over 80 percent of whom are housed on Rikers Island. Most of the inmates in DOC custody are being detained pending the resolution of charges against them; approximately 15 percent are city-sentenced inmates who are serving sentences of one year or less.