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Mayor Names Four Criminal Justice Appointments

March 12, 2014
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Mayor Bill de Blasio announced four key criminal justice appointments yesterday – including several who are well known to or long-time members of the local nonprofit human services community.

Ana Bermúdez is being promoted to Commissioner of the NYC Department of Probation, an agency which has dramatically increased the number and importance of its contractual relationships with nonprofit providers in recent years.  Bermúdez previously served as Deputy Commissioner for Juvenile Operations.  Prior to joining DOP, she was Director of Juvenile Justice Programs at Children’s Aid Society and had spent a decade at the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES), where she served as the Director of Community Prep High School.

Elizabeth Glazer has been named Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.  Most recently, Glazer served as chief advisor to Governor Cuomo on criminal justice and homeland security policy as Deputy Secretary for Public Safety.  Previously, she served as Chair of the New York State Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, was Special Counsel to the New York State Attorney General and Director at the Center for Court Innovation, and has held a variety of leadership positions in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and at the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice and the New York City Department of Investigation.

Vincent Schiraldi, who has been Probation Commissioner for the past four years, will serve as Senior Advisor to the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.  Schiraldi has drawn considerable praise for his significant programmatic innovation and reforms at DOP.  In his new role, he will focus on the unique challenges posed by young adults in the criminal justice system. In addition, he will work with the city Department of Education, the NYPD and other entities to improve school safety and reduce the number of students who get suspended and arrested.

Joseph Ponte, de Blasio’s pick for Corrections Commissioner, by contrast, is new to New York City. He is currently Commissioner of the Maine Department of Corrections, where he instituted reforms that reduced the use of solitary confinement by two-thirds, and completely eliminated the use of disciplinary segregation for people identified as mentally ill. He will be charged with overhauling the city’s corrections system: ending the overuse of solitary confinement, curtailing officers’ use of excessive force, and improving resources to handle the mentally ill.

“These leaders have the depth of experience and knowledge necessary to reduce recidivism, increase public safety and lower incarceration rates – and I’m confident that under their leadership, we will reform outdated practices and guide these city agencies into a new era,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Together, these appointees will bring about a cohesive, community-focused criminal justice policy for the City of New York.”

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