The Guardians Association (Father Lawrence Lucas, past president) is main African American organization DOC recognizes. Decades ago, the Dept. recognized the Correctionaires, that was founded in 1939. Its presidents included Warden Harrelson and Jessie L. Behagen who in 1962 was among the first 6 women sworn in the then new rank of Assistant Deputy Superintendent for Women (female equivalent to ADW rank).
Jessie Behagen image is from a NYC Dept. of Correction (NYC DOC) photo in the archives managed by the NY Correction History Society. All rights retained by and reserved to NYC DOC. Image of Guardian banner and Fr. Lucas from C.O. Ralph Smith’s Guardian Chronicles web site.