CUNY Grad Center/John Jay College
Professor Michael P. Jacobson addresses NYCHS as
NYC Correction Commissioner
Bernard B. Kerik addresses NYCHS as its board
To pursue, preserve &
NYS DOCS prison histories author
Austin Clarke reads resolution.
services throughout the City
Organizational meeting secretary
Austin Clarke, representing State Correctional
Services Commissioner Glenn S. Goord, reads aloud
the resolution to establish the New York Correction
History Society. Shown seated on dais, lower right,
is Tracie Lucas, representing State Commission of
Correction chairman Alan Croce.
On the night of major league
baseball's 1999 All Star Game (July 13th), an all-star lineup of
officials, as well as rank-and-file members, of New York
City and State correctional services officially launched the
New York Correction History Society (NYCHS) at a formal
organizational meeting. The historic gathering took place in
the Manhattan Detention Complex, better known as The Tombs,
situated at White and Centre streets, a site that has been
occupied by a series of jails dating back before the Civil
Probation Commissioner Raul Russi
recalls his days as an officer working in the
Buffalo correctional system.
Juvenile Justice Commissioner
Tino Hernandez spoke about his agency's upcoming
20th anniversary of operations.
Participants included CUNY Graduate Center and John Jay College of Criminal Justice Professor Michael P. Jacobson; New York City's Correction
Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik, Probation Commissioner
Raul Russi, Juvenile Justice Commissioner Tino
Hernandez, veteran Board of Correction member Barbara
Margolis and representatives of New York State's
Correctional Services Commissioner Glenn S. Goord and
Correction Commission chairman Alan Croce.
Also taking part were Correction Captains Association
president Peter Meringolo, Teamsters Local 237
secretary-treasurer Nicholas Mancuso, NYC Correction Acting Chief of Dept. Sheila Vaughan; Queensboro
State Correctional Facility Superintendent Brian
Fischer, Women's Prison Association executive director
Ann L. Jacobs, Osborne Association executive
director Elizabeth Gaynes, Horticultural Society of
New York president Anthony R. Smith, Roosevelt Island
Historical Society president Judith A. Berdy and
South Forty president John Rakis.
Two authors of correction facility histories -- Thomas
McCarthy, with the New York City Department of
Correction, and Austin Clarke, with the New York
State Department of Correctional Services -- presided at the
business portion of the meeting. They served as temporary
chairman and temporary secretary, respectively, implementing
the parliamentary procedures for adopting resolutions
enabling the society to emerge as an official entity.
The key enabling resolution read, in part:
- THAT a not-for-profit society be
established for the pursuit, preservation and
promotion of correctional history throughout . . . New York . . . fostering a
sense of professional tradition . . . among men and women . . . in New York correction service;
enriching the store of knowledge about their
contribution to the commonweal . . . increasing public appreciation of
- THAT the society . . . shall seek to maintain close working relationships with all correctional services throughout . . . New York, celebrating . . . their diversity and uniqueness . . . their interaction, shared profession and common mission; and
- THAT the society shall seek to achieve
these goals by widely disseminating this
history, by serving as a repository and resource
for those studying and researching it, by
facilitating exchange of information among them,
and by creating opportunities for their shared
activity; and . . .
- THAT in furtherance of these ends, we
adopt as its name the New York Correction
History Society, enact this Constitution . . .
and apply to the New York State Regents for its
incorporating charter . . . .
One resolution submitted proposed for election as society
officers a slate of nominees. Elected were:
- Members of the Board of Trustees
State Correctional Services Commissioner
Glenn S. Goord, State Correction
Commission chairman Alan J. Croce, State
Criminal Justice Services Commissioner
Katherine N. Lapp.
NYC Board of Correction members Barbara
Margolis and David A. Schulte.
NYC Probation Commissioner Raul Russi,
NYC Juvenile Justice Deputy Commissioner
Alfred Reno, NYC Criminal Justice Deputy
Coordinator Fredrick Patrick.
Dr. Thomas Ward of St. John's
University, Correction Officers' Benevolent
Association president Norman Seabrook,
Correction Captains Association president
From NYC Correction: First Deputy
Commissioner Gary Lanigan, Chief of
Dept. William J. Fraser, Deputy
Commissioner Thomas Antenen, Assistant Commissioner of Personnel Alan Vengersky, and Correction
Officer Louis Cash.
- Chairman of the Board -- Bernard
B. Kerik, NYC Correction Commissioner. Was
with NYPD and the federal-NY Drug Enforcement
Task Force, Passaic County Jail warden; Army MP
and JFK Warfare Center Special Forces trainer.
- President -- Michael P.
Jacobson, on the faculty of CUNY Graduate
Center and John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Also with the Vera Institute. Was NYC Probation
and Correction Commissioner.
- Vice President -- Gerard
O'Gara, NYC Correction Deputy Warden,
executive assistant to First Deputy Commissioner
Lanigan. Was executive assistant to Commissioner
- General Secretary -- Thomas Mc
Carthy, NYC Correction Editorial/
Communication Services Director. Was Queens DA
Communications Director and Public Relations
Officers Society president.
- Treasurer -- Leasa McLeish,
NYC Correction Assistant Commissioner Program
Management and Development.
- Curator -- Deborah Kurtz, NYC
Correction Deputy Commissioner for Training,
Organizational Development and TEAMS. Among
other duties, she has charge of the Correction
- Counsel -- Joseph Guarino, NYC
Correction Deputy General Counsel.
Another resolution authorized the society's officers to
begin work on specific activities. These include setting up
shared interest groups for members; establishing a web site,
newsletter and journal; arranging tours for members to
places of interest; soliciting, collecting, storing and
cataloging historical materials, and placement of historical
|Go to NYCHS Organizational Meeting -- Part II|
(NYCHS scope, membership eligibility, charter petition, additional participants, and sum-up comment by veteran Board of Correction member Barbara Margolis.)
Photo credit: C.O. Ralph E. Smith
NOTE: Position titles and the names of agencies, associations, and institutions are provided for identification and background purposes.