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Mayor Bloomberg Appoints Dora B. Schriro As Correction Department Commissioner

September 9, 2009

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today appointed Dr. Dora B. Schriro as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction. Dr. Schriro served as Director of the Office of Detention Policy and Planning for the Department of Homeland Security, where she led an overhaul of the nation’s immigration detention system. Previously, she served six years as Director of the Arizona Department of Corrections; led the Missouri Department of Corrections as Director from 1993 to 2001, and served as the City of St. Louis Warden and then Commissioner of Corrections from 2001 to 2003. In both states, she was the first woman to lead the departments and is the only female in the country to head two State correctional systems. Dr. Schriro, who was born on Staten Island, served in the Koch Administration from 1984 to 1989, first as Assistant to the Deputy Director in the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and then as Assistant Commissioner at the City Department of Correction. Dr. Schriro succeeds Martin F. Horn, who resigned the post in July. The Mayor announced the appointment in the Blue Room of City Hall. 

“Dr. Schriro brings a distinctive, dynamic style and innovative thinking back home to New York City,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Dr. Schriro’s executive experience in overseeing detention systems in the states of Missouri and Arizona make her uniquely qualified to carry on the important work here in New York City, with a clear focus on reducing violence, ensuring inmate and staff safety, while also preparing inmates to transition back into their communities and lives after release.”

“It is an honor to join this Administration in their continuing pursuit of excellence and accountability,” said Commissioner Schriro. “I am grateful to Mayor Bloomberg for this opportunity, and I look forward to the work ahead at the New York City Department of Correction. I expect it will be challenging, important and rewarding work, and am confident we will continue to contribute in new and meaningful ways to the City’s safety and well being.”

As Special Advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Detention and Removal, Dr. Schriro focused on how to manage and reduce the significant growth in immigration detention over the last five years. Throughout her 30-year career, she has been involved in sentencing reform, supporting victims and innovative re-entry efforts.  She served for six years as Vice Chair of Missouri’s Sentencing Commission and was a founding member of the Vera Institute of Justice’s State and Local Sentencing Program. Dr. Schriro has co-led sentencing seminars at St. Louis University and Arizona State University Schools of Law, spearheaded passage of the country’s first restorative justice legislation and also has established offices of crime victims’ services in the State correctional systems in Missouri and Arizona.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Dora Schriro to lead the Department of Correction and build upon the progress we’ve made,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs.  “Dr. Schriro’s proven record in corrections management and her own goals of keeping New York City’s jails as safe as possible, as well as helping those exiting jail make critical transitions back to their communities make her ideal for this challenge.”

Dr. Schriro served for nine months in 1984 as Assistant to the Deputy Director in the Office of the Criminal Justice where she supervised the Program Monitoring and Evaluation Unit for state and federally-funded projects, and administered grants associated with these programs. In 1985, she was appointed by Mayor Koch to the New York City Department of Correction as Assistant Commissioner where, through 1989, she was responsible for delivery of inmate educational programs, the Grants Office, Ministerial and Volunteer Services, Law Libraries, Recreation and Work Release, and Special Events.

Dr. Schriro, who will begin work on September 21, earned a law degree from St. Louis University, a doctorate from Columbia University, a Master of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Northeastern University.  She has taught law, criminal justice, psychology and education courses at the graduate level throughout her career.  Published in the area of re-entry, detention, and supervision, Dr. Schriro has also received accolades for her work over the years.  In 1999, as Director of the Missouri Department of Corrections, she received the Michael Francke Award, recognizing her as the top correctional administrator in the United States; the National Governors Association Distinguished Service to State Government Award in 2006; and in 2008, her work in Arizona resulted in the Innovations in American Government Award for the comprehensive pre-release strategy, Getting Ready.

The replacement search was led by Nathan Leventhal, Chairman of the Mayor’s Committee on Appointments, and Andrea Shapiro Davis, Special Advisor to the Mayor, who worked closely with both Deputy Mayor Gibbs and Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt.

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Media Contact

Stephen Morello
Department of Correction
(718) 546-0635