Cynthia Brann was named Commissioner in October 2017. She has 39 years of corrections and law enforcement experience.
Commissioner Brann came to DOC in 2015 as the Deputy Commissioner of Quality Assurance.
She retired from the Maine Department of Corrections where she had held various positions, starting as a Probation and Parole Officer then Regional Resource Coordinator, Regional Correctional Administrator, and finally serving as the Associate Commissioner of Adult Services.
Prior to her career in Corrections, she served 8 years as a Police Officer.
The focus of her administration at NYCDOC is culture and organizational change, leadership development at all levels, implementing evidence-based practices, and a commitment to excellence in public service.
Brenda Cooke was appointed Chief of Staff in August 2018. Ms. Cooke served as Deputy Chief of Staff since January 2018. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Cooke served as Deputy General Counsel for the Legal Division.
As Chief of Staff, Ms. Cooke directly supports and advises the Commissioner on operational, policy, and strategic initiatives and efforts. Ms. Cooke also serves as a key liaison between the Department and other City agencies, stakeholders, and oversight bodies.
Before joining the Department of Correction, Chief of Staff Cooke held the position of Senior Counsel for the New York City Law Department from 2011 until 2015. Ms. Cooke was also a Senior Associate in the litigation department of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP from 2003-2011, and served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Robert C. Chambers in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia from 2002-2003.
In 2002, Chief of Staff Cooke received her Juris Doctor from New York Law School, where she graduated summa cum laude. She is licensed to practice law in the State of New York, and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of the Second Circuit.
Heidi Grossman was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters/General Counsel in 2014. As the Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel, Ms. Grossman is the Chief Legal Officer of the Department of Correction and provides legal advice and counsel to the Commissioner, agency officials, and staff. Before joining the Department, Deputy Commissioner Grossman worked at the New York City Law Department, where she served as Deputy Chief of the Special Federal Litigation Division.
She began her career with the Law Department in 1989, serving in various divisions as an Assistant Corporation Counsel and in various supervisory roles litigating federal and state institutional reform, class-actions, and monetary damage suits. In 2003, Ms. Grossman also became the coordinator for the Law Department's public service program, which sought volunteer legal services from large law firms in order to lessen the burden of the city's caseload. Ms. Grossman received her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and her B.A. in Political Science from Syracuse University. She is licensed to practice law in the State of New York, and the U.S. District Courts for the Sothern and Eastern Districts of the Second Circuit.
Peter Thorne was named Deputy Commissioner of Public Information in September 2014. Before joining the Department, he was Director of Communications for the Office of the New York City Comptroller.
Prior to that, Thorne served as an anchor and reporter for 10 years with WPIX-TV in New York City.
He is the recipient of three Emmy Awards – for best government reporting, best hard-news reporting, and journalistic enterprise, as well as many other press honors from the Associated Press and the New York State Broadcasters Association.
Before WPIX, he was a news anchor and reporter at KCOP-TV in Los Angeles.
He is a graduate of Yale University, with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science
Patricia Feeney was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Quality Assurance and Integrity in January 2018. In this role, DC Feeney has continued to ensure that the Department complies with existing city, state, and federal regulations and internal policies. D.C. Feeney assists in the development of policies and procedures, the development of compliance plans, and supervises the peer mentoring program that supports and trains facility staff. D.C. Feeney oversees the units responsible for inspections and audits that support the agency’s compliance program: 1) the Compliance and Safety Center, 2) Compliance Audit Unit, 3) the Emergency Preparedness Unit, 4) the Environmental Health Unit, 5) the Engineering Audit Unit, 6) the Fire Safety Unit, 7) the Office of Policy Compliance, 8) the Policy and Procedures Unit, and 9) the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Unit. Compliance with PREA standards, State Commission of Correction regulations, Board of Correction regulations, Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, and Health Codes create safe and secure facilities. These compliance programs are essential to supporting the agency’s 14-point violence reduction plan. Prior to her appointment as Deputy Commissioner, Ms. Feeney served as the Assistant Commissioner of Environmental Health. She brings to this new position more than 28 years of NYC Department of Correction experience. D.C. Feeney attended Union College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She is also a Registered Sanitarian in the State of New York.
Maureen Danko was appointed Chief Information Officer/Deputy Commissioner of Information Technology of the Department of Correction in December 2015. Ms. Danko oversees all areas of Information Technology (IT) and Data Analytics and Research, including strategic planning, application development, data and systems management, and network and infrastructure.
She joined the Department of Correction as the Director of the IT Project Management Office in October 2011. Before joining the Department, Ms. Danko worked in the airline and hospitality industries. Her broad background in IT includes strategy and business development, project management, telecommunications, database and network-systems management, software and data-applications development, IT business solutions, and IT infrastructure management.
Patricia Lyons was appointed Deputy Commissioner overseeing Financial, Facilities and Fleet Administration in December 2019. Her portfolio includes Budget Management and Planning, Central Office of Procurement, Facility Maintenance and Repair Division, Fleet Maintenance and Operations Unit, and the Central Warehouse Operations Division. Ms. Lyons career in the Department began in January 2013 as the Assistant Commissioner for Financial Management and Budget Administration with subsequent promotion to the Associate Commissioner for Budget Management and Planning in December 2015.
Deputy Commissioner Lyons brings to the Department over 20 years of experience in fiscal and operational management in New York City. She began her career at the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as an Assistant Budget Analyst in May 1999. Ms. Lyons moved on from her position as a Senior Budget Analyst at OMB in February 2004 to become the Director of the Management and Budget Analysis Section at the New York City Police Department. In September 2008, she assumed the position of PlaNYC Budget Administrator at the New York City Department of Transportation and was promoted to the Deputy Executive Director of Financial Management and Analysis in April 2011.
Ms. Lyons holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with a minor in Sociology from Queens College of the City University of New York..
Nadene M. Pinnock, Esq. was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Human Resources in May 2016. In this role, Ms. Pinnock is responsible for all agency hiring, payroll, timekeeping, and human resources operations, including the recruitment and processing of the largest recruit classes in the Department’s history.
Her career with the Department began in January 2006 as an Agency Attorney. In October 2009, Ms. Pinnock was appointed Deputy General Counsel where she interpreted laws and judicial decisions and led the implementation of minimum standards of the Department’s oversight bodies including the Board of Correction and the State Commission of Correction.
Before joining the Department, Ms. Pinnock was an Associate at two law firms, Connors & Connors, P.C. and Goldberg & Associates where she was responsible for management and defense of commercial and insurance matters.
Ms. Pinnock is a SHRM Certified Professional. She received her Juris Doctor from George Washington University Law School and her Bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University.
Sarena Townsend was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Investigation and Trials Division in April 2018. In this role, DC Townsend oversees and manages all facets of Departmental Investigations and Trials.
Prior to this appointment, Ms. Townsend served as the head of the Trials and Litigation Division.
In this role, she oversees both the investigation and prosecution of staff misconduct. Ms. Townsend has 13 years of professional experience in the fields of investigation and criminal prosecution.
She also served as Deputy Bureau Chief at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, where she supervised trials and successfully prosecuted violent felony cases, with a specialization in sex crimes prosecutions.
In 2006, Ms. Townsend received her Juris Doctor from Fordham University School of Law. She graduated cum laude from New York University in 2003.
Lawrence P. Dail was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Training & Development in September 2018.
In this capacity, Mr. Dail oversees and supports all recruit, in-service, leadership development, and promotional training for the Department’s uniformed and non-uniformed workforce. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Dail served in continuing education roles in higher education institutions where his focus was on the development of work-related skills and competencies to help adults prepare for their next promotion or prepare unemployed men and women to reconnect with the workforce in a meaningful way.
Prior to joining the department, he served as Director of Workplace Learning at the City University of New York, School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) where he helped a range of city agencies devise learning strategies to satisfy compliance mandates or deliver impactful professional development sessions and change the culture. He is a Certified Professional in Learning Performance and is presently working on a Doctorate in Adult Learning, & Leadership at Columbia University’s Teachers College where his concentration is on performance management, feedback, and neuroscience. He has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor’s degree in History from McDaniel College.
Dr. Judy Beale was appointed to the position of Deputy Commissioner of Programs and Community Partnerships in October 2019. Dr. Beale will help to establish new policies and procedures for programming in accordance with Correctional Best Practices. Prior to joining the Department, she worked for the Maine Department of Corrections as the Director of Correctional Programs for the state prison system. Dr. Beale joins the Department with over 20 years of Corrections experience, having worked as a Mental Health Clinician, a Reentry Specialist, a Unit Manager, and Director of Special Projects, including collaboration with the National Institute of Corrections on the re-validation of a systems custody classification tool.
She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and holds a PhD in Human Services with a focus in Corrections from Capella University, a Master of Social Work from Rhode Island College, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Roger Williams College. Her publications include studies on the introduction of a level system in a minimum security prison, the use of actuarial assessment tools to determine detainee risk, young adult offenders and correctional staff wellness.
Hazel Jennings was appointed Chief of Department in December 2017. Chief Jennings began her career at DOC in 1989, when she was assigned as a Correction Officer at the Robert N. Davoren Center (RNDC). She later served at the Brooklyn Courts.
In 2002, she was promoted to Captain and assigned to the George Motchan Detention Center (GMDC). She later served as a supervisor to the Assistant Chief of Special Operations, Assistant Chief of Facility Operations, and Assistant Chief of Environmental Health. In 2010, she was promoted to Assistant Deputy Warden and was assigned to GMDC. She then was assigned to the Operations Security Intelligence Unit (OSIU) and awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in November 2011.
In 2013, she was promoted to Deputy Warden and assigned to RNDC as the Security Deputy Warden. In August 2014, she was promoted to Warden and assigned to the Special Operations Division (SOD). In February 2015, Chief Jennings was promoted to Assistant Chief of Security and later appointed Bureau Chief of Security in October 2015. In March 2016, she was appointed Bureau Chief of Facility Operations and later appointed Bureau Chief of the Criminal Justice Bureau in October 2016.
Justin Von Bujdoss was appointed to the position of Executive Director of Chaplaincy and Staff Wellness in March 2018.
In this capacity, he is responsible for the oversight of all Staff Wellness Initiatives, Staff Chaplains, C.A.R.E. Unit, Ministerial Services, and reports directly to the Office of the Commissioner.
Chaplain Von Bujdoss previously served, since September 2016, as Staff Chaplain. Von Bujdoss is an accomplished multi-faith leader, with extensive experience as a Hospice and Hospital Chaplain, and an emerging leader in the field of Correctional Wellness.
He is a graduate of Antioch College and has completed clinical pastoral education training from the New York Zen center for contemplative care.
Von Bujdoss is an ordained Buddhist priest, and has over 25 years of training within the United States as well as various monasteries throughout India.
Becky Scott joined the Department in 1991 as a Correction Officer at the Anna M. Kross Center. In 2003, she was promoted to the rank of Captain and assigned to the North Infirmary Command, before being transferred to the Criminal Justice Bureau’s Classification Unit where she served as the General Task Force Supervisor. Chief Scott served at the rank of Assistant Deputy Warden from 2010-2012, during which time she was assigned to posts in the North Infirmary Command, West Facility, and Otis Bantum Correction Center.
In 2012, Chief Scott was appointed to Deputy Warden and oversaw Adolescent Operations within the Robert N. Davoren Center. In 2014, she was promoted to the rank of Deputy Warden in Command, subsequently serving within the Department’s Custody Management Unit, Transportation Division, and the George Motchan Detention Center. Chief Scott was appointed to the rank of Warden in 2015. As Warden, she managed the operations of the Brooklyn Detention Complex, the Eric M. Taylor Center, and the North Infirmary Command. In July 2018, Chief Scott was promoted to Assistant Chief, Division II. In this capacity, she provided crucial support to facilities operations, administration, emergency response operations, population management, and security procedures. Becky Scott was promoted to Bureau Chief in May 2019.