Earlier today, Westchester County Department of Correction (WCDOC) was official notified by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York that they, in consultation with the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division reviewed and concur with the federal independent oversight monitor’s recommendation under the authority of the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, the United States has accepted the independent oversight monitor’s recommendation, terminating the agreement for a federal independent monitor oversight.    

County Executive George Latimer said: “We are pleased with the news that Acting United States Attorney Audrey Strauss has announced that the Westchester County Jail is in full compliance with all provisions of a 2016 Agreement which resulted in an independent monitor being appointed to oversee operations at the County Jail. With the County now in full compliance, the United States has agreed to terminate the agreement.”

“I commend the work of Commissioner Joseph Spano, First Deputy Commissioner Louis Molina and Deputy Commissioner Leandro Diaz to enact sweeping reforms which not only come into compliance with this agreement (which predates our Administration) but have made our County Jail a model for jails nationwide.

“From innovative programs providing education and life-skills support to actually housing lawyers in the facility for inmates, I am immensely proud of the work being done in our jail. No one is forgotten in our County, and this work is just more proof.”

Spano said: “When First deputy Commissioner Louis Molina and I took our leadership roles with WCDOC in March of 2018, one of our commitments was to fully satisfy all remaining provisions of oversight agreement in a safe and efficient manner. Working with a team of dedicated professionals we developed a number of metrics and identified attributes that would allow the Department to implement sustainable reforms that decrease use of force, enhance physical and mental health, reduce recidivism and enhance returning citizen’s reintegration to their respective communities. I want to thank and congratulate all levels of the WCDOC workforce for the amazing work they did to support this important process. I also want to thank the lead monitor, David Bogard, his associates and Assistant U.S Attorney Ellen Blain for the unwavering support and guidance they provided over the course of the agreement period. As evidenced by the Department of Justice press release, our collective body of work during this period exceeded the agreement terms and greatly benefited the population we serve and many aspects of WCDOC operations-something we are all very proud of.”

County Attorney John Nonna said: “I applaud the Department of Correction leadership and staff for achieving this significant milestone in collaboration with the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The Law Department works closely with the Department of Correction and come to appreciate its professionalism and efforts to be a model correctional institution. This is just one of a number of commendations the Department has received for these efforts.”

Since 2018, the WCDOC has implemented a number of operational enhancements and program initiatives that have advanced a number of criminal justice reform objectives that have created an operational ecosystem built on rehabilitation. This holistic and absence of judgment approach allows the Department’s workforce to address the individual drivers that makes a person justice involved, which have completely reimagined Corrections. 

Read The full press release from the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.