Mayor Bill de Blasio announces the appointments of Ana Bermudez (far left) as Department of Probation commissioner; Joseph Ponte (second from left) as Department of Corrections commissioner; Elizabeth Glazer (second from right) as director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice; and Vincent Schiraldi (far right) as senior advisor to the mayor’s criminal justice office at City Hall on Tuesday. Also pictured (third from left) is Police Commissioner William J. Bratton. (Ed Reed for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio)
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced four key appointments that he said would help create “a cohesive, community-focused criminal justice policy for the City of New York.”
Joseph Ponte was appointed as commissioner of the Department of Correction, Ana Bermúdez as commissioner of the Department of Probation, Elizabeth Glazer as director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, and Vincent Schiraldi as senior advisor to the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.
“These leaders have the depth of experience and knowledge necessary to reduce recidivism, increase public safety and lower incarceration rates—and I’m confident that under their leadership, we will reform outdated practices and guide these city agencies into a new era,” de Blasio said in a statement.
Ponte is commissioner of the Maine Department of Corrections. He has worked as both a correctional officer and a warden and served as a commissioner or director of several corrections systems across the country. According to the mayor’s office, Ponte will be tasked with overhauling the city’s corrections system, ending the overuse of solitary confinement, curtailing the use of excessive force and improving resources for dealing with the mentally ill.
Bermúdez, a former Legal Aid staff attorney who most recently served as deputy commissioner for juvenile operations in the city Probation Department, is expected to focus on re-entry, restorative justice and recidivism. A native of Puerto Rico, Bermúdez is a former director of juvenile justice programs at the Children’s Aid Society and former director at the Center for Alernative Sentencing and Employment Services.
Glazer, previously Gov. Cuomo’s top criminal justice advisor as deputy secretary for public safety, will serve as the city’s criminal justice coordinator and the mayor’s top policy advisor on criminal justice.
According to a press release issued by the mayor’s office, Glazer will oversee criminal justice policy citywide while developing strategies “to enhance public safety, reduce unnecessary incarceration and increase fairness.” She also will act as the mayor’s liaison with the courts, district attorneys and state criminal justice agencies, developing an “affirmative and comprehensive approach that will promote the well-being of individuals, families and communities.”
Glazer is a former special counsel to the state attorney general, director at the Center for Court Innovation, chairwoman of the state Juvenile Justice Advisory Group and also held leadership positions with the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District and the New York City Department of Investigation.
Schiraldi, who has led the city Probation Department for the past four years, “will focus on the unique challenges posed by young adults in the criminal justice system” while working with the police department, the Department of Education and other entities to “improve school safety and reduce the number of students who get suspended and arrested,” according to the release. Schiraldi founded the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice and the Justice Policy Institute, a think tank, and ran Washington, D.C.’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services.