Marking Delaware’s Progress Improving Reentry Services

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Monday joined state leaders at Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington to review progress on improving reentry services for offenders and to announce more than $1 million in grants to support Delaware’s reentry initiatives. These reentry investments – a key component of Governor Carney’s efforts to reduce Delaware’s recidivism rate – are driven by Executive Order 27, which aims to reduce recidivism through more effective coordination of housing, healthcare and counseling services, expanding access to education and vocational training, and meaningful data sharing among agencies to help offenders. The Governor’s Executive Order created the Delaware Correctional Reentry Commission to partner with the Department of Correction and bring together other agencies to drive reentry reforms that support justice-involved men and women with the tools they need to succeed.

“Thanks to the hard work of the Delaware Correctional Reentry Commission, the Department of Correction, and agencies across state government who have come together over the past year to improve how we help offenders reenter society and become productive members of our communities,” said Governor Carney. “I am encouraged by our efforts to provide treatment and training to offenders while they are incarcerated, as well as provide crucial support during those initial days and months after their release from prison to increase the chances of long-term success in our communities. That’s good for them and their families, and it’s good for public safety across our state.”

Delaware Department of Correction Commissioner Claire DeMatteis said, “Delaware’s reentry effort has focused over the past year on better identifying offenders’ treatment and training needs within the first 45 days of incarceration and working to meet those needs while they are incarcerated. Upon release, we are taking more active steps to put offenders in contact with existing social services, housing, healthcare and counseling services as they return to the community.”

Delaware Secretary of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kara Odom Walker said, “Experience demonstrates that a community support system that provides access to basics like stable housing, healthcare, continued treatment for opioid addiction, food, career counseling and job search assistance improves their chances to stay on the right track and out of the criminal justice system.”

“This is not the development of some new program. Today we are fundamentally changing the incarceration system in Delaware by making a prisoner’s preparation to thrive in their community and the economy a true priority. To use a sports analogy, we are focused on establishing a ‘sound handoff’ through better collaboration between government agencies, community groups, and employers. Ensuring that social services, education, employment, and housing barriers are addressed improves outcomes, creating a better quality of life for the men and women who are re-entering society and safer communities for every Delawarean,” said Delaware Department of Labor Secretary Cerron Cade.

Last year the Delaware Department of Education’s Prison Education Program provided instruction to 1,030 students in academics, 484 in life skills classes and 1,426 in vocational trainings.

“Prison education is an essential component for the successful reintegration of those exiting prison into their communities. Recent research found that correctional education results in lower risks of recidivism and higher rates of employment,” said Director of Adult and Prison Education Maureen Whelan, noting educational services were expanded to areas previously inaccessible through DOC/DOE collaboration. “The Delaware Correctional Reentry Commission will support further interagency collaboration enabling those leaving prison to become valued employees and positive role models for their children and those in their communities.  Prison education joins in the DCRC project so that ex-offenders have a second chance to create a new lasting impression of their worth that will affect themselves, their families, and their communities for generations to come.”

Officials from the Departments of Correction, Education, Health and Social Services, Labor, Delaware State Housing Authority, and the Criminal Justice Council have worked to implement half of 19 assignments outlined in Executive Order 27 while making substantial progress on the remaining objectives. Completed objectives include:

  • The Department of Correction has restructured an office whose responsibility is the coordination of reentry services; this office is tasked with implementing evidence-based correctional programs in Delaware’s Level V and IV facilities;
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is now available in every prison and work release facility statewide. Today nearly 4% of offenders in these facilities are receiving MAT;
  • The Department of Correction and Department of Education have partnered to administer an educational assessment and vocational skills assessment within the first 45 days of an offender’s sentence;
  • The Department of Correction has established Transition Accountability Plans (TAPs) for every offender with a prison sentence of one year or longer; TAPs will guide efforts to help offenders obtain a GED, high school diploma and continuing education and vocational skills training while incarcerated;
  • Planning for offenders’ release from incarceration now begins within their first two months of incarceration, rather than the last two months;
  • Access to community supports, including existing state social services and referrals to career counseling, have been improved through collaboration with the Department of Health and Social Services, Department of Labor and others;
  • A new graduated sanctions process for probation and parole violations has been implemented to hold offenders accountable for their actions while continuing to support reentry goals;
  • Improvements have been made in behavioral health referrals to agencies with available treatment capacity;
  • The Departments of Correction, Labor, and Education have signed a memorandum of understanding that sets in place a mechanism to share data across their agencies. 
  • A listing of available housings options is near completion and the Department of Correction and state and local public housing agencies are finalizing a plan to reduce housing barriers for returning citizens;
  • A directory of case management services available across the state has been drafted, and;
  • A “success rate analysis” model has been developed to measure the short- and long-term impacts of reentry programs on recidivism.

This progress is highlighted in the Delaware Correctional Reentry Commission’s 2019 Annual Report, which was presented to Governor Carney this past week. Read the 2019 DCRC Annual Report here, along with its appendix.

Additionally, the state is aggressively pursuing federal and private grant funding to support its reentry goals.  Two new grant funding allocations were announced today:

  • A $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice through the Delaware Criminal Justice Council will be used to fund new programming to support reentry in prisons and work release/violation of probation centers, establish a Community Resource Center for Sussex County offenders who are targeted to receive intensive reentry services, including case management and programming, and to fund data analysis conducted by the University of Delaware.
  • Delaware, through the Department of Correction, is one of five states to receive a $100,000 grant from the Prison Research Innovation Network to fund the hiring of a Prison Innovation Manager at Howard Young prison to strengthen programming for detentioners and inmates.

 

During the Governor’s visit to Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington, he observed the first day of instruction for a C-tech certification program that is providing telecommunication technologies, cabling, and fiber-optic systems training for 10 inmates. He also toured the DHSS mobile bridge van, which provides reentry services and referrals for former inmates. The van operates during the week in the parking lot of the prison and at the Probation Office on Cherry Lane near Wilmington. The van is funded through the Divisions of Social Services and Substance Abuse and Mental Health as a way to reach out to inmates immediately upon their release from incarceration.

Over the next year, the Delaware Correctional Reentry Commission, Department of Correction, and state agency partners will continue their reentry work to meet the following goals:

  • Implement Transition Accountability Plans for offenders in Level V facilities sentenced to one year or more;
  • Implement the data-sharing Memorandum of Understanding that was reached between the Departments of Correction, Education and Labor; 
  • Transition Delaware’s work release and violation of probation facilities into reentry centers to better prepare inmates for their return to the community during their final months of incarceration, and;
  • Continue to expand services, treatment, and education programs, both within state agencies and in partnership with community organizations.

 

 

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

WILMINGTON, DE —During Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Sexual Assault Network of Delaware (SAND) and its member agencies will bring the theme of “I Ask” to life by holding several awareness events through the state.   “I Ask” builds on the idea that consent is a healthy, normal, and necessary part of everyday interactions.

The month will include a Proclamation Signing Ceremony with Governor John Carney marking the month of April 2019 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  The signing will occur on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 at 9:30am at the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington, DE.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) presents the Visionary Voice Award in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month each April, to recognize the creativity and hard work of individuals around the country who have demonstrated outstanding work to end sexual violence.

This year, NSVRC selected the SAND nomination of Angela Seguin, Assistant Director for Victim Advocacy at the University of Delaware.  Through her advocacy, Angela has helped students and faculty by providing individual advocacy and crisis counseling, helping victims and survivors through the university’s Title IX process, as well as civil and criminal courts and more. She also is the coordinator of a volunteer group on campus called Sexual Offense Support (SOS). Through SOS, Angela coordinates and trains student volunteer while managing a 24/7/365 rape crisis helpline on the University’s campus. Her colleagues in the field applaud her efforts to end sexual violence and her work for the rights of students on the University of Delaware’s campus.

For information about all of the 2019 Visionary Voice Award Recipients, please visit https://www.nsvrc.org/saam/visionary-voice-awards

ABOUT SAND

SAND is the sexual assault victim advocacy coalition for state of Delaware. SAND represents a group of interdisciplinary and diverse professionals including law enforcement, healthcare professionals, community leaders, victim service providers, victim advocates, and survivors.

 

 


Honoring Crime Victims During Delaware Crime Victims’ Rights Week

 

Dover, Del.- Join the Delaware Victims’ Rights Task Force and its participating agencies as we observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW).  NCVRW promotes victims’ rights and honors crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf.   This year’s theme is “Honoring Our Past, Creating Hope for the Future.”  This year’s theme encourages commemoration, honor, and respect toward the crime victim advocates, allied professionals, and selfless volunteers who have courageously worked for increased rights for crime victims. The theme also invites us to look toward a future of inclusive, accessible, and innovative resources and services for survivors.

Through a grant made available by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), the Delaware Department of Justice, with support of the Delaware Victims’ Rights Task Force, will hold the Annual Crime Victims’ Tribute on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at Dover High School in Dover.  The keynote speaker will be Emily Hill and music will be provided by The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware.  Ms. Hill will be speaking of her past abusive relationship with her ex-boyfriend and father of her child.  He is currently serving prison time following an assault against her in 2016.  Ms. Hill uses her personal experience to talk about Intimate Partner Violence and to advocate for awareness on the topic, as well as highlighting local resources available to victims.  Doors open at 5:30pm for resource tables and light refreshments, with the tribute beginning at 6:30pm.

A Proclamation Signing Ceremony, marking the week of April 7th-13th, 2019 as Delaware Crime Victims’ Rights Week, will occur on Thursday, April 11, 2019 at Governor Carney’s office at Legislative Hall in Dover.   Governor John Carney will sign the Proclamation as part of a week honoring victims of crime.  During the proclamation signing, awards will be given to outstanding professionals and volunteers for their work with crime victims.  Mayra Reyes, Georgetown Police Victim Services Specialist, and Lindsey McAleer, a volunteer advocate for University of Delaware Sexual Offense Support, will be recognized for their work.  Capitol Police Department’s Domestic Violence Intervention Program will also be recognized.

Concluding Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the Victims’ Rights Task Force is sponsoring a painting workshop for survivors with Eunice LaFate at the LaFate gallery in Wilmington on Saturday, April 13th.  For more information or to register, please contact the task force via the email address below.

 

For more information about these events please call 1-800-victim-1, email DelVRTF@gmail.com.  You may also visit: www.facebook.com/delVRTF and https://sites.google.com/site/delawarevrtf/


Capitol Police Lieutenant Michael Hertzfeld Assumes Command of Delaware Capitol Police

State of Delaware
Department of Safety and Homeland Security
P.O. Box 818
Dover, Delaware 19903-0818
NEWS RELEASE
 
Date: December 31, 2018                                                                                                                                             Contact :  Kimberly Chandler – (302) 632-7060
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     kimberly.chandler@delaware.gov
 
 
Capitol Police Lieutenant Michael Hertzfeld Assumes
Command of Delaware Capitol Police
 
Today Robert M. Coupe, Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, announced Lieutenant Michael F. Hertzfeld, 47, as Chief of the Delaware Capitol Police. 
 
The Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS) and the Delaware Capitol Police (DCP) held a ceremony to mark the start of Chief Hertzfeld’s role as Chief of Police.  Hertzfeld, with 22 years of police experience, was selected to lead the Capitol Police following the retirement of Chief John Horsman.  Chief Horsman retires with 14 years of service with the DCP and 37 years of total police experience including serving as President of FBI-LEEDA.
 
“Chief Hertzfeld is a qualified, experienced and proven leader with expansive knowledge of the Delaware Capitol Police and its operations” Secretary Coupe said. “I am confident in his ability to lead the women and men of the Capitol Police and to serve the citizens of our State.” 
 
The ceremony which featured the Honorable Mark D. Buckworth, Family Court Judge, administering the oath of office was attended by many members of the Delaware Capitol Police, Department of Safety and Homeland Security and the Delaware law enforcement community.
 
“I thank Chief Horsman for his leadership and dedication to the Delaware Capitol Police.” Chief Hertzfeld said.  “I firmly believe a leader is only as good as the people surrounding him, and we have an outstanding group of individuals in the Division.  I look forward to the opportunity to serve in this new leadership role and I am confident that working together with the men and women of the Capitol Police we can continue to move the Division forward as we serve the State of Delaware.”
 
Chief Hertzfeld began his police career in 1996 and joined the DCP ranks in 2009 as a Sergeant and first line supervisor.  During his law enforcement careerhe has served as a Patrol Officer, Detective, Quick Response Team (Q.R.T.) Operator, Public Information Officer, Training Coordinator, Internal Affairs Supervisor, Special Investigations Supervisor and Legislative Affairsliaison.  He has served in several leadership roles during his career including most recently as the DCP Northern Operations Commander where he implemented and oversaw a multitude of management innovations improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the Northern Operation. This included adopting an intelligence and accountability-driven predictive policing model.
 
Chief Hertzfeld received the State of Delaware House of Representatives Exceptional Duty Award and was previously selected as the New Castle City Police Officer of the Year.  He is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and a graduate of the 264th session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy.  He received command level training from FBI-LEEDA, the Penn State Justice and Safety Institute, the Northeast Counter Drug Leadership and Mastering Performance Management Program, and the U.S. Marshal Court Security Program. 
 
Chief Hertzfeld earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Resource Management and a Master of Science Degree in Homeland Security with a concentration in Organizational Leadership from Wilmington University.
 
Chief Hertzfeld is a Delaware native and resides in Middletown with his wife, Stacy. He is the proud father of two children, Nicolas and Peyton.
  
-End-
 


Governor Carney Signs Executive Order to Improve Reentry Procedures, Reduce Recidivism

Executive Order creates commission focused on reentry reform, and new office at DOC to oversee implementation

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Tuesday signed Executive Order #27, which focuses on improving reentry procedures for incarcerated individuals in Delaware. The Executive Order creates a commission focused on reentry reform, policies, and procedures, with a goal of helping former inmates more successfully reenter their communities. The Order will more effectively coordinate service delivery, strengthen data sharing among agencies, create a comprehensive reentry protocol, improve the availability of academic and vocational programming prior to an inmate’s release, and strive to reduce recidivism in Delaware.

“It’s our responsibility to look out for every Delawarean. We need to make sure offenders who serve out their sentences are able to reenter society ready to positively contribute to their communities, and have the support they need to succeed,” said Governor Carney. “This Executive Order will improve our existing reentry procedures, and in turn, reduce recidivism. That will help strengthen communities across our state.”

Executive Order #27 is the result of Delaware’s participation in the National Criminal Justice Reform Project, an initiative led by the National Governors Association and the National Criminal Justice Association Center for Justice Planning to assist states in implementing evidence-based criminal justice reforms.

“This Executive Order enhances the ability for the Department of Correction to meet its goals of ensuring public safety and providing opportunities for rehabilitation to justice-involved individuals preparing to return to the community,” said Perry Phelps, Commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction. “I look forward to working with Governor Carney and our sister agencies to reduce barriers and collateral consequences for the men and women exiting the correctional system.”

Approximately 23,000 incarcerated adults are released from the State of Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) facilities annually. Seventy-six percent of those who are released from DOC facilities are rearrested within three years. Sixty-eight percent of those released had a reconviction and sixty-five percent had a recommitment. Delaware’s percentage of probationers is approximately forty-six percent higher than the national average, and its percentage of incarcerated adults is approximately twelve percent higher than the national average. Reentry reforms in Executive Order #27 are intended to directly confront Delaware’s high rate of recidivism.

“The Delaware Criminal Justice Council is excited to work with Governor Carney and the newly-established commission to build on the continuing work of improving reentry services to all justice involved individuals,” said Christian Kervick, Executive Director of the Delaware Criminal Justice Council. “This Executive Order includes best practices and reforms to improve our Criminal Justice System and increase public safety throughout the State.”

The Delaware Correctional Reentry Commission will consist of members of the Governor’s Cabinet, the Chief Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, the Attorney General and others who work closely on this issue, including the Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Council. This Commission will oversee implementation and further develop the State’s comprehensive strategic reentry initiatives, ensuring that federal, state, and local resources are used most efficiently to reduce duplicative reentry services and align with the application of evidence-based approaches.

“Ninety-eight percent of the people who enter Delaware prisons will return to the community. They are our neighbors. We live, shop, and work in the same community,” said Adam Balick, Chair of the newly-created Delaware Correctional Reentry Commission. “It is in all of our interests to give them the tools they need to succeed when they return to our community. We know the factors that lead to recidivism. Homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, among other things. We can lower recidivism rates in Delaware by helping these men and women reintegrate successfully.”

This Executive Order also restructures the DOC Office of Research and Planning to the Office of Planning, Research and Reentry. This office will oversee the implementation and maintenance of the Commission’s initiatives from prison to community corrections centers to probation and parole to the community.

“The National Criminal Justice Association is extremely pleased to have worked with Governor Carney and his leadership team to advance prisoner reentry reform efforts in the State of Delaware,” said Chris Asplen, Executive Director of the National Criminal Justice Association. “This Executive Order represents over a year and a half of work by many committed, hard-working leaders from a myriad of disciplines and agencies who make up the steering committee and many working groups and community groups who are dedicated to increasing public safety by improving the state’s prisoner reentry process. This EO includes the many priorities identified in Delaware’s Prisoner Reentry Strategic Plan. We are grateful to our partners at the National Governor’s Association, our consultants and to the John and Laura Arnold Foundation for the support that made this work possible.”

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