Department of Correction seeks additional resources to protect the community

Dover – Department of Correction Commissioner Robert Coupe and his senior leadership today proposed an operating budget for the next fiscal year that seeks modest increases in funding to secure staff training and equipment, invests in programs that reduce recidivism, and meets increased expenses in caring for offenders. During the Department’s annual budget presentation to the Office of Management and Budget, the Commissioner asked that funding for these new resources be included in the Governor’s recommended Fiscal Year 2016 budget. The Governor recommends a budget to the General Assembly early each calendar year and the new budget year begins annually on July 1.

“We are mindful that with limited resources available to fund the critical functions of State government we all must do more with less and must be innovative in reducing expenditures wherever possible,” Coupe said. “One way we reduce our burden on taxpayers is by employing offenders to complete tasks throughout our facilities, at an estimated savings of $16 million this past year alone. However, even as we employ belt-tightening measures, we are faced with added expenses in maintaining the necessary level of care to offenders and in meeting the training and security needs of our staff.”

The Commissioner requested an increase of 3.6% over the current Fiscal Year’s $277 million operating budget for Fiscal Year 2016 to support the Department’s most critical needs, including:
• $5.9 million to meet additional offender healthcare costs
• $321,000 to cover increased food costs for inmates
• $300,000 to purchase ammunition and accessories for the Department’s transition to .40 caliber pistols
• $107,000 to purchase ballistic vests for officers assigned to inmate Court & Transportation functions
• $241,000 to purchase Tasers for Probation and Parole Officers
• $279,000 to upgrade the security camera system at the Plummer Community Corrections Center and Central Violation of Probation Center
• $100,000 to secure career training services for offenders to support their reentry into the community and reduce recidivism
• $148,000 to fund an employee drug testing program, conduct pre-employment psychological exams for Correctional Officer candidates, and implement pre-employment physical exams and health and fitness assessments for Correctional Officer and Probation and Parole Officer candidates.
• $175,000 to cover annual maintenance costs associated with inmate Electronic Health Record
• $210,000 to secure 83 transdermal alcohol monitoring devices to support the CCP DUI Court pilot program.

“My team and I have worked hard to prioritize our most urgent funding needs that have the most direct impact on the safety and security of our staff and the community, coupled with a modest investment in programs that will reduce recidivism and, therefore, lower the long term costs of incarcerating and supervising offenders,” Commissioner Coupe said.

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Inmate Death – George Reha

The Department of Correction announced today that George Reha, age 55, an inmate at Sussex Correctional Institution, died in the SCI Infirmary on Saturday, November 8, 2014 of natural causes following a lengthy illness. Reha, of Bridgeville, DE was serving a 10-month sentence for a Violation of Probation and DUI 4th offense. His sentence effective date was February 21, 2014.

Reha’s body has been turned over to the State Division of Forensic Science, as is standard procedure.

Foul play is not suspected.

Walkaway offender back in custody

The Delaware Department of Correction announces that offender Alexis Martinez, who failed to return from an authorized work pass to Morris Community Corrections Center on October 28, 2014, is back in custody. Last evening, November 6, a Dover Police officer on patrol identified Martinez on the corner of North Governors and Division Streets in Dover. Martinez attempted to flee as the officer approached him to make an arrest on the Escape Warrant, but he was taken into custody. Martinez was charged with resisting arrest, made an initial appearance in JP Court 7, and was transported to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

Original walk-away notification follows immediately below.

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October 28, 2014
Contact: Jason Miller, Chief, Media Relations (302) 857-5232

The Delaware Department of Correction announces the following offender failed to return today from an authorized work pass issued by Morris Community Corrections Center in Dover.

Community Corrections Centers are Level 4 facilities where the Department of Correction manages offenders who are transitioning back into the community. These centers are not secured like Level 5 prisons, as offenders are permitted to the leave the facility to go to work, seek jobs or attend approved treatment sessions.

Anyone with information on this offender is asked to call (800) 542-9524 or their local police department.

Date of walk-away: October 28, 2014
Name: Alexis Martinez
Date of Birth: 12/11/80
Last known address: Dover area
Race/Gender: White male
Height: 5’7”
Weight: 165 pounds
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown
Mustache/Beard/Goatee: Neatly trimmed beard
Aliases/Nicknames: Alex Martinez, Gordon Martinez, Sha eed Martinez
Scars/Marks/Tattoos: Scar over left eyebrow, Scar on Left forearm, Scar on Right forearm
Current Offense: Martinez is serving a sentence of level 4 work release or home confinement following a conviction for Burglary 3rd Degree.

Alexis Martinez

Inmate Death – Curtis McAllister

The Delaware Department of Correction announced today that Curtis McAllister, age 57, an inmate at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center died at Kent General Hospital on Sunday, November 2, 2014 of natural causes following a lengthy illness. McAllister, of Edgemoor, DE, was serving a life sentence for drug trafficking and other offenses. His sentence effective date was April 28, 2000.

McAllister’s body has been turned over to the State Division of Forensic Science, as is standard procedure.

Foul play is not suspected.

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Delaware Probation Officers keeping sex offenders off the streets this Halloween

Dover – Registered sex offenders on probation in Delaware are being kept off the streets this Halloween in the interest of public safety as a condition of their supervision by the Department of Correction, Commissioner Robert M. Coupe announced today.

Each year on Halloween night, the Department of Correction imposes special conditions on all high risk sex offenders and sex offenders with child victims who are under the supervision of Probation and Parole, requiring them to remain inside their home with outside lights turned off beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.

“Probation and Parole Officers will be out on the streets on Halloween night to help ensure that sex offenders on probation keep a safe distance from children and to provide an extra measure of protection to parents and kids who are out trick-or-treating,” Commissioner Coupe said.

In addition to requiring these designated offenders to remain inside their home, they are also prohibited from distributing candy, participating in Halloween-related activities, or displaying Halloween decorations. Designated homeless sex offenders under the supervision of Probation and Parole are required to report to the Probation and Parole Office in their county at 5:30 p.m., where they will remain until 9:00 p.m.

Teams of Probation and Parole officers will be out on the streets in each county tomorrow night conducting residence checks at the homes of designated sex offenders to ensure that they comply with these special Halloween conditions. Last year, teams of probation officers made more than 430 residence visits on Halloween night, and those checks resulted in 6 offenders being taken into custody for violating the terms of their probation.

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