Governor Carney Signs Executive Order on Law Enforcement Policy  

Order bans chokeholds at state law enforcement agencies, requires additional de-escalation training, and additional transparency around use-of-force policies

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Thursday signed Executive Order #41, which bans the use of chokeholds by State of Delaware law enforcement agencies, including Delaware State Police and Capitol Police; increases community engagement; requires additional de-escalation and implicit bias training; and increases the availability of crisis intervention services for law enforcement officers.

Governor John Carney on Thursday signed Executive Order #41, which bans the use of chokeholds by State of Delaware law enforcement agencies, including Delaware State Police and Capitol Police; increases community engagement; requires additional de-escalation and implicit bias training; and increases the availability of crisis intervention services for law enforcement officers.

Governor Carney’s order also will formally prohibit executive branch law enforcement agencies from sharing mugshots of minors, except when public safety is at risk; require transparency around use-of-force protocols; and mandate participation in the national use-of-force database.

Agencies subject to this order include Delaware State Police, Capitol Police, Department of Correction, Natural Resources Police, and Delaware Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement.

Click here to read Governor Carney’s Executive Order #41.

“Talk is cheap. It’s on us to make progress,” said Governor Carney. “As I said last week, these are first steps that we can take administratively to improve the relationship between law enforcement agencies and communities of color in Delaware. I know that the General Assembly will build on these steps, and I thank legislators for their partnership. Thank you to Colonel McQueen and the law enforcement officers of the Delaware State Police for their leadership on this important issue. I know law enforcement in Delaware. The vast majority of officers here and across our country serve for the right reasons – to protect and strengthen their communities. They want meaningful change. Let’s keep working together to move forward.”

Governor Carney’s Executive Order #41 will make the following changes:

  1. Use of Chokeholds: No law enforcement officer in the Executive Branch shall knowingly or intentionally use a chokehold, kneehold or other similar acts of applying force or pressure against the trachea, windpipe, carotid artery, side of the neck, or jugular vein of another person unless that officer reasonably believes that the use of such force is necessary to protect the life of a civilian or a law enforcement officer and other applicable control methods have been exhausted.
  2. Availability of policies and protocols: Any use of force policies and protocols for law enforcement officers shall be posted on the agency’s website, subject to redactions necessary for the limited purpose of avoiding disclosure of tactical information that may jeopardize officer or public safety. 
  3. Publication of Photos: A photo or mugshot of a child 17 years of age or younger arrested or suspected of committing a crime shall not be released or published by law enforcement on a publicly maintained social media page or website unless that child is charged with a violent felony, as that term is defined in Title 11 of the Delaware Code, and release of the photo or mugshot is necessary to protect the public’s safety. Law enforcement may release the photo of a child 17 years of age or younger if required to do so by applicable state law.
  4. Community Engagement: At the direction of the Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security for the State of Delaware (DSHS), DSP shall increase its community outreach unit by designating and training troopers as community outreach liaisons so that each Troop throughout the state will have a community outreach officer assigned to it. The community outreach troopers shall receive training on building relationships with residents and community-based organizations and meet with residents and organizations regularly to discuss how to better serve their communities and make it easier for those residents and organizations to communicate with law enforcement.
  5. Participation and Utilization of National Databases: DSHS law enforcement officers shall continue to participate in the National Use of Force Data Collection effort in order to assist law enforcement and the community to identify and understand the totality of, and trends associated with, use-of-force incidents. In addition, DSHS law enforcement officers, working with the Council on Police Training, shall participate in the Police Officer Decertification Database to aid law enforcement agencies in making informed hiring decisions to prevent officers who have been terminated for cause from being hired in Delaware.
  6. Training Requirements: The following trainings shall be conducted for law enforcement officers on at least an annual basis:
    1. Implicit bias training, including scenario based training and other methods of evidence-based experiential training, engaging community members with special expertise, to address implicit bias and its role in the criminal justice system; and
    2. De-escalation training, including a use-of-force continuum or matrix, to demonstrate the use of less or more force in an arrest situation, and reinforce exhausting all other reasonable alternatives before resorting to deadly force.
  7. Increase crisis intervention services: In collaboration with the Behavioral Health Consortium of Delaware, all law enforcement officers shall have access to crisis intervention training and services to improve appropriate response to individuals suffering from a behavioral health crisis.

 

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Governor Carney Creates Pandemic Resurgence Advisory Committee

Working group will plan for potential resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Monday signed Executive Order #39, creating a Pandemic Resurgence Advisory Committee (PRAC) to plan for a potentially dangerous resurgence of COVID-19 in fall 2020.

Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long and Secretary of State Jeff Bullock will co-chair the PRAC, along with the co-chairs of three subcommittees:

  • Chair: Dr. Nancy Fan, Chair of the Delaware Health Care Commission
  • Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director of the Delaware Division of Public Health
  • AJ Schall, Director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency
  • State Senator Bryan Townsend
  • State Representative Dave Bentz
  • State Senator Ernie Lopez
  • Representative Steve Smyk
  • Mickey Carroll, Nursing House Administrator of the New Castle Health & Rehabilitation Center 
  • Vickie Fox, VP – Director of Operations of Genesis Health Care 
  • Dr. David Tam, President and Chief Executive Officer of Beebe Healthcare
  • Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, President and Chief Executive Officer of ChristianaCare Health System
  • Dr. Joseph Straight, President of the Medical Society of Delaware

  • Chair: Eugene Young, President, Metropolitan Urban League of Wilmington
  • Commissioner Claire DeMatteis, Delaware Department of Correction
  • Director Anas Ben Addi, Delaware State Housing Authority
  • Chief Information Officer James Collins, Delaware Department of Technology and Information
  • State Senator Elizabeth Lockman
  • State Representative Sherry Dorsey-Walker
  • Senator Gerald Hocker
  • State Representative Lyndon Yearick
  • Rev. Rita Paige, Pastor of New Beginnings Community AME Church
  • Freeman Williams, NAACP State Conference Executive Member and former Superintendent of the Christina School District
  • Lolita Lopez, President and Chief Executive Officer of Westside Family Healthcare
  • Van Hampton, President and Chief Executive Officer of True Access capital
  • Maria Matos, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Latin American Community Center
  • LeRoi S. Hicks, MD, MPH, FACP, Wilmington Hospital Hugh R. Sharp Jr. Chair, Department of Medicine Physician Leader, Value Institute Professor of Medicine, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University
  • Rosa Rivera, Chief Operations Officer of La Red Health Center
  • Jane Hovington, NAACP State Conference Executive Member and President of the Richard Allen Coalition 
  • Dr. Josh Thomas, Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director of NAMI Delaware

  • Chair: Katie Wilkinson, Chair of the Board of Directors, Delaware State Chamber of Commerce
  • Secretary Jen Cohan, Delaware Department of Transportation 
  • State Senator Nicole Poore
  • State Representative Bill Bush
  • State Senator Dave Wilson
  • State Representative Jeff Spiegelman
  • Kurt Foreman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership
  • Nelson Hill, Vice President of UFCW Local 27
  • Todd Lawson, Sussex County Administrator
  • Steve Chambliss, General Manager of the Christiana Mall
  • Taryn Delmasso, Head of Operations at Edgewell Personal Care
  • Chris Schell, Chief Executive Officer of Schell Brothers Homebuilding
  • Judy Diogo, President of Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce
  • Carrie Leishman, President & CEO of the Delaware Restaurant Association
  • Dick Willey, President of Perdue Agribusiness LCC

Click here to read Executive Order #39.

“This pandemic is not over,” said Governor Carney. “The COVID-19 virus is still active in Delaware, and there’s a real risk of a dangerous second wave this fall. Our most vulnerable populations – especially our elderly neighbors and those with underlying health conditions – remain most at risk. I want to thank everyone who agreed to serve on this committee. This distinguished group will help us look forward, and develop a comprehensive plan for managing a second wave of this disease.

“In the meantime, Delawareans need to remain vigilant. Visit your favorite restaurant, but maintain social distance in all public settings. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Wear face coverings, and please stay home if you feel sick. Now is not the time to let up.”

Under Governor Carney’s executive order on Monday, the PRAC will:

  • Develop a healthcare system and public health strategy that’s ready in case of a resurgence of COVID-19;
  • Identify tactics and resources to manage a resurgence of COVID-19 including, but not limited to testing capabilities, personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing, economic recovery and health facility readiness; and
  • Assess methods to protect vulnerable populations and consider disproportionate effects on minority-owned businesses in the event of a resurgence of COVID-19.

“We must be prepared as we move into the fall with a plan that assumes there will be no vaccine or treatment in the event COVID-19 resurges,” said Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “These last few months have shown us what has worked, and what has not. We must build on those lessons to improve and protect the health of all Delawareans, in a way that is equitable and fair for all communities, and all sectors of our economy.”

“This is an inclusive and transparent effort to prepare for the worst while continuing to hope for the best,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “We’ve learned a lot in the last few months about what works in responding to a pandemic, and some things that don’t work as well. This committee will build on that experience to improve the ways we’ll respond if we see a resurgence.”

The PRAC will produce and submit two written reports of its findings and recommendations to the Governor – the first by July 31, and the second by September 30. Delaware’s Office of Management and Budget, the Delaware Department of Justice, and the Office of the Governor will provide administrative and leadership support for the PRAC and each of its subcommittees.

The PRAC virtual meetings will be scheduled in the coming weeks, and meeting information will be posted on Delaware’s public meeting calendar.

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, should call Delaware 2-1-1, or email info@delaware211.org. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Medical-related questions related to testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

The Delaware Division of Public Health will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.

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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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Governor Carney Sends Letter to Trump Administration Accepting Resettlement of Refugees

President Trump’s Executive Order 13888 requires local agreement to resettle refugees in American communities

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney has sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, agreeing to continue accepting the resettlement of refugees in Delaware. President Trump’s Executive Order 13888 requires local communities to opt-in to continue accepting the resettlement of refugees. The following is an excerpt from Governor Carney’s letter:

“Our country has historically been a refuge of safe harbor for those fleeing war-torn countries, violence, and political persecution. We should continue to stand as a beacon of hope and freedom for people around the world. In that spirit, as Delawareans, we are proud to do our part, and continue to accept the resettlement of refugees.”

Read Governor Carney’s full letter.

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Governor Carney Signs Executive Order to Create Opportunity Funding Oversight Committee

Committee will evaluate progress of the initiative, report annually to the Governor and General Assembly

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney has signed Executive Order 33, which establishes the Oversight Committee on Opportunity Funding to ensure that the initiative is achieving its goals to support low-income students, and English learners, and close achievement gaps in Delaware schools.

Governor Carney and the General Assembly created the Opportunity Funding program in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget. The program will provide $75 million over the next three years in targeted resources to support low-income students and English learners. Opportunity Funding also will support additional mental health and reading supports in Delaware’s highest-needs schools.

Full text of Executive Order 33 is available here.

“Delaware’s new Opportunity Funding program will provide additional resources in the classroom for students who need our help the most – children living in poverty, and children from families where the primary language is not English,” said Governor Carney. “We are optimistic that we can close the achievement gaps that persist in our schools, and help more children read on grade level by third grade, do math proficiently by middle school, and ultimately graduate high school ready for college or a career. This oversight committee will help us make sure that this new funding is really working for Delaware students.”

The oversight committee will evaluate the effectiveness of the Opportunity Funding program, publish best practices, make recommendations on the future of the program, and ensure the public is aware of the steps that school districts and charter schools are taking to close achievement gaps. The committee will report annually to the Governor and members of the General Assembly on the progress made by districts and charter schools in serving low-income students and English learners. It also will work with the Department of Education on an annual summit to spotlight best practices.

“It’s my pleasure to work with the Governor’s Office, the Department of Education, and colleagues across the state of Delaware as we maximize Opportunity Funding,” said Dorrell Green, Superintendent of the Red Clay School District. “The committee’s focus on best practices will promote shared knowledge, collaboration, and help us evaluate the effectiveness of these important funds. We owe this to our students, families, and educators as we work on continuous improvement in Delaware schools.”

“English Learners are the fastest growing student population in Delaware,” said Javier Torrijos, Chair of the Delaware Hispanic Commission. “Opportunity Funding will provide many resources needed as school districts look to meet the demands of this specific student population. The Delaware Hispanic Commission has been advocating for funding and we are extremely grateful to Governor Carney, Secretary Bunting, and members of the General Assembly for identifying and prioritizing these much-needed resources. This is a step in the right direction to allow low-income students and English learners to get a quality education and close the achievement gap that currently exists. Investing in our children’s education will prepare them to be successful in college, career, and life.”

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