Prison for Man Who Murdered His Grandmother

Department of Justice hosts forum on re-entry after incarceration

A 31-year-old Georgetown man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to murdering his grandmother. Deputy Attorneys General Michael Tipton and Amanda Nyman secured the plea and sentence for George Bailey, III. In October 2018, Bailey choked 69-year-old Lorraine Bradley to death after she fell while she and Bailey were leaving her Long Neck home. Bailey then stole her car. Bradley’s body, along with two dead dogs, was found more than a week later after friends reported they hadn’t heard from her. Bailey pleaded guilty to Murder Second Degree and was immediately sentenced by a Superior Court judge to 30 years in prison, followed by 6 months of home confinement then 10 years of probation.

More than 75 guests gathered at Wilmington’s Christina Cultural Arts Center last Thursday to learn about navigating re-entry for loved ones returning from incarceration. DOJ’s Community Engagement Unit organized “What’s Next?,” a community panel and resource fair tailored for family and friends of incarcerated individuals transitioning back into the community. The panel discussion included representatives of the Department of Health and Social Services, the Bureau of Community Corrections, mental health provider YOUr Center, a re-entrant, and a family member of a resettled citizen. Deputy Attorney General Allison Abessinio and Community Engagement Specialist Corie Priest organized the event. The Community Engagement Unit, formed earlier this year from the former Crime Strategies Unit, exists to encourage collaboration with Delaware communities to build trust with the Department of Justice and law enforcement, and to prevent and reduce crime. The CEU works with residents to collect neighborhood-specific data and information in order to tailor specific responses to ongoing crime and blight issues.


Delaware to Participate in National Criminal Justice Reform Project

Efforts will focus on reducing recidivism, improving substance abuse & mental health treatment for offenders

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney announced on Monday that Delaware has been selected to participate 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.

Governor Carney’s office, the Delaware Criminal Justice Council, and a newly-created Criminal Justice Reform Committee will lead Delaware’s work with the national project.

Reform efforts will focus on two specific areas:

  • Improving the reentry process for offenders in Delaware’s correctional system, and reducing recidivism;
  • And improving access to mental health and substance abuse treatment for offenders in Delaware’s criminal justice system.

“We all have a stake in making sure that, once offenders serve out their sentences in Delaware’s correctional system, they are able to successfully reenter their communities and positively contribute,” said Governor Carney. “This work will not only help offenders successfully transition back into society, but will improve public safety, more effectively coordinate treatment services, and reduce costs for Delaware taxpayers.”

Earlier this month, Delaware and Vermont joined Illinois, Arizona and Oregon as states participating in the National Criminal Justice Reform Project. The project assists participating states in using data to plan and implement evidence-based criminal justice reforms.

Delaware continues to experience high rates of incarceration and recidivism, which come at a high cost for Delaware taxpayers. The average cost of incarcerating one prisoner each year is $35,000 – or 20 times the cost of probation.

Additionally, 24 percent of Delaware’s offender population was receiving some form of mental health treatment in 2015, and 80 percent of the offender population experienced issues with substance abuse.

Challenges with substance abuse and mental health can prevent offenders from successfully reentering their communities. The Delaware Criminal Justice Reform Committee will focus on more effectively coordinating treatment services.

“The Delaware Criminal Justice Council is excited to work with Governor Carney and the Criminal Justice Reform Committee to build on the continuing work of improving reentry services to all offenders and providing treatment to those in our system with mental health challenges,” said Christian Kervick, Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Council. “This is a great opportunity to work with experts and implement national best practices to improve our Criminal Justice System.”

The Delaware Criminal Justice Reform Committee will begin meeting next month. The committee will use technical assistance from the National Criminal Justice Reform Project to improve collaboration between various state agencies working on reentry issues and community groups, and to improve data collection. Its members also will focus on strengthening and streamlining strategic planning processes around criminal justice reform.

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The Criminal Justice Reform Committee will include representatives from:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Delaware Department of Justice
  • Delaware Courts
  • Office of Defense Services
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Health and Social Services
  • Department of Services for Children, Youth & Families
  • Department of Safety and Homeland Security
  • Department of Correction
  • Department of Education
  • Research Partners from the University of Delaware
  • Statistical Analysis Center
  • Community Members
  • Local Govt. Representatives
  • Delaware Center for Justice


AG Denn, Community Leaders, Issue Renewed Call For Use Of Bank Settlement Funds To Address Issues In Delaware’s Hardest Hit Neighborhoods

Proposal for Joint Finance Committee to consider when it meets in January. 

Attorney General Matt Denn outlines a revised proposal using the remaining $29-million from financial settlements with Bank of America and Citigroup, designed to address housing, crime, recidivism, substance abuse and education in some of Delaware’s most economically distressed and crime-stricken communities.
Attorney General Matt Denn outlines a revised proposal using the remaining $29-million from financial settlements with Bank of America and Citigroup, designed to address housing, crime, recidivism, substance abuse and education in some of Delaware’s most economically distressed and crime-stricken communities.

Backed by community leaders and advocates for economically hard hit communities, Attorney General Matt Denn has renewed and revised his proposal to utilize funds from financial crisis settlement to be used for crime prevention, housing, substance abuse treatment, after school and summer school programs, prisoner reentry and education in those areas.

The proposal is a renewal of the Attorney General’s “Lifting Up Delaware’s Communities” program, announced in January 2015,  for using settlement funds that Delaware had received from Bank of America and Citigroup to resolve allegations of market misconduct by financial institutions that contributed to the national financial crash.

The amount of funds now available is approximately $29 million, rather than the original $36 million available a year ago. $5 million was used by the General Assembly in June 2015 to balance the state budget, and another $2 million was set aside in December by agreement between the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee and the Department of Justice to expand policing in high-crime areas of Dover and Wilmington. JFC is expected to deliberate over additional uses of the funds in January.

“Our proposal in January, and our proposal today, is that these funds be used to help lift up our state’s hardest hit communities.  That is what is called for by the settlement agreement, and speaking for a moment as an elected official whose top priority is fighting violent crime, investing in these communities is also what we should be doing if we really want to bring down the rate of violent crime,” Attorney General Denn said. “

The renewed Lifting Up Delaware’s Communities is similar to that unveiled in January, with some dollar amounts reduced to reflect the smaller amount of funds available, and with two changes to reflect valuable input that was received from the community and legislators after the initial proposal was made.

The proposal was backed at Wednesday’s event by representatives of atTAcK Addiction, Stop The Violence Prayer Chain, the Wilmington HOPE Commission, New Castle County Police, Red Clay Education Association, Safe United Neighborhoods, the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission, Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware, and New Castle County Councilman Jea Street.

“This funding would mean the world to students,” said Monique Taylor-Gibbs, a teacher in Wilmington’s Warner Elementary School. “These funds would mean after school programs, it would mean more adequate bodies in the classroom, it would allow us to have smaller class sizes, it would allow the students to be able to stay in school until 6:00 p.m. and then just go home and do homework and go to bed.”

The Lifting Up Delaware’s Communities proposal now consists of :

Investing in People and Neighborhoods ($10.7 Million)

  • Substance Abuse Treatment.  $3 million over three years should be spent on providing drug treatment opportunities for inmates with substance abuse disorder who are either nearing release from prison or have just been released from prison.
  • Prison Re-Entry Programs.  $3 million over three years should be spent on competitive grants to non-profit organizations that assist inmates being released from correctional facilities to avoid new criminal offenses.
  • Community Policing and Community Support.  $4.7 million should be allocated to the state’s Neighborhood Building Blocks Fund, which can make grants for a broad array of government and non-profit efforts to support economically impacted neighborhoods.

Providing Affordable Housing and Development in Economically Impacted Areas ($10.5 million)

  • Foreclosure Prevention.  $1.5 million should be directed to the Delaware Mortgage Assistance Program to help Delaware homeowners prevent foreclosures on their primary properties.
  • Home Purchase Opportunities for Foreclosure Victims.  $4 million should go to the Downtown Development Districts program, to be used for the purpose of providing down payment assistance to homeowners willing to purchase homes in Downtown Development Districts.  Down payment grants should be means-tested, and first priority would be given to persons and families who lost their homes to foreclosure between 2008 and the present.
  • Affordable Housing.  $5 million should go to the Delaware State Housing Authority’s Strong Neighborhoods Revolving Housing Fund, which is dedicated to the creation of affordable housing in economically impacted areas.

Providing Help to Low-Income Children ($7.8 million)

  • Support for High Poverty Elementary Schools. We are proposing to dedicate $4.8 million to providing $100,000 per year for three years to each of the state’s 16 highest-poverty elementary schools, to allow them to hire additional teachers or paraprofessionals to work with the students from low-income areas who attend school there every day.
  • After School and Summer Programs.  $3 million over three years should be spent on after-school and summer programs targeted at students who live in low-income areas of the state.

“When it comes to sentencing those who have broken the law, we have to ask, do we wish to punish, or do we wish to rehabilitate,” said David Hume of atTAcK Addiction. “It is estimated, the costs of $36,000 to incarcerate, while the cost of treatment is $6,000. To rehabilitate and prevent recidivism, we need the $3-million that the Attorney General has earmarked for drug treatment opportunities for those currently incarcerated, as well as programs to insure those about to be released have a plan to move forward in their lives.”

Colonel Elmer Setting, Chief of the New Castle County Police Department, echoed the sentiments of atTAcK Addiction, and said arresting users isn’t the answer, suggesting if we educate and rehabilitate, we will be a better country, a better state, and a better city.

The Citi and BOA settlement funds are held by the Attorney General’s Office and can be spent by agreement of the Attorney General and the Joint Finance Committee if the JFC indicates it does not intend to take the funds from the settlement account and allocate them as part of the budget process. Attorney General Denn continues to believe the settlement funds should not be used by the legislature to plug budget holes.


Lt. Governor and CJC Announce 2014 Byrne Grant Recipients

82% of non-profit funding dedicated to re-entry services; up from 46% in 2007

WILMINGTON, Del. – Today, Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn, Chair of the Criminal Justice Council, and Chris Kervick, Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Council, announced the 2014 Byrne Grant recipients at a press conference at the Rick VanStory Resource Center in Wilmington.

This year’s Byrne Grants were awarded to seven non-profits agencies – representing all three counties – that specialized in the CJC’s priority areas of Re-entry and Recidivism Reduction for Adults and Juveniles, Juvenile Prevention and Intervention, and Reducing Homicide and Violent Crime. The total of all awards is $501,079.76 and 82% of funding is dedicated to re-entry services, up from 46% in 2007. The increase in re-entry funding reflects a decision by the CJC to concentrate its limited federal grant resources in this important area.

"Recovery"

Lt. Governor Denn said, “These groups have proven track records of providing quality services that continue to make a difference in our communities. I am impressed with their plans to expand these much-needed programs in our state.”

“The Byrne Justice Assistance Grant is the cornerstone federal assistance program for the Criminal Justice Council,” said Executive Director Chris Kervick. “It allows the flexibility required to support local programs as they provide much needed services to the people who need them most. The Criminal Justice Council congratulates this year’s grant recipients and we look forward to working with the agencies to make each program successful.”

Rick VanStory Resource Center CEO Allen Conover said today, “We would like to thank the Delaware Criminal Justice Council for the opportunity to enhance our ability to provide essential services to individuals involved with the criminal justice system that are mentally ill and/or that suffer from substance abuse. We look forward to utilizing our collective experiences to assist others.”

Here is a list of recipients, the award amount, and short description of what the funding will be used for:

Boys & Girls Clubs at Oak Orchard/Riverdale: Stop It Before It Starts Prevention Program $50,930.00
Facilitating 2 curriculums: “Positive Action” on bullying, substance abuse, and suicide for 8 to 13 year-olds; and “Courage to Speak” on drug abuse prevention for parents. Grant will fund program facilitators, counselor, and educational equipment.

Courageous Hearts Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning Center Equine Assisted Learning: Power Tools for Living Program $39,690.00
Providing therapeutic equine activities for at-risk youth. The program teaches youths to interact with and care for horses, and offers mental health counseling. Grant will cover salary for the director, bookkeeper, equine specialists, & therapist, as well as facility rental.

Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing, Inc.: Re-entry Opportunity and Recidivism Prevention $97,900.00
Provide shelter, job placement, case management, and counseling to former inmates.

The Hospitality School, Inc.: Culinary Arts & Restaurant Training Reducing Recidivism $69,933.00
Provide culinary training for hard-to-employ individuals, specially focusing on ex-offenders. This free, 14-week program also teaches soft skills & financial literacy, and includes an internship.

Rick VanStory Resource Centers: Case Management for Mental Health Offenders $115,711.76
Provide case management, mental health counseling, and substance abuse treatment to homeless former inmates. Program will operate in all counties.

Victims’ Voices Heard: Victim Impact: Listen and Learn / Stand Down: Courage to Change $60,000.00
Implement two programs that involve group sessions at correctional institutions; one focuses on victim impact awareness and the other on setting and working toward re-entry goals.

The Way Home, Inc.: Expanding Way Home Case Management Services $66,915.00
Add to the agency’s case management staff to serve inmates who are re-entering the community. Case manager will assist with employment, education, and basic needs.

Background: The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program (42 U.S.C. 3751(a)) is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. JAG funds support all components of the criminal justice system from multijurisdictional drug and gang task forces to crime prevention and domestic violence programs, courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives. JAG funded projects may address crime through the provision of services directly to individuals and/or communities and by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of criminal justice systems, processes, and procedures.

Event pictures can be found here.


Lt. Governor and the CJC Announce 2014 Byrne Grant Recipients

WILMINGTON, Del., Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn and the Criminal Justice Council will announce this year’s recipients of the Byrne Grants awards. He will be joined by Acting Director of the CJC, Chris Kervick.

All 2014 Byrne Grant recipients:
Boys & Girls Clubs at Oak Orchard/Riverdale
Courageous Hearts Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning Center
Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing, Inc.
The Hospitality School, Inc.
Rick VanStory Resource Centers
Victims’ Voices Heard
The Way Home, Inc.

This year’s Byrne Grants were awarded to 7 non-profits, representing all 3 counties, that specialized in the CJC’s priority areas of Re-entry and Recidivism Reduction for Adults and Juveniles, Juvenile Prevention and Intervention, and Reducing Homicide and Violent Crime, with approximately 80% of the funding being directed to re-entry programs.

Background: The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program (42 U.S.C. 3751(a)) is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. JAG funds support all components of the criminal justice system from multijurisdictional drug and gang task forces to crime prevention and domestic violence programs, courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives. JAG funded projects may address crime through the provision of services directly to individuals and/or communities and by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of criminal justice systems, processes, and procedures.

Announcement of the 2014 Byrne Grant recipients
Tour of the Rick VanStory Resource Center

Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 11:00 a.m.

Rick VanStory Resource Centers
500 W. 2nd Street
Wilmington, DE 19801