Our History


New York State Minorities in Criminal Justice, Inc .

New York State Minorities in Corrections, Inc  - Founded 1986  

New York State Minorities in Criminal Justice, Inc  - Renamed 1994  

Our History Begins with our Founders:

  • Catherine Webb
  • Valerie Sullivan
  • Cecil Canton
  • Berthlynn Terry
  • Rosetta Burke
  • Hazel Lewis
  • Joseph Williams
  • Brigette Gladwin

(Photo from left to right)

NYSMICJ - From the Beginning

Building a Foundation with "Bricks" & Mortar"!

We often say that there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come! That idea needs, however, to compel someone to have the courage to move forward with the idea knowing full well that there will be resistance coming from those who have an interest in keeping the status-quo. How you move forward with a powerful idea may be just as important as the idea itself. In this regard we are talking about strategies, that on the one hand, moves the idea forward to maximize success and, on the other hand, avoids the possible career ending of proponents because they were perceived as too aggressive . It is within this context that we wish to relate the reason that New York State Minorities in Correction (and subsequently Criminal Justice, Inc.) was organized, developed, and have survived these now 30 years.

April 17, 1986 marked the date that the idea of Racial/ Ethnic in Justice within the State of New York Department of Corrections and subsequently the NYS Criminal Justice System "would no longer be tolerated as an everyday practice.

The one person who most can be credited for the development, implementation, and putting this idea into practice, by any standard of organization success, was our Founding President, Marion L. Borum, a former Deputy Commissioner of Correction. His strategy was to first honor Correctional Commissioner Thomas Coughlin with the organization's highest award.

This award symbolized a person's commitment to address and practice Racial Justice within the Criminal Justice System.

Over 1500 person's shared in the organizations' appraisal and praise of Commissioner Thomas Coughlin. From this point forward this event cemented and laid a solid foundation for the organization's future and simultaneously gave us legitimacy in the furtherance of our mission.

Founders = The Bricks of the Organization

  • Deputy Commissioner - Marion Borum (D)
  • Assistant Commissioner - Raymond Broaddus, Ph.D. (D) 
  • Superintendent - Hazel Lewis (R)
  • Superintendent - Rosetta Burke (R)
  • Assistant Commissioner - Earl Moore, Rev. (D) 
  • Assistant Commissioner - Donald Callender (D) 
  • Correction Officer - Emmanuel Richard (D)
  • Assistant Commissioner - Cecil Canton, Ed.D (R)
  • Assistant Temporary Release Director - Valerie Sullivan (R)
  • Clerk. II - Lorraine Carlisle
  • Assistant Commissioner - Berthlynn Terry, Esq. (R)
  • Superintendent - Kenneth Durham (D) 
  • Assistant Commissioner- Cliff Waterson (D)
  • Superintendent -Bridgett Gladwin (R) 
  • Deputy Superintendent - Gerald Wells (D)
  • Correctional Lieutenant - John Harmon (R)
  • Superintendent - Bert Ross (R)
  • Superintendent - Frank Headley (R) 
  • Superintendent - Joseph Williams (R)
  • Director of Guidance - Katharine Webb, Ed.D (R)

D =Deceased  R =Retired

The "Mortar" that Strengthen the Pillars of NYSMICJ

Marion L. Borum, our founding President, through his adept oratory and organization skills established, fought, and maintained the New York State Minorities in Correction because: "He believed that there should be a forum for minority staff in the Criminal Justice System to not only influence professional growth but also attempt to make an impact on criminal justice policies."

If not for his belief in "Doing the Right Thing" the now New York State Minorities in Criminal Justice would not have evolved, developed, and, dare we say, survived the trials and tribulations over the course of twenty plus years. Consider his prophetic words in a memorandum he sent, in March of 1986, to the Regional Coordinators and Committee Members:

"You have been an essential part of that movement which I believe will place the New York State Minorities in Corrections on record as a group supporting progressive advancement in criminal justice. To that end... (we) formulated a statement of purpose as to provide structure for what we expect will become a growing and important organization."

Exactly five years later, in March of 1991, Deputy Commissioner Marion Borum retired after laying down a legacy for NYSMIC members, specifically, and the New York State Criminal Justice system, in general, and we are immensely proud of his accomplishment, such as the following:

  • " ...he was cited by the Commissioner and the Governor's Office for the major role he played in the resolution of the disturbance at Sing Sing ..."
  • "...he affected the release of seven hostages. For this effort he was awarded a Certificate of Commendation from the New York City, Police Department."
  • "In 1984 he received the Department's Medal of Merit for his exceptional contributions to the Department."
  • "...received more than twenty commendations from varies human services agencies."
  • “...initiating a nine-year period of growth for Program Services in the New York State Department of Correctional Services." That included the following: Assisting inmates to realize personal growth and to achieve a successful transition to their families and communities upon release; establishing  he Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program (ASAT); and establishing the Comprehensive Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (CASAT)

For these accomplishments, and more not included here, the NYSMIC bestowed our "Distinguished Criminal Justice Professional Award" on him at our 1991 conference. We will be eternally grateful for his endeavors on our behalf and the Criminal Justice Community. It is for these reasons and more that we have embedded in his name the "Marion Borum" award to be given periodically to a deserving person that provides Offender Services!

“A Consummate Criminal Justice Professional…”

Benjamin Ward's criminal justice career spanned a half a century (50 years) and was truly reflective superbly in all the components of the system, the Police, the Judiciary, and Correction, in a manner deserving of NYSMICJ's headline and commentary in the "The Key Voices."

  • "...Benjamin Ward's career spanned the Criminal Justice System to include the following: policing at the genera/level in the NYPD (as Commissioner); at the specialized levels as NYC's Commissioner of Traffic and Housing; the judicial system as a lawyer and law professor; and in corrections as the Commissioner of Corrections at both the city and state levels.

By the time he left DOCS in 1978, to become New York City's Police Commissioner, he had profoundly influenced the department and those minorities in the department in a matter that reverberates to this day. Consider this:

  • He was the first and still only Correction's Commissioner to have the majority of his Executive Committee members comprise African-Americans, starting with himself, 1st Deputy Commissioner Louis Douglas, and Deputy Commissioner for Programs, Carl Berry. This fact sent a significant symbolic message throughout the department at both the central office and facility levels. More importantly, notwithstanding the necessary reforms that occurred in 1971 from the "Attica crises", this significant symbolism translated into substantive changes of heretofore impervious bastions & prerogatives and acceptance, even if reluctant, of minorities at all levels of the department. Indeed, it is not an “overreach' to say that Ward's appointment and tenure was at the "Right Time" because he was the "Right Man" to keep the "reform ball rolling" forward. He, for example, helped to bring the department toward a more positive working relationship with the communities that the majority of the inmates would eventually return to. By so doing he made real the illusive concept called "Reintegration of Offenders" by opening up community-based facilities in urban centers, especially NYC; expanded the regional offices in Harlem and established an Office of Community Relations and Office of Inmate Grievances directorships; and, lastly but not the least, started the forerunner of the now "Transitional Service" through the establishment of" Pre-release" centers in facilities."

As we have stated previously without Benjamin Ward's commitment to "Truth Telling" it is unlikely that NYSMIC would have moved forward and become as unswervingly an organization concern with all those within the Criminal Justice Community. It is for these reasons why we have named our highest award in his name, "The Benjamin Ward Award"!

George King, Esq. It is no stretch of the imagination to say that without the legal & fiscal advice and actions of George King with NYSMICJ the organization would have no significant level of legitimacy & creditability with local, state, and national governmental entities. Mr. King's involvement and active participation with NYSMICJ, spanning nearly fifteen years, from its inception in 1994 to most recently in 2008, where he had to disengage himself from the organization to avoid a "conflict of interest" with his appointment as the Inspector General for the New York State Comptroller’s Office. Over those years, the now retired Counsel King served in numerous capacities for the organization as:

  • Secretary wherein he took meticulous minutes of the Board of Directors discussions, which served as guidelines for our official activity
  • Legal Advisor wherein he our drafted & filed our "Certificate of Incorporation" and drafted & revised By-laws for the organization
  • Fiscal Advisor wherein he drafted & filed an IRS "Notice of Assignment" and a NYS "Tax & Finance Exempt Organization Certificate" for the organization.
  • Advisor to Presidents wherein he provided invaluable advise over the years that has added to the influence and statue of the organization
  • Master of Ceremony wherein he presided over numerous conferences, in particular as the host of the "Commissioner's Forum"; and last but not the least as a
  • Legislative Liaison wherein he was enabled the organization to have indirect and sometimes direct contact with legislative leaders from the governor's office, state and assemblypersons, and other elected officials.

As a then Commissioner of Parole, he inspired others in the Division of Parole to be involved with the organization at all levels including the presidency. His leadership with Parole specifically and the organization in general has been unmatched. We own a great debt to George King for his untiring but uncompensated work on behalf of the organization.

While it is a debt that we can never pay, we have declared him a "Life Time Member" which symbolizes our eternal gratitude for his more than generous contribution of his time and effort. It is for these reasons and more that we have embedded in his name the "George King, ESQ." award to be given periodically to a deserving member of the Parole Board or Community Supervision Services.    

Harry Corbitt involvement with NYSMIC & NYSMICJ goes back many, many, years. In particular as a then Lt. Colonel with the State Police , he along with then President Arthur Taggart provided the leadership and inspiration for State Troopers specifically and other police officers in general to be involved with the organization. Over the years he has served in numerous capacities with NYSMIC and during the transition to NYSMICJ as a:

  • Board Director wherein he brought in his skills that he honed in the State Police as an administrator and field commander;
  • Parliamentarian wherein he guided the organizations' business in a manner that contributed to its acceptance as a professional association;
  • Advocate wherein he actively engaged Criminal Justice agency heads, at conferences and meetings, to establish policies and practices that would reflect minority inclusion at all levels of the Criminal Justice hierarchy ;
  • Trainer wherein he conducted numerous workshops focusing on maintaining ethical behavior, violence prevention, and staff empowerment 

Although he never served officially as the organization's "Executive Director" in fact, he fulfilled that role throughout his involvement with NYSMICJ by always suggesting activities that would enhance the organization's status and "best practices" for our members consistent with our mission statement. It was no surprise to us, then, that on March 24, 2008 that our first African-American Governor, David Paterson, nominated Colonel Harry Corbitt, as the first African-American to serve as the Superintendent of the State Police! His appointment marked the end of a drought since 1975 of minorities selected to head a New York State Criminal Justice agency, since Benjamin Ward! Superintendent Corbitt, surely, has been a shining example of a person who moved up the Criminal Justice ladder that we should all emulate. Over the years, it has been a reciprocating relationship in that he has paid with his efforts on behalf of NYSMICJ and the greater Criminal Justice Community the organization in turn has recognized him as a Life-Time Member! It is for these reasons and more that we have embedded in his name the "Harry Corbitt award to be given to a deserving person in law enforcement!

Defining Moments & Turning Points

We may characterize our foundational event as one of many "Defining Moments” in the history of our organization. Others would be the "Inaugural Conference" held in 1987.This event symbolized the significant work that lied ahead and the seriousness that required our "getting-down-to-business". As the title, suggest:

  • "The Dilemma -Positive Change & Negative Growth" was chosen to reflect, on the one hand, the increasingly and disproportionate number of minorities in jails and prisons and, on the other hand, the limited and decreasing number of minority employees within DOCS.

Consistent with our theme we had the honor of the present of the former Commissioner of Corrections, Benjamin Ward, the first and only African-American Commissioner of DOCS, and after leaving DOCS became the first African-American Commissioner of the NYPD. We also were honored with the presence of former DOCS Lieutenant, Edward Kirkland, who along with others was instrumental in challenging the DOCS'S Sergeant and Lieutenants civil service test because of disparate test results of minority vs. majority test takers.

Out of this first conference, some controversy arose between the former Commissioner of DOCS, Benjamin Ward, and the, then, current Commissioner, Thomas Coughlin. Mr. Ward's made two significant comments when he stated at our conference the following in regard to the incarcerated:

  • "America incarcerates Blacks and Hispanics at a rate 9 and 10 times higher than it incarcerates whites,"

And perhaps more telling he said in regard to employees:

  • "New York State Correctional Services is black south of Interstate 84 "which bisects the state,..The area north and west of Interstate 84 is essentially a white correctional domain." (NYT -10/24/87)

In reaction and response Commissioner Coughlin released a rather cogent statement entitled: "ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION"! In this statement he showed through statistical analysis that, indeed, progress had been made under his administration that resulted in an 8% increase of minorities working north of Interstate 84.

It could well be said, then, that the controversy between the two Correctional Commissioners propelled NYSMIC to move forward and expand our reach throughout the State because of the need to keep Affirmative Action policies in place against increasing trends to push it back through charges of reverse discrimination. Thus, the organization began to spread its wings in 1988, through the establishment of regions and conference at three primary sites that covered the north-west, the north east, and the southern areas of New York State at Albany, Buffalo, & New York city’s inclusive of their greater metropolitan areas.

Coupled with expansion in 1990 we convened a conference in Albany, NY. The theme for this Coupled with expansion in 190 we convened a conference in Albany, N.Y. The theme for this conference was "Affirmative Action within the Criminal Justice System in the 90's -Keeping the Pressure On." The honoree for the event was Dr. Allen Bush who was DOCS first Director of Manpower and Minority Recruitment. In 1972, among many other achievements, he was responsible for the special recruiting of 25 +persons of color to fulfill, for the first time in the history  of DOCS, Correction Counselor titles with a parenthetic entitled "Minority Group".

We, also, had extracted a promise, at this conference, from DOCS' Executive Deputy Commissioner, Phillip Coombe, Jr. who gave our keynote address, to commit to making:

  • ''progress in Affirmative Action by hiring, promoting and training protected class members to assume responsible management positions and seize staff-level opportunities."

And in turn he offered a challenge to the NYSMIC audience, when he stated:

  • "NYSMIC must continue helping employees, especially managers, in taking owner-ship, accountability and responsibility for the Department's Affirmative Action Program as we move into the 90's."

With that conference, an important factor of, Organizational Stability had now been achieved because we had successfully expanded our organization's breadth and depth geographically, through adding agencies, and established legitimacy amongst elected & public officials. This allowed us to recognize and examine more closely our membership's professional and personnel needs. It was within this context that it made sense that we honored the founder and first president of NYSMIC , Marion Borum at our 1991 conference held in Poughkeepsie, NY. Mr. Marion Borum, a then Deputy Commissioner for Program Services, who had followed a long line of minority Deputy Commissioner's for Program Services that began with Edwin Elwin c.l971, the first to fill this newly established position, followed by Carl Berry and the only female in that position Susan Butler in the 1980's, Raymond Broaddus in the 1990's, and lastly in the 2000's Frank Headley and currently Jeffery McKoy.

Upon his appointment, from Superintendent at Lincoln CF to Deputy Commissioner, Marion Borum continued to emphasize and expand Program Services in the areas of Education, Substance Abuse Treatment, and Vocational Training to address some of the social ills that caused incarcerated persons to come to prison and to often too recidivate. As a result we felt it fitting to honor his near decade accomplishment as reflected in our theme:"Save our People, The Time is Now"!

In 1992, after a realization that minorities had to be more active in crafting our destiny and solving our plight, we chose "Back to Basics -Saving Ourselves" for our conference theme in Buffalo, NY. Our honoree was Arthur Eve, the Deputy Speaker for the New York State Assembly, who had been a strong supporter of minorities in correction and in the public arena in general. Especially evident had been his support for quality education for minorities and the economically disadvantage. 

In 1993, we did not have a conference but instead decided to host "A Celebration of Cultural Diversity" event in which we honored several notable individuals:

  • CAYSA President - Warren Albrecht
  • The Law & Justice Leader- Dr. Alice Green
  • State Senator- Nellie Santiago
  • Lt. Colonel - Manuel Pereia
  • Attorney - Lowell Siegal
  • NAACP Secretary - Ann Pope.

These individuals represented a rainbow of competency and leadership in the criminal justice arena that deserved our high praise and recognition!

A Significant Turning Point

In 1993 we began to seriously examine our direction and influence in Corrections specifically and the Criminal Justice System in general. Through a Executive Board Retreat of all board members we examined all aspects of the organization; from our name which we recommended changing from the New York State Minorities in Correction to the New York State Minorities in Criminal Justice, the Mission Statement, the By-Laws, and quite significantly we appointed for the first time an Executive Director, Dr. Alice Green a previous honoree.

Dr. Green appointment was also significant in that she was not employed by any public Criminal Justice agency; this rendered the organization's as an independent advocacy that heretofore it had been lacking.

Also, during 1994 Commissioner, Thomas Coughlin, retired after 10 years of progressive leadership of DOCS and support of our organization. Our, then, President, Dr. Cecil Canton, spoke at the Commissioner's Retirement affair praising what had become the end of the Coughlin Era and the start of the Phillip Coombe, Jr. Era.

In 1995 under our new name, the New York State Minorities in Criminal Justice, and with our first president from an agency other than DOCS, Alpina Taylor of the Division of Parole, we held our conference in Buffalo, NY under the theme "Perception of the Criminal Justice System- Myths and Facts". At this conference we attracted most of the New York State Criminal Justice Commissioners, including the top law enforcement officer of the State of New York, Attorney General Dennis Vacco. We was also extremely pleased to have as our opening keynote speaker the Director of New York State Division for Youth, John Johnson.

In that same year, in a separate event held in Albany, we honored and recognized several individuals for their accomplishments in the Criminal Justice field, they were:

  • Dr. Raymond Broaddus-who served with DOCS as a Director of Mental Health, Ass't Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner for Program Services.
  • Mr. Raul Russi who served as one of three Hispanics appointed to the Buffalo Police Department and subsequently rose to become the Chairman .of the New York State Parole Board.
  • Mr. John Dale- who served as the Albany Police Department's first African
  • American Detective and was subsequently appointed as its first African American Chief of Police.

In the year 1996 we opted to have an "Awards Ceremony" to recognize the following:

  • Mr. Walter Chapman - who served as an Assistant & Associate Commissioner for DOCS. Mr. Chapman was brought into the department by former Commissioner Benjamin Ward, as DOCS' first African American Director of Education.
  • Ms. Veronica Thomas, Esq. - who served as Assistant Attorney General and then subsequently was appointed as a Parole Commissioner.
  • Mr. Pedro Perez- who served as the first Hispanic in the New York State Police rising through the ranks from Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain to Major and its first Deputy Superintendent
  • Dr. Barbara Howe, Esq.- who served as a tenured professor at the SUNY at Buffalo and then subsequently as a NYS Supreme Court Judge.
  • Also in that same year we presented an award to the retiring Commissioner of DOCS, Phillip Coombe, Jr. and welcomed incoming Commissioner Glenn Goord.

In 1997 we had an conference entitled "Prepare, Preserve, Protect Our Commitment Toward the Year 2000" in Albany, NY wherein our keynote speaker was the Commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice, Paul Shechtman, who was the Criminal Justice Czar over all NYS Law Enforcement agencies. We presented workshops that addressed our theme.

In 1999 we closed out the 20th Century with a gala "Awards Banquet" in Latham, NY wherein we purposely recognized an array of individuals that typically go unrecognized within the field of Criminal Justice. Honoree's ranged from our keynote speaker: Special Agent of the DEA, Lewis Rice, Jr.; Correction Officer Luis Morales,; Reverend Leonard Comithier, State Police Superintendent James W. McMahon, and Correctional Superintendent Bridgett Gladwin, a founder of NYSMIC and member of the Executive Board.

The Challenge for the New Century

We opened the 21st Century by focusing on the personnel needs of our membership through a conference entitled "The Beat Goes On" at Fishkill, NY with workshops focusing on the Civil Service System and Domestic Violence. We were particularly pleased to have, Dr. Gary Mendez, Jr. speak on the need to develop fortitude and resolve to withstand the evitable crises in life and, Dr. L. Oliver Robinson, who spoke on the need for a viable education for our children. In that regard we had workshops from those who were employed in the system, such as "Rebuttable Conduct" from, the then, Deputy Supt. Of the State Police, Harry Corbitt (Who later became the first African American Superintendent of the State Police); on the under representation of minorities in the Criminal Justice System by Judge James McLeod; and "Attributes of Leadership" from Jail Superintendent, H. McCarty Gibson.

In 2003 we continued to recognize persons within the criminal justice community, including students, who were making or taking positive steps in their careers and/or education:

  • Dr. L. Oliver Robinson an educator; 
  • Mr. Gregory Payne an advocate for Youth; 
  • Ms. Lisette Roldan a drug counselor; 
  • Mr. Xavier Hymes a high school student;
  • Mr. Albert Hall a Deputy Superintendent for Security; 
  • Mr. Theodore Cook III a State Police Captain.

In 2004 we held our conference in Buffalo, NY entitled "Food for Thought- Is Diversity at Stake?" We addressed once again our membership's personal needs as it related to employment within the Criminal Justice System. These workshops were conducted by experts who did not work within the system such as Dr. Catherine Collins on "Stress Management" and Dr. Lorraine Peeler on "Anger". Also in 2004 we were honored to receive a keynote address from Assemblywomen Annette Robinson as we recognized persons within the criminal justice community, including students, who were making or taking positive steps in their careers and/or education, such as:

  • Lieut. Anthony Wiley (Now a Past president) who was recognized for his "Community Service" activity;
  • Ms. Mel'sha Joseph for her "Youth Services" activities;
  • C.O. Marsha Lee-Watson for her "Criminal Justice" activity; &
  • Lt. Col. Anthony Ellis of the State Police, who was bestowed the "President's Award".

Continuing on with the uplifting of our membership in 2005 we held our conference in Albany, NY entitled "Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Eliminating Barriers to Advancement" and had the honor of being addressed by only the second minority person to become a New York County District Attorney, Mr. David Soares of Albany County. The first being D.A. Robert Johnson, of the Bronx County, topped off by the Division of Criminal Justice Czar, Chauncey Parker. They all spoke and addressed questions consistent with our theme from our membership.

In 2007 we held our conference in Buffalo, NY entitled "Mapping the Future: Are We Ready?" which we hoped to instill amongst attendees that we as an organization were ready to assist those committed to "Equal Opportunity and Equal Justice for All People".

In this regard we bestowed our highest honor, the "Benjamin Ward Award" on Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry for his advocacy, through the legislative process, of specific initiatives that would benefit the Reentry of offenders back to their communities.

We also were fortunate to have our event addressed by the Chair of the Parole Board, George Alexander and Dr. James Williams, the Superintendent of the Buffalo School System . Once again Criminal Justice agencies were well represented in our "Commissioner's Forum":

  • DOCS' 1st Deputy Commissioner, Anthony Annucci ;
  • State Probation, the Commissioner, Robert Maccarone;
  • OCFS, Deputy Commissioner Joyce Burrel;
  • State Parole , Chairman, George Alexander; and by
  • State Police, Deputy Superintendent Pedro Perez.

In 2008 we held our conference in Schenectady, NY entitled " A Time for Reflection: The Future is You" in which we sought to encourage participants to "reflect on the role that they could play in creating safer communities and promoting social justice at all levels of our system of Criminal Justice." The Commissioner of DOCS, Brian Fischer addressed us both in word and deed by noting that:

  • "Attracting more minorities to the field of corrections is an important goal of corrections given the disproportionate number of minority inmates we are responsible for."

The conference concluded with a rousing speech by Mr. Norman McConney Jr. a staff Executive Director to the former Deputy Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Arthur Eve, and the prime architect of the very successful and still going strong New York State Science & Technology Program!

In 2009 we held our conference in Poughkeepsie, NY featuring State Senator, Ruth Hassel-Thompson, Chair of the Senate Committee on Corrections, and recipient of our highest prestigious Benjamin Ward Award for distinguished services.

In 2010 we held our conference in Buffalo, NY entitled "Meeting Today's Challenges in the Criminal Justice System" in which we sought to raise awareness, educate, and "build alliances with other agencies that want to promote & preserve equal justice, fairness, and opportunities for all." Our awards speaker was the Honorable Judge .Betty Calvo-Torres and the former Commissioner of the Buffalo Police Department, H. McCarty Gipson.

2011-The 25th Anniversary- Founder's Day: This was a very special event, held in Albany, NY, that underscored the link with our past 25th years of trials and tribulations and the hope for our future., as symbolized by our theme:" Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow -Changing with the Times" We were pleased to hear from a very dynamic keynote motivation speaker: Mr. Leon Carter , CEO for "The Power of Your Word" who had attendees requesting more and more of listening to his "Words"! Other speakers for the event were once again, the honorable Assemblyman J. Aubrey; two School Superintendents Dr. Oliver Robinson & Dr. Quintin Bullock and Brian Fischer, Commissioner of Corrections. However, the most significant event was the recognition and honoring of the founders of the organization Marion Borum, our first president could not attend but did send a letter which reads:

  • Dear Friends: I am pleased to send greeting to all attending the 25th Awards Dinner of the New York State Minorities in Criminal Justice. It is a praiseworthy achievement to have maintained the organization through the years. I extend my hearty congratulations. We know some things work in assisting individuals to make positive prison and community adjustments: increased education and vocational skills through well-planned and operated programs, increased self-esteem or maximizing the maintenance of family ties. I am convinced the active involvement of organizations such as yours will be key to any success, which may materialize. - Stay the Course and May God Speed: M. L. Borum

In 2012 we held a Training Symposium in Fishkill, NY, entitled "LOOKING AT OUR PAST: BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE" wherein we were able to again hear from Mr. Leon Carter from last year in addition to Commissioner Brian Fischer as "Key Note Addressers! We also started for the first time Plenary Sessions focused on major issues within the Criminal Justice System. This session was entitled "Re-Entry in New York State: Are we on the right track for sustainability?" which was co-host by NYSMICJS board member, Joe Williams & Ann Jacobs of the Prisoners Re-Entry Institute of John Jay College. Dr. Vanda Steward, Director of DOCCS' Re-Entry unit; Jacqueline McLeod of Healing Communities; a formally incarcerated person; and Judge Betty Williams of the Kings County Civil and Criminal Courts were major contributors. In addition to the Plenary session we held workshops on "Leadership" conducted by DOCCS Superintendents, Michael Capra and Sandra Amonia-Kowalczyk; on "Public Safety Strategies" conducted by Mary Kavaney of the Governor’s Office and Ana Enright of the Parole Division; and former DOCS counselor Fred. Moody who is a certified "Toast Master" trainer!

In 2013 we held a Training Symposium in Buffalo, NY entitled CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN OUR COMMUNITIES: "50 YEARS AFTER THE DREAM" an issue which was the subject of discussion for the PLENARY SESSION composed of panelists Judge Craig Hannah; Legislator Betty Jean Grant; NYSMICJ Board Members Joseph Williams & Anthony Willingham and Moderated by Region 2 VP Ekpe D. Ekpe. There were other workshops such as Drugs, Music, and Violence; Workplace Bullying; Retirement Readiness; the Federal Bureau of lnvestigation; Strategies for the Future (In education); and Sergeant's Exam Review Class as discussed by Superintendent's Leroy Fields & Sandra Amoia-Kowalczyk. We were also welcome to the City of Buffalo by the Honorable Mayor Byron Brown and was keynote addressed by the Honorable Judge Barbara Howe.

In 2014 we held our Training Symposium in Albany, NY entitled Pathways to Empowerment! We were welcomed by the Honorable Mayor of Albany, Kathy Sheehan, and keynoted addressed by two individuals of enormous influence , the President and Dean of the Albany Law School, Penolope Andrews, & the Governor’s Deputy Secretary and Council for Civil Rights, Alphonso B. David. In addition, we had several workshops that addressed our theme of Empowerment such as the Prison to College Program, Law Enforcement and the Community, "BIAS-Do You Know Where You Stand" and "ORANGE is NOT the NEW BLACK".

In 2015 we held our symposium in Fishkill NY, under the theme "THE STRENGHTS OF DIVERSITY" we were pleased to have the opportunity to address the growing concerns about how to Break the School to Prison Pipeline and how to make Black Lives really matter as discussed by plenary leaders Poughkeepsie School Superintendent, Dr. Nicole Williams and Marist College Professor, Dr. Addrain Conyers respectively. Their respondents ranged from an array of Criminal Justice Agencies, such as the Dutchess County Probation Office, Children and Family Services, the Department of Correction and Community Supervision, and several Community-Based agencies. In addition, there were several workshops that addressed such subjects as "Promotional Interviewing", Healing Communities, Narcan Training, Toast Mastering, and "The Mentoring Process" to name just a few.

In 2016 we held our symposium in Albany, NY under the theme :"CRIMINAL JUSTICE: LOOKING FORWARD AND EMPHASIZING THE POSITIVES" in which we ask NYS Criminal Justice Agency heads and directors to render reports on the "The State of Diversity within New York State Criminal Justice Agencies" especially in regard to the recruitment, retention, and promotion of minorities in their agency's ! We also had an evening event wherein we gave awards to the following :

  • Commissioner of Correction & Community Supervision*-Anthony Annucci
  • New York State Chairwomen of the Board of Parole- Tina Sanford
  • DOCCS- Deputy Commissioner-Osborne McKay
  • DOCCS- Deputy Commissioner- Jeff McKoy
  • New York State Police-Major Robin Beniziger
  • Office of Children & Family Services-Gregory Owens

Dispelling Negative "Myths"

As with any organizations there are many misconceptions that may arise as it travels the course of time. However, as an organization that took our mission seriously we sought and fought to dispel those misconceptions by practicing what we preached. Over the years, we have addressed three significant myths and they were:

  • The organization is/was an "Elitist" because it was founded primarily by a Deputy Commissioner, Correctional Superintendents, and other persons that were at the top of the Criminal Justice organizations. This myth has been dispelled through the selection and election of many mid- managers and line staff to official positions within the organization; including the election of Ms. Alpina Taylor, a Senior Parole Officer, and Ms. Sandra Green , a Correction Officer, as Presidents in the years 1994-96 & 2005-06 respectively.
  • The organization is/was exclusively a "DOCS" focused organization that only catered to employees within the New York State Department of Correctional Services. Again, we have effectively dispelled this myth by the election of the aforementioned Ms. Alpina Taylor of the Division of Parole and Mr. Arthur Taggett (1999-1998) from the State Police.

The organization had little or no influence with "Criminal Justice Agencies". This is, perhaps, the biggest myth of the three, as our historical development would suggest to the contrary, because we have indeed put our words (i.e. the mission statement) into practice and as a result have grown in statue and influence.

Disseminating the "TRUTH"

Misinformation can always lead to the creation of "Myths" but their eradication can always be effectively destroyed by "Truths”. In this regard, NYSMICJ's history of growth and subsequent influence, over the years, is consistent with our "Mission Statement" and is illustrated in at least four ways:

Through our Affiliations with Local, State, & National Criminal Justice organizations and other related agencies, many who have sought us out to emulate and be associated with what we were doing! To name a few:

  • CAYSA (The Correction and Youth Services Association in New York State) an affiliate of the nation-wide American Correctional Association.
  • NOBLE (The National Organization of Black Law Executives) an organization comprising minority law enforcement Criminal Justice Chiefs, Directors, and Commissioners
  • Guardians Association of New York State comprising Corrections & Law Enforcement from NYC from the line to top levels of Criminal Justice Agencies
  • NABCJ (National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice) comprise an array of minority law enforcement personnel especially those from the Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • LOA (Latino Officers Association) that comprise an array of minority law enforcement personnel especially in NYC. They successfully sued the city for their discriminatory practices!

Through our Charitable Contributions; from our inception the organization has embraced a philosophy of "giving back" in word and deed to have a positive impact on the communities in which we live and work in. Consider the following:

  • At our very first event, wherein we honored Commissioner Thomas Coughlin in 1986, we contributed over Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) to Father Young's Catholic based organization which was focused on drug and alcohol prevention and treatment of a mostly minority population within the Albany, NY area;
  • We made a One Thousand Dollar ($1,000) contribution to" Mother Hale House" in NYC An organization that death with mostly abandoned minority babies;
  • We made a One Thousand Dollar ($1,000) to the Victims of Katrina, and provided in-kind services to fixing up playground in the 9th ward.
  • In addition to donations, in the Thousands of Dollars, to a host of non-profit organizations throughout NYS, over the years, we have given out numerous scholarships to deserving individuals and students at both our State-wide Training Conferences and through our Regional Training Conferences.

From year to year through our conferences and calls for meeting with Criminal Justice Agency heads, we have developed an on-going relationships with them and their executive staff. This relationship has enabled us to present to our membership a unique opportunity to dialogue and query the Agency CEO's through our "Commissioner's Forum".

  • In between conferences, we have had one-on-one Meetings with Commissioners, especially DOCCS, to expand on our commitment to promotional opportunities for our membership. In turn we agreed to make special recruitment efforts to bring more minorities staff and to assist agencies in reducing the "Disproportionate Minority Confinement & Contact with the Criminal Justice System.

Perhaps our most effective "Truth Disseminator" has been through our newsletters, "The Key" & "The Key Voices" which allowed our Presidents, specifically, and our membership, in general to communicate cogent analysis, opinions, and facts to one another as well as to those in the Criminal Justice community. Here are just a few excerpts from our Presidents and our Editorials:

  • Spring 1989 FROM THE PRESIDENT-Cecil Canton: "We have begun to define a clear role for the organization ...Minorities must have an impact in and on the system."
  • Fall 1990 FROM THE PRESIDENT-Josph Williams: " ... if you give for the greater good you will receive ....Invariably the organization will give you far more than you can ever give it. "
  • June 1996 FROM THE PRESIDENT-Alpina Taylor: "It is my opinion that if do not know where we came from, how do we know where we are going?"
  • October 2003 FROM THE PRESIDENT- Loyce Duke: "...people who embraced the belief and idea that MICJ would make a difference one day." & "... we will hear the Key Voices of people creating change every day!
  • September 2004 FROM OUR EDITORIAL- "Losing Ground & Succession -FlY 2004" ... approximately 67+ retired ... This was not offset in any significant way by either new hires or promotions."
  • April 2005 FROM THE PRESIDENT- Sandra Green: "Today we are planting the seeds of success so that we can harvest the fruits of prosperity.”

NYS MICJ "Our History"

Published 1996

Revised 2012, 2016

Past Presidents

1985-1986: Mr. Marion Borum

1986-1987: Dr. Cecil Canton

1988-1989: Mr. Bert Ross

1989-1990: Mr. Joseph Williams

1991-1992: Mr. Frank McCray

1993-1994: Dr. Cecil Canton

1995-1996: Ms. Alpina Taylor

1997-1998: Mr. Ekpe "Dan" Ekpe

1999-2000: Mr. Arthur Taggart

2001- 2002: Ms. Loyce Duke

2003-2004: Ms. Loyce Duke

2005-2006: Ms. Sandra Green

2007-2008: Rev. Les Carter

2008-2011: Mr. Anthony Wiley

2012-2013: Ms. Loyce Duke

2013-2016: Ms. Emily Williams

2014-2015: Ms. Emily Williams

2015-2016: Ms. Emily Williams

Learn more about our past presidents