February 2, 2023
Contact: Stephen Roach Knight, email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK — Today JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) President and CEO DeAnna Hoskins was appointed by the New York City Council to the New York City Board of Correction, a nine-person, non-judicial oversight board that regulates, monitors, and inspects the city’s prisons and jails—including the facilities on Rikers Island.
Reacting to City Council’s 48-0 vote (with one abstention), Hoskins released this statement:
“My experience is unique. In my career in criminal justice, I have seen the carceral state from all sides of the bars. I have been incarcerated myself. I am a parent of children who have been incarcerated. I have been employed in the correctional administration at a maximum security state facility, and I have managed federal and state policies overseeing the operations of prisons and jails. I will bring pragmatic advocacy to this board. I understand how the systems work, on the inside, and how to move the needle on policy matters.
“While the Advocates, City Council, Administration, Unions, and DOCs are all critical players in this journey of revisioning Rikers, it is the Board of Correction that is the critical foundation that sets standards, policies, procedures, regulations, and directives—all which contribute to morale, safety, security, and human dignity. Most importantly, we must center the voices of those who have experienced the system and who reflect both the population and the employees at Rikers to be represented on the Board.
“I have been watching closely what is happening at Rikers. We must address the crisis on several fronts: We have to fundamentally change the conditions of incarceration. We have to fundamentally change the conditions of employment. We must fundamentally change how we view all citizens of New York City. Thank you to everyone on the New York City Council for this appointment today. Let’s work together for a safer New York for all.”
Statement from JLUSA founding board member and acting governance committee chair Vivian Nixon:
“The Board of Correction for the city of New York must represent the communities most impacted by the institutions it is charged with governing. We know that New York City residents have supported minimalizing pretrial detention and eliminating dilapidated monuments to punishment and confinement. Instead, with a historical vote, they opted to maximize building community.
“JLUSA remains a committed resource to advocacy groups throughout the city to ensure that the people’s will is reflected in decisions made by elected and appointed officials. The Board of Correction can only provide proper oversight if they elect members who represent systems and communities organizing to improve those systems. DeAnna Hoskins is the whole package. Her professional and personal experience gives her the expertise to co-create strategies beyond the superficial and foster an environment for long-term change.”