Time will tell whether she can improve a state agency run amok: Delaware D O C.
Excerpts from the Article:
Gov. John Carney said Tuesday he will nominate Claire DeMatteis as commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction.
If confirmed she will fill the post vacated by Perry Phelps, who announced his retirement last month.
Ms. DeMatteis, a former senior counsel to then-U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, would be the first woman to be commissioner of the Correction Department. The nomination requires approval by the Delaware Senate, which is expected to consider the governor’s recommendation this month.
Mr. Phelps will officially retire on July 15.
“For much of the last two years, Claire has worked side-by-side with Commissioner Phelps to lead reform efforts at the Department of Correction — to make our facilities safer, to invest in new equipment and training, and to recruit correctional officers to do one of the toughest jobs in state government,” Gov. Carney said in a statement.
“Over three decades of experience in government and the private sector, Claire has worked closely with community leaders, legislators and law enforcement officials and has earned their respect and trust. I have full confidence that Claire’s experience and leadership qualities will serve our state well at the Department of Correction. I look forward to the Senate considering her nomination.”
Not new to DOC administration, Ms. DeMatteis was tasked by Gov. Carney to spearhead reform in the state’s prisons in July 2017 after a deadly riot at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center brought the department’s understaffing and maligned prison culture issues into focus. In the wake of the Feb. 1 riot, Gov. Carney ordered an independent review to examine conditions at the prison leading up to the incident and make recommendations to address them. The review produced a 159-page report with 41 key recommendations on addressing the DOC’s “systemic” ills.
Spending more than a year pushing the proposed reforms in the DOC, Ms. DeMatteis and DOC administration claimed progress was made on the majority of them with the exception of a reduction in mandatory overtime for an overworked and understaffed team of correctional officers — purported to be the department’s biggest issue. The Governor’s Office said his plan has included a 22 percent increase in starting pay for correctional officers; investments in new technology, equipment and training; the creation of a Labor-Management Committee to recruit more officers and decrease mandatory overtime; and renewed efforts to help inmates successfully re-enter their communities.
Currently, Ms. DeMatteis is serving as special assistant coordinating re-entry initiatives across six state agencies, including the DOC, Education, Labor and Health and Social Services.
From 2008-2016, Ms. DeMatteis served as General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Privacy Officer of two multi-billion dollar corporations. Previously, she spent four years at Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young, a Mid-Atlantic law firm with offices in Wilmington. She was partner in charge of the firm’s Delaware office from 2007-2008.
During her decade working as senior counsel for then-Sen. Biden, from 1994-2004, she served as a member of a senior team on issues involving law enforcement, women’s rights, civil rights and constitutional matters. She helped guide campaign strategy, managed constituent communications and drafted legislation.
Ms. DeMatteis earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware, and holds a law degree from Widener University Delaware Law School.
Correctional Officers Association of Delaware president Geoff Klopp, who’s worked closely with Ms. DeMatteis during her time as special assistant, thinks she’ll make a “great” commissioner. “There isn’t a more important job right now than DOC commissioner,” he said on Tuesday. “I have complete faith in and support the nomination of Claire DeMatteis. She’s smart, hard working and practical. There is no doubt in my mind that Governor Carney got this one right.”
For her part, Rep. Melissa Minor-Brown, D-New Castle, the new chairperson of the House Corrections Committee, says she’s looking forward to working with Ms. DeMatteis if she’s confirmed. “It’s good to see that she has some experience working in the DOC specifically with addressing some of the systemic issues,” she said. “But it’s also great that she’s coming from outside the department and can offer a fresh voice with fresh ideas and new perspective. She’ll have to learning everything about the department from the bottom us which will be great — I think she’ll do a really good job.”
The most pressing issues Ms. DeMatteis will face going into the department are persistent safety concerns and providing crucial services, said Rep. Minor-Brown.
“We need to make sure we’re abiding by Delaware DOC’s mission,” she added. “We need to ensure that we have a safe environment, for both the inmates and prison staff, and make sure that we’re delivering quality healthcare in our prisons. There is also a lot we have to do to make sure our correctional system keeps its focus on rehabilitation — these are all priorities.”
My email to her:
Dear Ms. DeMatteis, 6/6/19
Congratulations on your appointment.
Having seen D O C from the inside for five years, and now receiving calls and emails from inmates and there loved ones daily for the past 7 years, I can tell you that you have your work cut out for you. Many “officers” will flat out lie to your face.
You should read:
It’s Delaware D.O.C., where cover-up is the name of the game,
It’s Delaware D.O.C., where “criminal” and “officer” are one and the same,
Some are clearly misfits, mal-adjusted, mean-spirited little men,
Sadists, bullies, ignorant bigots surface again and again,
And when any C.O. commits crime, i.e., beats and kicks a helpless, handcuffed man,
The entire rank and file will deny it any way they can,
They lie, file FALSE “affidavits,” scheme to keep the upper hand,
Having absolutely ZERO regard for the law of the land*,
The scale of it, if you have not witnessed it, surely is hard to believe,
But it may as well be D.O.C. written policy: “Lie like Hell and Deceive!”
They abuse their authority, willfully break the law,
On a scale so MASSIVE, it will stick in your craw!
A galling gallimaufry of lies follows each criminal act,
With “officers” proclaiming, “We stick together,” and “I’ve got your back,”
They lie like crazy to the judge, take the court for a ride,
With the Attorney General, no less, stubbornly at their side!
They’re never punished, no matter how heinous their conduct may be,
For their victims, routinely abused, are “only prisoners,” you see,
Never mind that statutes, courts, and the Constitution say they’re protected,
In Delaware D.O.C., such a notion is soundly rejected,
They say, “screw the law; we’ll do whatever we want to do”,
Why? How can this be? Because NOBODY holds ‘em accountable, says “shame on you!”
They’ve gotten away with it so many times, it’s the norm, my friend,
And they’ll do it repeatedly, ‘till someone in authority says “This disgrace must end!”
And if nobody acts, things will stay the same…
It’s Delaware D.O.C., where cover-up is the name of the game.
KRA Winter of 2009.
COs commit crimes daily. Theft (including stealing legal documents), perjury, physical assault, FALSE reports to cover-up crimes.
Especially in SVOP in Georgetown, DE, where inmates are regularly assaulted and beaten by COs without cause.
See my case, # 07-593, U.S. District Court, and numerous others, such as, Curtis Collins, case won in March 2009.
They think nothing of filing false affidavits in court and do so regularly. See my cases # 08-311 and #11-033. Dist. Ct.
False reports, false affidavits; lying is common place to cover up their crimes.
*The first words out the mouth of “lieutenant” Patrick Smith, when I said “you’ll never get away with this…I’ll see you in court” were: “Ain’t no little cocksucker in a robe gonna tell me what to do.” THIS SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT THEIR ATTITUDE. See case # 08-311
I’ve heard them say this many times: “You will get nowhere…we stick together.” To me and to others.
Because DOC is a state agency the Attorney General represents these fools, when he should be prosecuting them!
See #6 above. Also, Warden Phelps told officers at a staff meeting that he will do “whatever he wants to do.”
… an excerpt from: http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/culture-cover-prison-abuse/ = A Culture of Cover Up!