October 31, 2014
By Amanda LoMonaco
New York, NY — Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed three new members to the Board of Correction: Steven M. Safyer, Jennifer Jones Austin, and Derrick D. Cephas. As members of the Board, they are tasked with establishing and ensuring compliance with minimum standards, regulating conditions of confinement, and correctional health and mental health care in all City correctional facilities.
This Board has been the driver of reforms like improving the quality and availability of mental health care for inmates, ensuring non-discriminatory treatment of inmates, and ensuring access to recreation and free practice of religion. The board plays a critical regulatory and oversight role over the Department of Correction. They serve to promote a safe, secure and humane correctional setting in jails for staff and inmates alike.
The Board of Correction consists of nine members, three of whom are appointed directly by the Mayor, three by the Mayor in conjunction with the presiding justices of the first and second department, and three by the City Council. Dr. Steven Safyer is a direct mayoral appointment; Jennifer Jones Austin is a joint appointment with Presiding Justices of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First and Second Judicial Departments; and Derrick Cephas is a joint appointment with Presiding Justices of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First and Second Judicial Departments.
Jennifer Jones Austin, is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies and a former co-chair of Mayor de Blasio’s transition team. Derrick D. Cephas, is a partner in Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP’s Corporate Department and a former member of Mayor de Blasio’s transition team. Steven M. Safyer, MD, is President and CEO of Montefiore Health System, the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine.