New York City

3 members appointed to NYC jails watchdog board

October 28, 2014 By Jake Pearson Associated Press
Bill de Blasio hired three on Monday to oversee NYC's board of correction. AP Photo/John Minchillo
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A hospital executive, a former deputy child-welfare commissioner and a corporate lawyer have been appointed to the New York City board charged with overseeing the jail system.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday the appointments of Dr. Steven Safyer, Jennifer Jones Austin and Derrick Cephas to the New York City Board of Correction.

The civilian oversight board has roughly 20 staff. It holds public meetings, sets minimum standards for care and monitors the lockups.

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Advocates had criticized it for having no minorities or experts in mental illness.

The nations’ second-largest jail system is overwhelmingly black and Hispanic. And about 40 percent of the 11,000 daily inmates are mentally ill.

Cephas and Jones Austin will be the board’s first two black members. Safyer is white.

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