DOC mystery photo 17: The Correction Commissioner and the Catholic Cardinal
Recognize anyone else? Where? Year? Occasion? See commentary below.

To NYC DOCers (current and retired):

While at the Correction Academy early one moning in late July 2013, there to assist re-installation of Correction History voice mail at 718 417-2315, this site's webmaster was approached by a veteran Correction Officer who announced:

"I came across something I think you will want to preserve as a piece of DOC history. Maybe you'll want to post it on the site too. It's a framed photo that looks like it goes back about 30 years. I found it in a store room. It was jammed behind and beneath boxes and stuff, dusty and dirty, apparently forgotten by whomever put it there decades ago."

The officer presented the webmaster with a battered wooden picture frame containing, behind the cut-to-fit glass, a slightly stained b&w photo, approximity 8 by 10 inches. A digital image of the print is shown above.

The artifact was gratifully received by the Correction History webmaster who promised to preserve it as well as post it on the site, along with publicly acknowledging its rescuer by name for his thoughtfulness. The CO shook his head, "No spotlight necessary; I'm just happy this piece of DOC History won't be lost."

The stiff cardboard which held the photo in the frame was taped to the back of the wood. Between the stiff backing and the actual photo was a color print of a Norman Rockwell illustration, the kind that would be displayed in the frame on a store shelf featuring such frames for sale.

The back of the b&w photo was blank, providing no clue to when, where or by whom the picture was taken. However, the webmaster immediately recognized a few of the people in the scene: left to right, Chief of Operations Thomas L. Murray (love that shiny shark skin suit), NYC Correction Commissioner Jacqueline McMickens, and New York Archbishop John Joseph Cardinal O'Connor. The corridor appears to be the long one in the former Rikers Island Penitentiary, aka the House of Detention for Men (HDM), now called the James A. Thomas Center (JATC).

The time of the picture-taking -- evidentially during a visit to the jail by the Cardinal -- would have been between early 1984 and the fall of 1986. That conclusion is based on two facts: O'Connor was appointed to head the NY Archdiocese Jan. 26, 1984 and McMickens' tenure as DOC Commissioner also began in January 1984, only eight days prior to the bishop's appointment. Her tenure in the position ended Sept. 22, 1986. O'Connor was elevated to Cardinal May 25, 1985. He continued to head the archdiocese until his death in 2000.

Anyone with information shedding more light on the identities of any of the 11 other persons in the photo or on any other aspect of this "mystery photo," please email the webmaster at the e-address below.

-- NYCHS webmaster

DOC photo mystery 18: The Hart Island Correction Officer and the Swan
Recognize Which Ferry Slip and Which Potter's Field CO? See commentary below.

To NYC DOCers (current and retired):

As Correction History webmaster, I have kept this sequence of digital photo snapshots ever since I took them many years ago while serving as an escort for visitors to Hart Island. The problem is I didn't get the Correction Officer's name at the time nor note at which ferry slip -- City Island's or Hart's -- the scene took place. My duties at the moment as escort didn't lend themselves to writing down details.

The visitors and I watched the CO, on a meal break, coax the beautiful bird to share in it. I had only time to snap the shots, not take notes. Since I have served occasionally as a volunteer escort on Hart even after retirement, I can't fix the time of the photo-taking as pre-retirement or post-retirement. Since the picture files have been transferred from one hard drive to another over the years, their file dates reflect only the last migration or modification.

Anyone with information shedding more light on the identity of the officer on meal break and on which ferry slip vicinity served as the setting for this "mystery photo" sequence, please email the webmaster at the e-address below. I will endeavor to contact the officer who, perhaps like me is now retired, and ask if he wishes to share his ID with us as he shared his meal break with the swan those long years ago.

-- NYCHS webmaster

Email --- webmaster Thomas C. McCarthy at NYCHS@NYC.RR.COM
Commentary on DOC mystery photo 17: The Commissioner and the Cardinal
From New York Correction History Facebook group page members & others.
  • Martha Charles and Kevin Mahoney like this.
  • Kevin Mahoney
    Faces, not names, sorry. . . but it is H.D.M.
  • Martha Charles
    Looks like Mary Rice on the far right.
  • Vincent DiGiacomo
    I remember this photo; I had just started the job around this time.
  • Jacqueline Perry
    That is Mary Rice, far right hand corner.
  • Jerry O'Gara
    Lou Catrone, security officer, with mustache. Left as an ADW from AMKC.
  • Vincent Coppola
    I think I saw Ed Correa, far left corner. . . Retired as an ADW.
  • Jerry O'Gara
    That's right; it is Correa.
  • Odell Adams
    Behind Comm. McMickens I believe is T. Martin. (He use to do leather work; I have a shield case that he made for me.)
  • Brian Suprenant
    The stoic officer visible over Murray’s left shoulder is the late Louis Cutrone [ADW at time of death].
  • Sharon Joseph
    Mary Rice was the female escort. She worked in Operations at 100 Centre Street and was a devout Catholic. That might have been why she was chosen [as escort]. Besides she knew McMickens well; they had worked the Women’s House [in Greenwich Village] together before [Jackie] was elevated to Chief of the Department [prior to the Commissionership].
  • Freddie Lewis #826 C.O. Trans Div, 1965 - 1990
    Reggie Thorne, over Commissioner McMickens' left shoulder!

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