Above: Norwood E. Jackson (1934 - 1995) for whom the Norwood E. Jackson Correctional Center in Valhalla is named.
He was appointed commissioner to head Westchester's correctional system in April 1987 after having served as warden 15 years.
He was the first African-American to assume the leadership of a major criminal justice agency in the government of Westchester County.
A native of Washington, D.C., he was a graduate of Central State College in Wilberforce, OH and briefly played professional football for the Cleveland Browns before a military career.
Jackson was trained as an Airborne Ranger in the U.S. Army and later served as Commanding Officer of the 8th Army Correctional Treatment Facility in Korea and as Assistant Commanding Officer of the U.S. Confinement Facility in Vietnam, among other assignments.
During his government service in
Westchester County, Jackson was an active member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board and an elected member of the Board of Directors of the American Jail Association (AJA).
He completed 35 years of active and reserve duty with the U.S. Army in 1993 and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
As Correction Commissioner, he actively promoted the 1987 voter referendum resulting in construction of a new $68 million pre-trial jail facility that opened in 1992.
Following his death in 1995, the county named its correctional center for him in a public ceremony on August 15, 1995. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery: Section 60 / Grave 6705.
Photograph by County Photographer Antony Vitulli.. All rights retained and reserved.
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- Manual of Westchester County, Past and Present: Civil List to Date - 1898, Henry T. Smith, Publisher (White Plains, NY: 1898).
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Above: Dedication of 2nd Westchester County Penitentiary (2004 - Present).
In November 2000, Westchester voters approved a referendum to build a replacement penitentiary for $59.5 million. Months earlier, the 1916 "Pen" had been condemned by the NY State Commission of Correction as "unfit for human habitation and unsafe for inmates and staff" after 84 years of use.
With capacity for 280 short-term prisoners in a mix of secure cells and dormitory space, the new construction also created a 16-cell "super-max" Special Housing Unit and covered renovations to expand inmate programs.
The Grosfeld Partnership of NYC was hired as architects. Worth Construction Corporation of Bethel, Ct. functioned as general contractor.
The replacement was formally dedicated on May 6, 2004 and was built on the grounds of the original facility, which was demolished in 2002.
Photograph by Westchester Correction Sgt. Donald Smith, the agency's co-webmaster.. All rights are retained and reserved.
- The American Architect and Building News (Boston: Houghton, Orgood & Co., Vol V, No. 166 -- March 1, 1879), pp.68-87.
- Withey, Henry F. and Elsie Rathburn Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased), New Age Publishing Co. (Los Angeles, CA: 1956).
The author gratefully acknowledges the research assistance provided by
Archivist Elaine Massena and her staff at the Westchester County Archives and
Records Center in Elmsford;
- Evelyne H. Ryan, Executive Director of the Bedford Historical Society;
- Nancy Hadley, Archivist at the American Institute of Architects in Washington, DC;
- Edward Varno, Executive Director of the Ontario County Historical Society;
- Lorraine Kennerly, General Manager of the White Plains Rural Cemetery:
- Christopher Marinaro, Office Manager at the Westchester County Historical Society:
- Maryann Marshall of the Historical Society Serving Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown;
- James A. Giliberto, Legislative Librarian at the N.Y. State Capitol in Albany; and
- Georgette Hedberg of the Dobbs Ferry Historical Society.