NYC Department of Correction
maintained by the
NY Correction History Society
in the archives at the
NYC Correction Academy.
The Autumn 1992 Issue of Correction News
Below is the text from the issue's front page article about Catherine M. Abate becoming Commissioner April 20th.
The article appeared on the front page accompanied by a photo of the formal swear-in ceremonies June 25 at City Hall.
On Page 2 of the issue appeared a brief bio entitled 115 Leonard to 60 Hudson: 3 blocks and 20 years. It also is reproduced below.
The issue carried excerpts from her inaugural remarks as well as photos and brief bios of DOC's newly-named top uniformed and civilian management executives.
Other photos and stories in the issue related to 300 honored at Medal Day, CO Elmer L. Velez becoming International Association of Correctional Officers' 1992 Correctional Officer of the Year, Hispanic officers protesting a mural they viewed as insulting to Latinos, the dedication of the Capt. Anthony Robles Training Center on Rikers, ADW Steven Conry gaining BA and MPA degrees at John Jay College, and the appointment of Milton Haughton, Ralph McGrane and Jannie L. Poullard as wardens.
Commissioner Catherine M. Abate formally swore in on August 17th the new management team she has put in place at Correction whose 14,000 employees provide the daily care, custody and control of more than 20,000 inmates in the city's jail facilities.
Since becoming Correction Commissioner April 20th, Commissioner Abate -- who formerly headed city Probation -- has assembled an executive mix from inside and outside Correction, including nationally known professionals.
The officials sworn in at the City Hall ceremony included the top civilian, First Deputy Commissioner James C. Shine, and the highest ranking uniformed member, Chief of Department Marron Hopkins.
Others sworn were Deputy Chief for Classification, Movement and Court Operations Nancy E. Reese, Chief of Division 1 Joseph F. Colon; Chief of Compliance Management Robert J. DeRosa; Deputy Commissioner of Capital Development and Support Services Antonio Figueroa; Deputy Commissioner for Investigation and Management Services Lacy C. Johnson; Deputy Commissioner for Strategic Planning and Programs Amy E. Singer, and Assistant Commissioner for Technical Development Richard B. Shapiro.
Commissioner Abate expressed confidence that, "The department's organizational restructuring and the accompanying recent promotions and new appointments advance our agency's mission concerning care, custody and control of those placed with us by the courts.
"New perspectives and long-time experience are being blended so that new initiatives undertaken have firm foundations and realistic planning."
3 blocks and 20 years
From Probation Department offices at 115 Leonard St. to Correction Department offices at 60 Hudson St. is a short walk of about three blocks.
In making the move April 20th, Catherine M. Abate went from leading an agency with about 1,550 employees to heading one with about 14,000.
The Probation Department supervises the conditioned release status of some 77,000 annually. The Correction Department maintains custody of some 115,000 incarcerated annually.
The general field of the 44-year-old attorney's new role remains the same professional area where she has amassed two decades of diversified experience: the criminal justice system.
At the time of her Correction appointment, Ms. Abate served on the Governor's Task Force on Rape and Sexual Assault, the Advisory Board of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA), the Advisory Board of Survivors of the Shield, the National Board of the National Organization of Italian-American Women, Board of Advisors of the Coalition of Italo-American Associations, the Board of Executive Women in Human Services and the Advisory Board of the Catholic Inter-Racial Council. She also was a Board Member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York Fund, Inc. and the Association's Committee on Legal Issues Affecting Crime Victims.
In his March 24 announcement of Ms. Abate's appointment as the 29th Correction Commissioner in the city's history, Mayor David N. Dinkins cited her "broad and intimate knowledge of criminal justice."
A frequent lecturer, panelist and writer in the areas of victim, criminal, human and women's rights law, Ms. Abate's addressing criminal justice issues spans about 20 years.
A cum laude Vassar College graduate, Ms. Abate (pronounced A-ba-TAY) received her law degree from Boston University Law School in 1972 and joined Legal Aid as a trial attorney in 1980.
Married to attorney Ronald E. Kliegerman, she has a teenaged son, Kyle. Ms. Abate was elected to three terms as the Democratic Party District Leader in the 61st Assembly District (Greenwich Village) and served as First Vice Chair of the New York County Democratic Committee. As a member of the Board of Directors for the Village Nursing Home, she co-chaired the AIDS Project which established the first comprehensive day treatment center for persons with AIDS in the country.
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