ASCA executive committee meeting in August 2006: From left, Morris Thigpen (NIC); Jeff Beard (PA); Glenn Goord (NY); George Camp (ASCA executive director); and Richard Stalder (LA). Having served 2 years as president Stalder passed that gavel on Aug. 13 to Goord, who passed it back on Aug. 31, when he retired as Commissioner. ASCA Vice President Theo Beck (NC), will assume presidential duties on Oct. 1st.
Glenn Goord good-byes: To Pataki, DOCS, ASCA
Glenn Goord delivers his first/last speech as president of the Association of State Correctional Administrators.

Images above, Goord text below from ASCA newsletter Corrections Directions July - August 2006

'Look forward, have fun, stay healthy. . . '

Today is Sunday, August 27, 2006. It has rained all weekend so no golf. Tuesday was my retirement picnic attended by 1,200 of my friends and colleagues.


Elements of the above composite image are from page 1 of the July - August issue of the ASCA newsletter Corrections Directions.
Most of the people who attended wanted to make sure that I was really leaving.

Tomorrow I leave for GITMO for three days with Jim and Betty Gondles and others to review some specific areas.

Wednesday is my last day as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services.

What I donít want to be doing is writing this article, but I promised George, Camille, and Marla I would, and since I will hold the record for the shortest term as your President of ASCA, I feel a sense of obligation.

ASCA has been a part of my tenure as Commissioner for the past ten years, so I will make an attempt to pass on some wisdom.


Commissioner Goord and his office staff at his retirement barbecue Aug. 22: (ladies from left) Kathleen, Diane, Marian and Christi.
When I look at my 32 years in Corrections, I am proud of the progress we have made, in all areas from staff training to inmate programs and medical and mental health services.

But we can, and should, always continue to improve. Itís time for us to be more proactive.

We, including our employees, cannot continue to do what we do and be defined by advocates and those who donít believe in prisons, or by movies and TV shows. ASCAís efforts to gather data are a good start.

We need to increase our communication to our employees and the community. We need to educate the public that we do not put people in prisons -- laws do, laws passed by legislatures and signed by Governors.


Goord and Assistant Commissioner/Executive Assistant McSweeney at Commissioner's retirement barbecue. They started their careers together at Woodbourne.
We need to better explain the resources we get and how we spend those resources.

Our success can and should be judged on how well we provide for the public safety and on how well we prepare the offenders for a successful transition back into society.

Prison should not be the place people come to develop skills or receive medical treatment that may not be available in the community.

We should stand for public safety while opening discussions with the community on why crimes are committed and what we can do to prevent this behavior.

We should work to put ourselves out of business -- we know that wonít happen and shouldnít, but we need to curb prison growth.

In New York, crime and the prison population have been reduced, there is a lesson to be learned here.


Glenn and JoAnn at his retirement barbecue.
After 32 years in this profession, what have I learned? Itís simple:

Be honest, communicate with your employees, the public and the inmates.

Learn from your mistakes, plan for incidents but work harder on preventing them.

Always look forward, have fun, and stay healthy.

This is my first and last act as your President.

What next? Who knows. It has been a good ride.

Text below from Glenn S. Goord's letter of retirement to Gov. Pataki;

'Arguably best state correctional system in nation...'


Top part of Commissioner Goord's retirement letter.
Dear Governor:

It is with the deepest respect for you and admiration for your accomplishments that I advise you of my decision to retire from state service effective August 30, 2006.

Since April 16, 1996, 1 have had the honor of serving you as Commissioner of this Department. As I close out 32 years of state service, I want to thank you for nominating me to become the first career Department employee ever to be confirmed by the Senate as its Commissioner.

You have given enormous support and resources to the 32,000 dedicated, hard working and professional employees of this Department.


Above sepia image based on DOCS Today May 1998 front cover B&W photo of Commissioner Goord clapping encouragement and support during emotional moment as Gov. Pataki took the hand and held the shoulder of Bruce Greishaber, whose daughter, Jenna, 22, was slain by repeat offender. The scene above took place during a press conference announcing "Jenna's Law" establishing tougher penalties.
The tools you have provided have made our system safer and more secure than ever, It makes ours arguably the best state correctional system in the nation.

We have, for example, seen both the rates and numbers of inmate-on-staff and inmate-on-inmate violence fall to their lowest levels since such record keeping began a quarter-centuiy ago.

You initiated and completed the largest construction plan in state history for the addition of maximum-security beds.

This action added the space necessary to house violent offenders for longer sentences while allowing us to separate those continuing to commit violence even after they were sent to prison.

You have also implemented alternatives to incarceration that have decreased the number of felons behind bars. You have allowed more than 72,000 selected, nonviolent offenders to earn early release through the completion of rehabilitative programs.

Those programs have, in turn, led to a 42 percent decrease in the number of parolees returning to prison for the commission of new crimes.


Above facsimile based on a scanned image of the Commissioner's retirement letter.
Your policies have resulted in a record decline in crime across the state. That is, in part, due to your 1995 decision to bar violent felons from all state prison work release programs.

Governor, it has been my high honor and true privilege to serve you and the people of New York State.

I thank you for having given me this opportunity.

Text below from Glenn S. Goord's memo to staff announcing his retirement:

'Seems like yesterday I started at Woodbourne ...'


Above from scanned image of Commissioner's retirement memo to staff.
It is with much thought and great pride that I announce my retirement from state service effective August 30, 2006.

Pride, because I am proud of what you have accomplished during my tenure as Commissioner.

In my letter to Governor Pataki, I thanked him for his enormous support and resources to the 32,000 dedicated, hardworking and professional employees of this Department.

Much of what you have accomplished the past 11-plus years has been because of his support and commitment to public safety and safety within our facilities.

It seems like yesterday when I started in Woodbourne in June, 1973.


Above sepia image based on DOCS Today July 1998 page 10 B&W photo of Commissioner Goord inspecting Greene CF Special Housing Unit.
During the good times and the bad times, you continued to move the system forward with a positive ďcan doĒ attitude that is part of this system.

There is no more difficult job in public service than corrections.

In most cases, we are misunderstood. But like myself, we should stand on our records of successes.

I want you to know how much Governor Pataki, the people of New York, and I appreciate and thank you for your efforts.

I trust you will continue to move this system forward.

Thanks again.

To Mogul and Friend page
To Glen S. Goord retiring after 32 years with DOCS, 10 as Commissioner page
To Governor names Lucien J. Leclaire Jr. as Glenn S. Goord's successor page

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