The New York Times is Wrong That Commissioner Ponte was “Forced to Resign”

Here Are the Facts.

Today, the New York Times misleadingly wrote that Department of Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte was “forced to resign” last month.

New York Times, June 22, 2017

In fact, after three years of admirably serving the Administration, the Commissioner had previously decided to retire this year. The New York Times itself last month acknowledged that the Commissioner “had planned to retire in the next several months”. 
 
Under Commissioner Ponte’s tenure, the Department of Correction has experienced profound gains, including:

  • Measurable reduction in serious violence on Rikers Island
  • Dramatic reduction in the use of solitary confinement and elimination of the practice for all inmates 21 and under
  • Expansion of dedicated housing units for individuals with mental health issues
  • Expanded programming and re-entry services for all individuals in custody
  • Complete facility-by-facility overhauls through “restarted” housing units

The Mayor supports Commissioner Ponte during his remaining days on the job and is grateful of his extraordinary leadership of the Department of the past few years.