NEW YORK — New York City Department of Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann is stepping down after a near 40-year career in public service, the department announced Tuesday.
Brann will leave the role at the end of May, according to a press release.
She has served New York City in the role since being named commissioner in October 2017, and served as deputy commissioner for four years before that.
“During my time as Commissioner, I have seen the men and women of this department rise to extraordinary challenges time and again,” Brann said in a statement. “They are more committed to keeping our jails safe than the world will ever know, and my heartfelt thanks go out to Mayor de Blasio for giving me the opportunity to work with them.”
The department noted that under Brann, the city “emerged as a leader” in ending mass incarceration, including the “groundbreaking” plan to close Rikers Island and ongoing efforts to end solitary confinement.
“I leave the Department with absolute confidence that, as we emerge from the pandemic, the fundamental changes we have put in place will ensure that we are well on our way to becoming a humane model for other jails to follow,” Brann said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio echoed the department’s sentiments in a statement on Brann’s resignation.
“I am grateful for her efforts to create a jail system that is more humane for people in custody,” the mayor said.
However, the union representing New York City corrections officers didn’t seem to feel as favorably about the departing commissioner.
Benny Boscio, president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, gave PIX11 a scathing statement on Brann and her departure early Tuesday before the news had been officially announcd.
“Under her watch, Cynthia Brann presided over one of the darkest chapters in the history of our agency, marred by record levels of jail violence, including thousands of assaults on Correction Officers, the botched management of COVID-19 in the jails, resulting in the death of nine officers, and most recently, the gross mismanagement that has led to Correction Officers forced to work triple shifts without meals and rest,” Boscio said.
The union boss said he hoped that with Brann’s departure will come a new focus on the safety of everyone in city jails, from inmates to correction officers.