Friday, July 20, 2012

Arnie Matos Confirmed as NorCo's new Director of Corrections

Arnie Matos
Arnie Matos was unanimously confirmed as Acting Director of Corrections during last night's Northampton County Council meeting. The vote was 7-0, with Council members Bruce Gilbert and Lamont McClure absent.

Matos, who had served as Volunteer Services Coordinator, was credited with helping keep the population at much lower records that were projected n a 5 year-old study. Although the prison population was projected to exceed 1200 this year, yesterday's census was 680.

Like County Executive John Stoffa and former Corrections Director Bob Meyers, Matos is a "firm believer that what these folks need is treatment."

This attitude transcends ideologies. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a staunch Republic and former United States Attorney, has just signed a law emphasizing treatment over incarceration for drug offenders.

Matos' appointment comes at a good time. Northampton County Jail has just received a glowing report from state inspectors, with no deficiencies noted. "I have never seen a report like that," remarked Executive John Stoffa.

Matos told Council last night that he hopes to expand the treatment options available to the jail's female population.

Like Bob Meyers, the person he's replaced, Matos started his career with Northampton County as a corrections officer.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Mr. Matos....but that doesn't change anything. The job or position should be eliminated. It was created to take care of a political hack and nothing has changes since she left the position. Another waste of taxpayers money.

Anonymous said...

Hurray Hurray Hurray....just like every other reporter you missed the boat Bernie. The story isn't about the appointment. The story is about the reduction in inmates at the prison from more than one thousand to less than 700. Just like Gracedale when the resident population went from almost 800 down to 500. How many emploees at Gracedale were laid off because of less residents? the answer
N O N E. Now that we have less than 700 inmates, how many prison guards were laid off.....N O N E. Government waste at its finest. Why aren't we laying off guards and the monies saved used to pay for the other services you mentioned. You praise Stoffa. He is the problem Bernie. He is a poor administrator that has no clue. He is as honest as the day is long but a poor administrator just the same. Where are the McClures and Barrons on this issue? These are simple common sense issues Bernie. Who is at the helm here. Wake these people up. The general public shouldn't have to bring these things to there attention. That is what we elect them for. let's see....30 guards at
salaries and fringe benefits of approximately 70 thousand a year. Ahh...who worries about a mere pitance of more than 2 million dollars. Screw the taxpayer. He deserves it for electing such assholes.

Bernie O'Hare said...

A jail's population, at 700, requires every correction officer who is there. If it expanded to 1200, there would be a need for more. So I think you're jumping the gun by suggesting a reduction in staffing.

At Gracedale, the private management team has already identified staffing as an issue to be addressed. They are trying to increase census, by the way. In their assessment, they made numerous recommendations about staffing, from reductions to privatization. I suspect that some of those will be implemented after they are fully vetted.

In the case of the jail, I think you are premature. In the case of Gracedale, very specific recommendations have been made and are being implemented after full consideration.

Anonymous said...

There are a few of thosae jobs over at the prison anon 12:58. We all know who they are. It is a practice that has gone on for years.

Bernie O'Hare said...

No question that booth Gracedale and the jail are worlds unto themselves.

Bill said...

Really happy to hear acknowledgment of treatment as what is needed. At least 75% of incarcerated persons have substance dependency issues.

Treatment in prison is less effective that community treatment as people do best in a therapeutic setting where they can openly talk about difficult things like sexual trauma, which is also at a high incidence in addicted persons.

Your other major piece of the week on the Rev and the housing project is not uncommon either and there is a revolving door effect as these needs are not addressed.

I am deeply concerned after reading the State Budget and the Human Services Block Grant language that money that currently goes to underfunded treatment options will end up elsewhere. Incarceration ends up being the most expensive and common outcomes for persons with addiction, and this has an effect on are whole community.

Dave Houser said...

Arnie is a good and decent man. I have known him for a few years now and I wish him the best. My question is this..who takes his very important position of Volunteer Coordinator? It should not be handed to Chris Santos under any circumstances for obvious reasons. Arnie has done a tremendous job moving the jail from an incarceration mind set toward rehabilitation using the resources of community volunteers at every level of the prison. The selection of the next vol. coord. is crucial to the continued success of any and all reentry initiatives for returning citizens. Too much progress has been made to see a return to the old days. Please chose a qualified person to be the next person to sit in Arnies' chair.

Dave said...

And just so you know up front..I don't want the job and I'm not positioning things to apply for the job. I would like to be part of the process of selecting that person but that is just a suggestion and a wish on my part. I'm sure the Prison Advisory Board will also have some input as to who that person will finally be.

Uncle Remus said...

a bullet in the back while attempting escape is cheaper and more efficient than treatment. get the minorities first then you can cover yourself by saying they planned it. (just a helpful hint from yours truly)

IF YOU AIN'T WHITE YOU AIN'T RIGHT

Anonymous said...

Who's the cutie behind him?

Anonymous said...

Well what is Arnie going to do about the horrific story of neglect you posted yesterday? Answers Arnie!

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:55, Matos is responsible for over 300 prison programs. The more of these, the less chance that one person or program can prey on people. Things are really getting better. But despite all the re-entry programs, the prison lacks a discharge policy. It needs to develop one, and this is something that should be discussed with the PAB.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

One thing you failed to mention was the fact that Matos shared and office for many years with Mr Santos. To what degree was he involved with filtering inmates into the run down house. Working that closely with one another, I am sure he had knowledge of what was going on and didn't stop it.

I think that says all we need to know about this man. What is he going to do to stop it?

Bernie O'Hare said...

11:28, I work in the Recorders' Office. I can tell you there are plenty of searchers in there who hate my guts. Sharing an office does not mean they are married. But we shall see.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Who's the cutie behind him?"

She was there to discuss the Miracle League, which i will write about soon.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does he have an uncanny resemblance to Trayvon Martin shooter, George Zimmerman?

Anonymous said...

It appears that Mr. Matos has made an executive decision already..Santos is gone. That's what I call swift action. Sometimes you just got to do what is appropriate under the circumstances. Waiting for confirmation but that is the word on the street.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I will attempt to confirm.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Let me add that if this rumor is true, it gives me no pleasure. This would make him the third person in the last two years to lose a job as a result of what I write. As hard as you might find this to believe, I really don't like to cause pain to others, especially in matters of employment.

Anonymous said...

He appears to have lost the gig at the jail all on his own and he still has a job as a preacher IF he really is one and it truly is his calling. People do things to themselves Bernie. We all realize that fact of life. We all have a shot at redemption. Even Chris..

Anonymous said...

This may be an easy out for the jail administration also. Did he resign..was he canned..did he just not show up for work? Some questions remain to be answered.

Anonymous said...

He was never a county employee. Fee for services to his church was the deal. You break contract language..you lose the fee for services deal. An opportunity still exists for him and the church to correct the mistakes they have made. Will they cooperate with the city and county and run their business in the light of day? The choice is his and theirs.