Board of Correction



Civil Service Title: Counsel (Board of Correction)

Level: Managerial

Title Code No: 30090

Salary: $150,000 - $170,000

Agency Title: General Counsel

Work Location: 1 Centre Street, New York, New York 10007 (with periodic time at Rikers Island office)

Hours/Shift: Full-Time, at least 35 hrs/wk

Number of Positions: 1

About the New York City Board of Correction

The New York City Board of Correction (BOC) is a nine person, non-judicial oversight board, which regulates, monitors, and inspects the correctional facilities of the City.  The Mayor, City Council and presiding justices of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the First and Second Judicial Departments (in joint nomination with the Mayor) appoint its members. The Board’s original appointees began in 1957, making it one of the earliest independent oversight boards of detention settings in the United States.  In 1977, the Board’s role was expanded and it became more independent.  The City Charter mandates the Board’s five functions:

  • Establish and ensure compliance with minimum standards “for the care, custody, correction, treatment, supervision, and discipline of all persons held or confined under the jurisdiction of the Department of Correction”
  • Investigate serious incidents
  • Review grievances from people in custody and staff
  • Evaluate the performance of the Department of Correction
  • Make recommendations on areas of key correctional planning.

The Board established the Minimum Standards on conditions in 1979, on mental health care in 1985, and on health care in 1991.  In 2007, the Board finished a comprehensive review of the Minimum Standards and adopted a series of amendments.  Since 2014, the Board has entered rulemaking five times including rules related to the prevention of sexual violence, reporting on serious injuries and, most recently, the elimination of punitive segregation.

The Board has a staff of 27 people spread across lower Manhattan and Rikers Island offices and an annual budget of $2.6 million.  With new staff leadership, funding, and Board members, along with increased public attention and significant jail reform efforts underway, the BOC is in a period of growth and change.  The BOC is reviewing its core vision, strategies, and minimum standards in an effort to re-set and effect change toward smaller, safer, fairer, more humane jails, which minimize collateral consequences.

Job Description

The General Counsel (GC) will be a critical leader on the executive management team at the Board of Correction at a time of growth and change at the agency and in the City’s jails.  The GC must be a consummate city government professional and a creative, flexible, and ambitious leader and thinker.  The GC will manage a team of four staff (Deputy Counsel, Legal Associate, and Correctional Standards Review Specialists) as well as relationships with the Law Department and pro-bono counsel, which is utilized for specific research and secondary opinions on the Minimum Standards. The GC will also provide advisory support to the Executive Director in managing relationships with the Department of Correction, Correctional Health Services, City Hall and other relevant city agencies. The GC will also work with the Nunez monitor and compliance staff associated with the Nunez litigation case.  Additionally, the GC will generate programs and projects with law schools and legal professional associations to bolster the Board’s work.  

As a member of the senior leadership of the Board of Correction staff, the GC will collaboratively support the Executive Director and the Board in maintaining an atmosphere of ethics and integrity in all of the organization's endeavors.  The GC will provide professional advice on critical strategic, legal, and public policy issues facing the Board.  The GC will oversee and supervise all functions relating to legal affairs, rulemaking, compliance, risk management, governance, and human resources.  The GC will be responsible for advising the Executive Director on contractual matters and ensuring compliance with federal, state, and city law.  It will be the role of the GC to ensure that the Board maintains the highest standards of ethical conduct and conformity with government statutes and regulations.

Areas of Responsibility:

Primary responsibilities of the General Counsel and the GC’s team include:

Legal and regulatory

  • Translating policies and practices into and drafting regulations and ensuring compliance with all federal, state, and local laws.
  • Managing correspondence with the Department of Correction and Correctional Health Services regarding compliance with the Minimum Standards.
  • Managing correspondence with the defense bar regarding the Department of Correction’s compliance with the Minimum Standards.
  • Directing and managing the BOC’s legal staff in identifying legal issues, conducting legal research, and advising the Board and management team accordingly
  • Reviewing the Board’s regulations and proposing and drafting regulations to correct inconsistencies, gaps, etc.
  • Leading governance improvements and training for Board members and staff on relevant legal responsibilities or issues.


Policy and strategy development

  • Participating actively and creatively in the BOC’s management team, reporting directly to the Executive Director.
  • Developing policy priorities with the Executive Director and management team.
  • Acting as the primary contact with legal partners at the NYC Law Department, pro bono counsel, and defense bar ensuring such relationships are effective.
  • Supporting the Board’s mission and function through legal support and guidance.
  • Collaborating with other partners in the NYC Department of Correction, City Hall, City Council, defense bar, and the advocacy community.

Compliance and risk management

  • Advising and developing protocols and processes to minimize and manage risks facing the Board, its staff, and individuals detained in or sentenced to the City’s jails.
  • Assuring compliance with legal requirements and internal policies by reviewing and providing advice on proposed projects, agreements, communications, and ongoing policy and field work.
  • Providing direction and advice to the Executive Director and the Board to support and enhance governance processes of the BOC and ensure the agency meets statutory and regulatory requirements.
  • Serving as staff to the Board’s ad hoc Rulemaking Committee.
  • Monitoring any changes in State or NYC statutory or regulatory environment and ensure BOC’s corporate documents and procedures are in compliance.
  • Establishing processes and standards for the review and drafting of all contracts and other legal documents.
  • Managing and overseeing Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) process and responses.
  • Managing and overseeing all legal matters arising from agency operations, including litigation support, human resources, EEO and Labor law, intergovernmental agreements, procurement, and contract disputes.


  • Juris Doctor from an accredited law school; admitted to and member in good standing of the New York State Bar.
  • At least seven years of progressive experience in government or at a law firm.
  • Education and experience comparable to the above.



  • Familiarity with criminal justice and correctional policy and criminal law.
  • Familiarity with NYC and/or NYS government.
  • Familiarity with NYC’s City Administrative Procedure Act (CAPA) rulemaking process.
  • Working knowledge of NYC’s open meetings, contract, and employment law and other local regulatory systems.
  • Able to work entrepreneurially, independently, and in close cooperation with the Executive Director and the management team.
  • Successful management experience in diverse environments and teams.
  • Exceptional problem-solving skills and ability to make tough decisions.
  • Commitment to the mission of the NYC Board of Correction.
  • Ability to frame legal issues in ways that inform organizational decision-making and to set and advance organizational priorities to enhance and more effectively carry out the BOC’s goals and objectives.
  • Ability to work as an active and creative member of the senior management team in a highly collegial and changing organization in a changing environment.
  • Highly skilled at working collaboratively and effectively with multiple external partners and entities to achieve the BOC’s goals.
  • Service as an inmate in correctional or related facility may be substituted for a portion of the required experience up to a maximum of two years.



For City employees: Go to Employee Self-Service (ESS) at and search for Job ID# 456331

For all other applicants: Go to and search for Job ID# 456331.

Please submit a cover letter and resume.  

Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity

POST DATE: 01/06/2021

POST UNTIL: 02/05/2021

JVN: 456331


Appointments are subject to Office of Management and Budget approval.


The New York City Administrative Code requires an employee in this title to establish city residence within 90 days of entering City service and to remain in compliance with the city residence requirement as a condition of employment.


The City of New York and the Board of Correction is an equal opportunity employer and committed to diversity. Submission of an application does not guarantee an interview. Only candidates under consideration will be contacted. Candidates who are contacted will be asked to complete an initial phone interview. Candidates who are subsequently called for an in-person interview will be required to complete a brief writing and analysis assignment.