- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - The head of New York City’s powerful 9,000-member correction officers’ union has blasted the mayor’s pick to run the nation’s second-largest jail system.

Norman Seabrook said Thursday in a fiery press conference that the Department of Correction doesn’t need a non-New Yorker known as a reformer to run city jails.

But that’s exactly who Mayor de Blasio’s picked to head the jail system. Joseph Ponte (PONT’) last ran corrections in Maine where he was credited with reducing that state’s use of solitary confinement. He starts Monday.

Seabrook warned that ending solitary confinement for inmates who break jailhouse rules will lead to increased violence and possibly the death of an officer.

The DOC said safety is a top priority. Ponte said in a statement he looks forward to discussing Seabrook’s concerns.

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