State of New Jersey
       
Department of Corrections
"Protecting Public Safety by Changing Offender Behavior"
Commissioner
                         Marcus O. Hicks, Esq.
NJDOC

About Us

Commissioner Marcus Hicks

Commissioner

Marcus O. Hicks, Esq.

About the Commissioner
Marcus O. Hicks, Esq., is the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) with more than 15 years of public policy and legal experience. As Commissioner of the State's second-largest Department, Hicks is responsible for a budget of nearly $1 billion and 8,000 employees. Hicks oversees approximately 20,000 state-sentenced offenders housed across 12 correctional facilities, county jails and community halfway houses. Before his appointment as Commissioner, Hicks served in many roles throughout the Department conducting policy analysis, research, and evaluation, managing grants, human resources, staff training and fleet services, as well as procurement and contracting of reentry services. Ensuring safety across the facilities and the holistic rehabilitation of offenders is the Commissioner's core focus, realized through behavioral therapy, addictions treatment, vocational and educational training, and the initiatives listed below.


Commissioner Initiatives:

Ensuring the safety of those in NJDOC’s care is the Commissioner’s top priority. This past year, the NJDOC commissioned a host of safety improvements at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women, including:
  • The establishment of an all-female safety and accountability taskforce examining and recommending facility safety improvements
  • The institution of gender restrictive posts
  • Staff training on gender responsiveness and trauma-informed practices
  • Education on the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
  • Increased camera surveillance and more
The NJDOC stands proudly with fellow state agencies to address the opioid crisis. By addressing substance use disorders, the likelihood that an incarcerated individual will be in a position to make a positive contribution to society when released increases. The NJDOC addresses substance use disorder through:
  • Training of Correctional Police Officers to administer Narcan
  • Distribution of Narcan in release folders with free replacements for expired Narcan
  • Testing of individuals with substance use disorder and other risk factors for Hepatitis C
  • The development of a Peer Navigators program to assist through the addiction recovery journey
  • County jail grants funding the adoption of MAT medication, staff, training and/or the development of MAT programs.
NJDOC's commitment to offender reentry is realized through a variety of programs, including vocational and educational training. Offenders have the opportunity to earn High School Equivalency diplomas and post-secondary degrees from institutions like Rutgers University, Raritan Valley Community College, and Princeton University. The incarcerated also have the opportunity to engage with a variety of trades, including metalwork, culinary, farming, carpentry, mechanics, to name a few. Furthermore, Commissioner Hicks regularly advocates for the hiring of released individuals, and our dedicated Vocational Planning Board assists with available post-release employment opportunities.
While the NJDOC does not have a role in the daily operations of county jails, the Department remains vigilant in establishing suicide prevention standards that must be met by each county jail in partnership with the New Jersey County Jail Warden's Association. The plan includes suicide prevention training, technical assistance with policy development, unannounced annual inspections of county facilities and more.
Learn more about the Commissioner's Initiatives in the 2018 Annual Report.

Executive Staff:
The individuals below comprise of the New Jersey Department of Corrections executive staff under the leadership of Commissioner Marcus O. Hicks, Esq.

Victoria Kuhn
Chief of Staff

Victoria Kuhn

Michelle Ricci
Deputy Commissioner

Michelle Ricci

Melinda Haley
Assistant Commissioner, Division of Diversity and Legal Affairs

Melinda Haley

Gary Alpert
Assistant Commissioner
Division of Administration

Gary Alpert

Dr. Darcella Sessomes
Assistant Commissioner
Division of Programs and Community Services

Dr. Darcella Sessomes

Duane Grade
Chief Investigator
Special Investigations Division

Duane Grade

Liz Velez
Director of Communications
Office of Public information

Liz Velez

Our Facilities
The New Jersey Department of Corrections is comprised of 12 correctional facilities and 14 community halfway houses . Click on a facility name below for important visitor’s information and directions.