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The State Board of Corrections was created in 1955. It was composed of seven gubernatorial appointees and charged with the care , custody , control , management administration , and supervision of all prisoners. Additionally , the Board was to oversee prison labor and industry ; all prisons , farms , workhouses , and jails ; the sale of products of the institutions , and the execution of all court orders.
The Board was to appoint a qualified administrator , the Director of Corrections , who was to promulgate any and all correctional rules and regulations for Board approval ; appoint all necessary wardens and superintendents ; and oversee the daily operations of the correctional system. Legislation also provided for the establishment of a Division of Criminal Statistics. 2
The State Board of Corrections assumed the duties of the Board of Trustees of the New Castle County Workhouse and the Sussex County Board of Trustees of the Prison and Prison Farm. The Board also handled any correctional matters previously dealt with by the Kent and Sussex County Levy Courts. Although the legislation was passed in 1955, it did not take full effect until July 1, 1956 to allow for a smooth transfer of operations. 3
In 1964 a new Department of Correction replaced the State Board of Corrections. The former Board’s seven members were carried over to form , with two additional members , a Board of Correction. This Board served as the policy making authority for the new Department, interpreting its responsibilities , problems, functions, and needs. 4
A commissioner of Correction , appointed by the Board , served as the executive officer in charge of the Department’s daily operations. The Department was organized as follows :
Division of Field Services ( with Director )
– District Directors
– Casework Supervisors
– Field Counselors ( and Assistants )
Division of Statistics , Research , and Planning
Division of Institutions
In 1937 Delaware entered into a compact with a number of other states and the consent of Congress. The compact permitted two or more state to enter into agreement for a “Cooperative Effort and Mutual Assistance in the Prevention of Crime and for other purposes”.5 It is cited as the “Uniform Law for Out-of-State Parolee Supervision”. The 1964 reorganization added the responsibilities for this compact to the Department.6 The terms of the compact permit contracting states to allow any person convicted of a crime and placed on probation or released on parole to reside in any of the party states. Those “receiving states” assume the duties of visitation of and supervision over probationers or parolees of any “sending state”. Duly accredited officers of a “sending state” may enter a “receiving state” and there apprehend and retake any person on probation or parole. Said officers will be permitted to transport prisoners retaken through state parties without interference. The Governor may designate an officer to act jointly with other like officers of other contracting states to promulgate such rules and regulations to carry out the terms of the compact.

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In 1969 a massive reorganization of State government occurred in an effort to maximize the efficiency of State operations. The Department of Corrections was dissolved; all of its functions and duties were transferred to a new Division of Corrections which was placed within the created Department of Health and Social Services. Simultaneously with this reorganization , the legislature established a Council on Adult Corrections which served in an advisory capacity to the Director of Corrections. A Council on Youth services was instituted to provide advice on youth offenders. The members of the defunct Board of Correction and the Youth Services Commission assumed positions on the two new councils. 7
A slight change of focus occurred in 1972 when the Division of Corrections was split into a Division of Adult Corrections and a Division of Juvenile Corrections. 8
However , in 1975 the legislature removed the Division of Corrections from the Department of Health and Social Services , establishing it as an independent agency once again. It was renamed the Department of Correction. A Commissioner , known as the Commissioner of Correction , established the Bureaus of Adult Correction and of Juvenile Correction and appointed their respective bureau chiefs. At the same time , an eleven member Council on Corrections was created to act in an advisory capacity to the Commissioner of Correction. 9
In 1983 the legislature created the Department of Services for Children, Youth , and Their Families ; it immediately assumed the responsibilities of the Bureau of Juvenile Correction. Facilities whose responsibilities were also transferred included the Ferris School for Boys , Woods-Haven Kruse School for Girls , Bridgehouse, Stevenson House, and the Terry Children’s Psychiatric Center. 10
Presently , the Department of Correction is organized as follows :
Office of the Commissioner
Division of Community Services
Bureau of Administration and Operational Support
Bureau of Industries and Services
Bureau of Adult Correction
In – house policies and procedures are entitled by an eleven member executive committee. The committee consist of the Commissioner; his executive assistant; the personal administrator; the chief of community relations; the chief of security; the director of internal affairs; the staff training administrator; and the chiefs of the Bureau of Adult Correction , the Bureau of Industries and Services, and the Bureau of Administration and Operational Support.

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1 50 D.L. , ch. 486

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 54 D.L. , ch. 349.

5 41 D.L., ch. 215.

6 54 D.L., ch. 349

7 57 D.L. , ch. 301.

8 58 D.L. , ch. 698.

9 60 D.L. , ch. 251.

10 64 D.L. , ch. 108.
JRF; March 2 , 1989

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