Delaware Senate confirms new corrections system leader

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The Delaware Senate has voted unanimously to confirm Democratic Gov. John Carney’s nominee to lead the state’s corrections system, which in recent years has faced a fatal prison riot, lawsuits alleging mistreatment of inmates and chronic staffing and morale problems.

The Senate voted Wednesday to approve Carney’s nomination of Claire DeMatteis to replace Department of Correction Commissioner Perry Phelps. Phelps plans to retire July 15 following a brief tenure.

DeMatteis says her top priority is safety and security in DOC facilities for staff, inmates and members of the public. She also has acknowledged that safety and security depend on adequate staffing.

Carney first turned to DeMatteis in 2017, hiring her as a special assistant to help implement recommendations contained in a report on the February 2017 riot at the state’s maximum-security prison.

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