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Former Prison Official Talks About Reform In Rhinebeck

David L. Miller, former Eastern New York Correctional Facility superintendent, plans to talk about reforming the criminal justice system on Feb. 16 at Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck.
David L. Miller, former Eastern New York Correctional Facility superintendent, plans to talk about reforming the criminal justice system on Feb. 16 at Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck. Photo Credit: Oblong Books and Music

RHINEBECK, N.Y. -- Focusing on the shared humanity of inmates and staff alike allowed David L. Miller, former superintendent of the Eastern New York Correctional Facility in Napanoch who will speak in Rhinebeck this month, to help transform the lives of those incarcerated in the maximum security prison.

Miller, author of self-published "Punishment Enough," plans to talk about his ideas for reform of the criminal justice system at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, at Oblong Books and Music, 6422 Montgomery St.

The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Send an email to rsvp@oblongbooks.com .

Ex-inmate Lou Mortillaro will join Miller at this event to provide additional perspectives. The event is timely given that President Obama is suggesting society look critically at the criminal justice system in his recent op-ed in the Washington Post "Why we must rethink solitary confinement."

Miller's book looks at how he approached changing inmates for the better so they would be able to re-enter society. Miller said he used common sense, patience and a sense of humor in his job, often trying to initiate creative programs.

" 'Punishment Enough' is particularly noteworthy for including the personal stories of ex-inmates who have been able to re-enter society with new and better goals," said William B. Rhoads, professor emeritus at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Miller retired in 2005 as superintendent of Eastern Correctional Facility and supervising superintendent for the Hudson Valley Region after 39 years of service with the state. During his career, he was active in the American Correctional Association Accreditation Process, was a trained hostage negotiator and coordinated the state Department of Correctional Services executive team training program.

He has taught both at an undergraduate and graduate level for SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Ulster and has served as a consultant for the Excelsior College Criminal Justice Assessment Program and the National Institute of Corrections.

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