CHAPTER 486

CREATING A STATE BOARD OF CORRECTIONS

AN ACT AMENDING TITLE 11, DELAWARE CODE, PERTAINING TO PRISONS AND PRISONERS, AND CREATING A STATE BOARD OF CORRECTIONS HAVING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CARE, SUPERVISION AND ADMINISTRATION OF PRISONS, CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES AND PRISONERS IN LIEU OF COUNTY BOARDS AND OFFICERS AND THE TRANSFERRING OF PROPERTY AND PRISONERS TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE STATE, DEFINING CERTAIN CRIMES, APPROPRIATING FUNDS AND REPEALING CONTRARY PROVISIONS.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Title 11, Delaware Code, is amended by repealing Chapters 65, 67, 69, 71, 73 and 75 of such title and enacting in lieu thereof a new chapter to read as follows:

CHAPTER 65

STATE CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM

Subchapter I. General Provisions

§ 6501. Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to establish a State correctional system administered by a Board of Corrections which is completely responsible for the care, administration and supervision of the detention and correctional services and facilities of the State in order that these services and facilities may be most effectively and efficiently utilized for the rehabilitation and restoration of offenders to the community as useful law-abiding citizens.

§ 6502. Definitions

As used in this chapter--

"Board" means the State Board of Corrections.

"Director" means the Director of Corrections.

"Law" includes the laws and ordinances of this State, political subdivisions and municipalities thereof.

"Prisoner" includes any person convicted of a crime or offense as defined in section 101 of this title or of the ordinances of any incorporated municipality of this State, including a person committed for civil or criminal contempt, except

(1) a person not yet eighteen years old when adjudged guilty by a Family or Juvenile Court of this State, and

(2) a person who has been adjudged criminally insane or criminally inclined and has been committed to the appropriate authority.

Subchapter II. State Board of Corrections § 6504. Composition and appointment

There is created a State Board of Corrections consisting of seven members appointed by the Governor with at least two members resident in each county. No more than four members shall be of the same political affiliation. Each member shall have been a resident of the State for at least five years at the time of appointment.

§ 6505. Term

The original members of the Board shall be appointed to serve the following terms : two members for two years, two members for four years, three members for five years. Thereafter members shall be appointed for terms of five years.

§ 6506. Vacancies

The Governor shall fill any vacancy occurring, otherwise than through the expiration of a member's term, for the unexpired term.

§ 6507. Oath

Each member, before entering upon the duties of office, shall take and subscribe to the constitutional oath.

§ 6508. Compensation

The members of the Board shall be paid their necessary traveling expenses and the sum of $10 per day while in attendance at meetings of the Board or of its sub-committees, such payments not to exceed, in aggregate, the sum of $300 per year to any one member.

§ 6509. Officers

The Board shall elect from its members a chairman and a vice-chairman. It may also select a secretary who need not be a member of the Board.

§ 6510. Meetings

The Board shall meet at regular stated intervals and otherwise as it or the chairman shall determine. The Board shall meet at least once each month. Upon request in writing to the chairman by any four members, the chairman shall call a meeting at the time and place requested. A majority vote of the Board of seven members shall be necessary to pass any motion or resolution. The Board shall keep minutes of each of its sessions.

§ 6511. Rules, regulations and orders

The Board shall make rules, regulations, and orders for the conduct of its own proceedings and the performance of its functions.

§ 6512. General powers and duties

(a) The Board, subject only to powers vested in the judicial and certain executive departments and officers of the State, shall have exclusive jurisdiction over the care, charge, custody, control, management, administration and supervision of (1) all prisoners, (2) prison labor and prison industry, (3) all prisons, farms, workhouses and jails wherein prisoners are committed, and (4) such other facilities as may be established by the Board for the safekeeping, correction or rehabilitation of prisoners.

(b) The Board shall be responsible for executing the orders of the Court as to sentences of corporal and capital punishment.

(c) The Board may sell the products of its institutions and farms to other institutions supported in all or in part by taxes levied within the State of Delaware; prices to be set as provided by rule of the Board. All funds received from such sales shall be deposited in the General Fund.

§ 6513. Federal prisoners

The Board may agree with the United States authorities for payment to the State Treasurer of such sum as shall be fixed by the Board for the maintenance and support of prisoners committed to the Board under authority of the United States. Such funds may be expended by the Board as if a part of the Board's appropriation.

§ 6514. Board as agent for trustees or managers of training schools

The Board, as agent for the trustees or managers of Ferris School for Boys, Woods Haven School for Girls or Kruse School, may accept any minor properly committed under authority of sections 5109, 5312 or 5512 of Title 31. While any such minor is in the custody of the Board he shall be held separate and apart from the more hardened criminals, and the Board shall bill monthly the trustees or managers of the respective training schools for the maintenance and upkeep of all such minors in its custody. In all cases where a minor is released from the custody of the Board the minor shall be redelivered to the trustees or managers of the training school from which the minor was committed for parole or discharge, or further confinement in that training school.

§ 6515. Offices

§ 6516. Facilities, equipment and supplies

The Board shall acquire by lease, purchase, or otherwise all necessary facilities, equipment, supplies, and articles for the carrying out of its duties in the safekeeping, maintenance, and improvement of prisoners.

§ 6517. Personnel

The Board shall employ the personnel necessary to carry out its duties under this chapter.

§ 6518. Lands and buildings

The Board shall acquire by lease, purchase, or otherwise, and hold in the name of THE STATE OF DELAWARE for the use of the Board, all necessary lands and buildings for the carrying out of its duties.

The Board may also lease to others and sell or otherwise dispose of its lands and buildings in the name of THE STATE OF DELAWARE, and any funds received from such transactions shall be paid to the General Fund of the State. A deed executed by the Board on behalf of THE STATE OF DELAWARE shall pass good title to lands held by the Board.

§ 6519. Contracts; limitations on board members

No member of the Board shall be interested directly or indirectly in any contract relating to the function of the Board ; nor shall any member, or anyone in the family of a member, hold any office or position under the Board.

§ 6520. Annual report

On the 15th day of November of each year, the Board shall make a report to the Governor covering the operation of the Board for the preceding year. Each member of the General Assembly shall be sent a copy of the report by the Board. Upon request in writing to the Board, copies of the report shall be made available to such citizens as may desire them.

§ 6521. Seal; records as evidence

The Board shall adopt a seal and all orders, rules and regulations of the Board shall be published over such seal. Copies of all records and papers in the offices of the Board, certified by an authorized agent of the Board and authenticated by the seal, shall be evidence in all cases equally, and with like effect, as the originals.

Subchapter M. Director of Corrections § 6525. Appointment

A Director of Corrections shall be the responsible administrator for the Board. He shall be appointed by the Board, serve during its pleasure, and be paid a salary prescribed by the Board. At the time of his appointment the Director shall have had a minimum of 15 years training and experience in a field of correctional institutional administration ; and the first Director shall have been a resident of the State for a minimum of five years.

§ 6526. Duties and responsibilities of director; rules

(a) The Director shall promulgate rules and regulations, subject to the approval of the Board :

(1) for the management, control, and operation of the general affairs of the Board;

(2) for the safe keeping, correction and rehabilitation of prisoners committed to the Board ;

(3) regulating the nature and limitations of authorized punishments for violations of the rules established for the government of any institution or facility under the jurisdiction of the Board, but corporal punishment shall be not inflicted therefor;

(4) for the administration, supervision, operation, management, and control of State prisons and prison farms, or any other institution or facility under the jurisdiction of the Board ;

(5) for the management and control of prison labor and industry.

(b) He may promulgate, subject to the approval of the Board, regulations with respect to the affairs of the Board as he may deem necessary or expedient for the proper administration of this chapter, and he may with the approval of the Board, modify, supplement, or rescind any rule or regulation. No rule or regulation of the Director shall be adopted which shall be inconsistent with this chapter or the orders, rules, and regulations of the Board.

(c) The Director shall be responsible to the Board for the exercise of his powers and duties.

Subchapter IV. Personnel

§ 6530. Appointment

The warden or superintendent of each institution or facility and all other employees necessary for the operation of the Board and the institutions and services under its jurisdiction, shall be appointed by the Director, subject to the approval of the Board.

§ 6531. Discharges

All discharges shall be for cause and in accordance with the regulations and procedures established by the Board. Upon request in writing, any discharged employee shall be given a hearing before the Board.

§ 6532. Compensation

The compensation of employees shall be as fixed by the Board.

§ 6533. Bonds of officers or employees

The Board may require an appropriate bond from any officer or employee appointed by or subject to the control of the Board, conditioned upon the faithful performance of his duties and the accounting for all money and property within his control.

Subchapter V. Commitments, Deliveries and Transfers

§ 6540. Commitments and deliveries to the board

Each prisoner convicted in this State shall be committed to the custody of the Board. Each person so committed shall be delivered by the officer having the prisoner in charge, to the institution designated by the Board, in the county in which the committing Court sits.

§ 6541. Transfer of prisoners

(a) The Board shall establish rules to govern the transfer of prisoners between the various institutions and facilities under its jurisdiction. The Director shall determine what transfers are to be made and shall issue the necessary orders. The reasons for ordering the transfer shall be a matter of record in each case.

(b) No female prisoner under the jurisdiction of the Board shall be transferred unless accompanied by at least one female officer or guard.

§ 6542. Copies of sentences and reports

The officer acting as clerk of the committing Court or justice of the peace shall deliver to the Board a commitment for every prisoner at the time the prisoner is delivered to the custody of the Board.

§ 6543. Incarceration upon arrest by private detectives

All persons arrested by private detectives or private detective agencies on State, county or municipal warrants, or in any other manner, shall be incarcerated only in the custody of the Board or in a place provided by the State, county or municipality for the incarceration of prisoners.

Subchapter VI. Classification of Prisoners

§ 6550. Classification by the director

The Director shall classify the prisoners in the several institutions and facilities under the jurisdiction of the Board.

§ 6551. Organization of classification committees

Subject to the approval of the Board, the Director shall promulgate regulations in accordance with which one or more classification committees shall be organized and operated.

§ 6552. Duties of classification committee

Immediately after a prisoner who is sentenced for 90 days or more is received at any institution under the jurisdiction of the Board a classification committee shall obtain and file complete information with regard to such prisoner. Similar records shall be compiled on prisoners sentenced to less than 90 days upon the order of the Director or of the Warden or superintendent involved. When all such existing available records have been assembled, each such classification committee shall determine whether or not any further investigation is necessary and if so, it shall make such additional investigation. Each classification committee shall determine and prescribe the custodial and rehabilitation program and the care for each prisoner coming under its jurisdiction. The classification committees shall determine the prisoners who shall work and labor and shall assign prisoners to jobs according to their abilities and in the manner best calculated to effectuate their training and rehabilitation. Review for reclassification shall occur periodically in accordance with Board regulations, or whenever the committee shall deem it advisable.

§ 6553. Separate program for youthful offenders; special facilities for witnesses and those awaiting trial

(a) Appropriate separate custodial care and work and training facilities shall be provided for youthful prisoners by the Board.

(b) Such special facilities also shall be provided for witnesses detained for inability to give bail and those awaiting trial as the Board deems fit and necessary.

Subchapter VII.

Prisoners Work; Compensation and Payment

§ 6560. Work

All prisoners shall be compelled to labor at some suitable employment 8 hours each secular day, unless physically disabled. If any prisoner committed to the custody of the Board shall refuse to work or neglect to perform his task properly, he shall be dealt with as the warden or superintendent shall direct but within the limits prescribed by the Board.

§ 6561. Compensation

The Board, or such agents or employees as are authorized by the Board, shall fix the rate of compensation to be paid to prisoners for their work, but this rate need not be the same rate received by the Board for the work. The warden or superintendent shall keep a separate account showing the earnings of each prisoner.

§ 6562. Outside employment

(a) The Board may adopt rules and regulations governing the employment of trustworthy prisoners outside of the institutions and facilities under the jurisdiction of the Board.

(b) Any prisoner employed under the provisions of this section shall continue to be in the legal custody of the Board, notwithstanding his absence from an institution by reason of such employment, and any employer of any such prisoner shall be considered the representative of, or keeper for the Board.

* (c) Whoever, being an employer or other person, through negligent control of the prisoner or otherwise or whoever counsels, advises, aids, assists, abets or procures the escape from the legal control of the Board of any prisoner employed hereunder shall be fined, or imprisoned, or both, as the Court in its discretion may determine.

§ 6563. Payment of compensation

(a) The compensation earned by a prisoner shall be paid to him at the time of his release, except, that the wardens or superintendents may from time to time, in their discretion, or upon the order of a court of competent jurisdiction, pay all or part thereof to any person actually dependent on the prisoner, and wardens or superintendents may from time to time allow from such compensation an amount to a prisoner for spending money.

(b) A husband or parent sentenced to imprisonment for desertion or failure to support a wife or child, shall receive for his labor compensation, from the officer in charge of the institution in which he is imprisoned, and the same shall be disbursed as provided by Chapter 5, Title 13, Delaware Code.

Subchapter VIII. Diminution of Sentence

§ 6565. Record of prisoners behavior; sickness

(a) The warden or the superintendent of each institution shall keep a record of each prisoner in accordance with the form prescribed by the Director. The record shall show the prisoner's behavior, fidelity, and compliance with the rules to the end that each prisoner may merit diminution of the period of his confinement and the recommendation of restoration of citizenship in cases of felony.

(b) If a prisoner is prevented from working by sickness or other infirmity, not intentionally produced by himself, or from any cause for which he is not responsible, he shall be entitled by good conduct to the same deduction from his sentence for each month as is otherwise provided.

§ 6566. Rate of reduction of sentence

When a prisoner has not been guilty of any violation of discipline, or any rules of the prison and has labored with diligence and fidelity: --

(1) for each month commencing on the first day of his arrival at the prison he shall be allowed a reduction of five days from the period of his sentence ;

(2) when a prisoner has passed one year of his sentence, less the reduction of his sentence as provided in paragraph (1) of this section then from that time he shall be allowed a reduction of seven days for each month from his sentence ;

(3) when a prisoner has passed two years of his sentence, less the reduction of his sentence as provided in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this section, then from that time he shall be allowed a reduction of nine days for each month from his sentence ;

(4) when a prisoner has passed three or more years of his sentence, less the reduction of his sentence as provided in paragraphs (1-3) of this section, then from that time he shall be allowed a reduction of ten days for each month from his sentence.

§ 6567. Forfeiture of granted time

For every violation of the rules and discipline, or for want of diligence and fidelity in the performance of work, the prisoner shall not only forfeit all granted time for the month in which the delinquency occurs, but according to the aggravated nature and frequency of his offenses, the warden or superintendent may with the approval of the Director deduct a portion or all of his previously allowed time.

Subchapter IX. Division of Criminal Statistics § 6570. Establishment by Board

The Board shall establish within itself a general division of criminal statistics under the supervision of the Director.

§ 6571. Exchange of information with Board of Parole

The Director shall make available to the Board of Parole all information in his possession requested by the Board of Parole in order to carry out its duties. The Board of Parole shall provide for the Director a copy of its record in the case of each prisoner who had previously been granted a parole by the Board of Parole.

Subchapter X. Violations and Penalties

§ 6580. Furnishing contraband; penalty

Whoever furnishes to any prisoner committed to the jurisdiction of the Board :

(1) Any intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug of any kind except as prescribed by a physician for medical treatment; or

(2) Any money without the knowledge and consent of the Board ; or

(3) Any deadly weapon or part thereof or any instrument or article which may be used to effect an escape; shall be punished by fine or imprisonment, or both.

§ 6581. Violation of section 6543

Whosoever, being a private detective, violates the provisions of section 6543 of this title shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500, or in default of the payment of such fine, imprisoned not less than six months nor more than one year.

Section 2. This Act shall become effective for the purpose of appointing the State Board of Corrections July 1, 1955. Thereafter such Board shall employ the Director of Corrections herein provided for, establish an office, conduct studies, prepare rules and regulations and generally do whatever preliminary steps are necessary and proper prior to its taking over jurisdiction under this Act.

Section 3. Until July 1, 1956 all jurisdiction and control and financing of the Board of Trustees of the New Castle County Workhouse, the Levy Court of Kent County, and the Board of Trustees of the Prison, Prison Farm, Court House and Court House Annex of Sussex County or Levy Court of Sussex County with respect to prisons, prison farms and prisoners shall continue as heretofore.

Section 4. On July 1, 1956:

(1) all jurisdiction and control of said Boards of Trustees and/or Levy Courts over prisons and prisoners shall be transferred to the Board which shall have exclusive jurisdiction as set forth in this Act.

(2) all persons then imprisoned in the New Castle County Workhouse, the Kent County Jail, or Sussex County Prison or Farm shall be transferred and committed to the custody of the Board. Any Court in this State shall, if it appears necessary, do all acts necessary to commit any prisoner to the custody of the Board in accordance with and to carry out the purposes of this Act.

(3) Title to all property and assets of the Board of Trustees of the New Castle County Workhouse, the Levy Court of Kent County, and the Board of Trustees of the Prison, Prison Farm, Court House and Court House Annex of Sussex County or the Levy Court of Sussex County pertaining to the prisons or prisoners as herein set forth shall be vested in the Board, and the Boards of Trustees and/or Levy Courts shall evidence the transfer of title as herein above set forth.

(0) The Board of Trustees of the New Castle County Workhouse, the Levy Court of Kent County and the Board of Trustees of the Prison, Prison Farm, Court House and Court House Annex of Sussex County or Levy Court of Sussex County shall each convey and transfer in fee simple, to THE STATE OF DELAWARE for the use of the Board, all real estate, and assign, transfer and deliver to the Board all equipment and property, including monies and personal property belonging to prisoners, or other assets, all records, files and other papers, which are held by the Board of Trustees of the New Castle County Workhouse, by the Levy Court of Kent County pertaining to the Kent County Jail and by the Board of Trustees of the Prison, Prison Farm, Court House and Court House Annex of Sussex County or Levy Court of Sussex County pertaining to the Sussex County Prison and the Prison Farm.

(5) All wardens, employees, agents and personnel of the Board of Trustees of the New Castle County Workhouse, the Levy Court of Kent County pertaining to the Kent County Jail, and the Board of Trustees of the Prison, Prison Farm, Court House and Court House Annex of Sussex County or Levy Court of Sussex County pertaining to the Sussex County Prison and the Prison Farm shall become wardens, employees, agents and personnel of the Board and all existing orders, rules and regulations of said Boards of Trustees and/or Levy Courts pertaining to the aforesaid institutions and prisoners shall continue in effect as orders, rules and regulations of the Board until changed by it.

Section 5. On and after July 1, 1956 all references in the Delaware Code to the New Castle County Workhouse, the Kent County Jail and the Sussex County Prison or Prison Farm or to the Trustees having jurisdiction over any such institutions or to any Levy Court in respect to its jurisdiction over such institutions shall be taken to be general references to the facilities under the jurisdiction of the State Board of Corrections or as references to the State Board of Corrections.

Section 6. On or before June 1, 1957 and each second year thereafter the Levy Court Commissioners of each county shall certify to the State Treasurer the sums of money necessary to meet the requirements for paying the interest and principal falling due on any bonds which were issued in connection with the construction or improvement of any of the institutions affected by this Act during the fiscal biennial of the State of Delaware beginning July 1 in the year in which the certification is made. There is appropriated to the Levy Court Commissioners of each of the counties respectively for the use of the said counties such sums of money as shall be necessary for the payment of the principal and interest on all of the said bonds, the said sums to be used for such purposes and for no other purposes.

Section 7. Any former or present employee of the Trustees or the Levy Courts having charge of the institutions affected by this Act who were or are employed in connection with or at such institutions and who are subsequently employed or retained by the State Board of Corrections shall receive full credit for

the time he was employed by any political subdivision of the State in computing the number of years of service required to receive pension benefits within the meaning of the State Employees Pension Plan or any State pension plan adopted in lieu thereof. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to alter the pension status or to grant pensions to any employees who are not employed by the State Board of Corrections within 18 months after July 1, 1956. No employee shall be entitled to the pension benefits provided herein until he has completed two years as an employee of the State Board of Corrections and has met all the other requirements of the State Employees Pension Plan or any State pension plan adopted in lieu thereof.

Section 8. There is appropriated to the Board the sum of $50,000 for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1955, and the sum of $750,000 for the fiscal year beginning July 1. 1956, which sums shall be paid from time to time upon warrants signed by the president of the Board.

Section 9. This Act is a supplementary appropriation and the money appropriated shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of the General Fund of the State of Delaware.

Approved July 26, 1955.