Division of Criminal Justice Services

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John Caher, (518) 457-8415 or (518) 225-5240 (cell)
For immediate release: June 12, 2009

Senate Confirms Seright for Review Panel
Rev. Jimmie Seright of Niagara Falls to serve on council that reviews inmate complaints

The New York State Senate has unanimously confirmed the Reverend Jimmie Seright, executive director of the New Jerusalem of Niagara Falls Reporting Center for Boys, as a member of the Citizens Policy and Complaint Review Council. Reverend Seright was nominated for the unpaid position earlier this year by Governor David A. Paterson.

The council is an arm of the state Commission of Correction that was created by the Legislature to increase public participation in the oversight of local correctional facilities. It oversees the inmate complaint and grievance process, reviews complaints that could not be resolved at the local level, and advises the Commission in connection with its mandate of improving conditions in local jails. The council is comprised of seven members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Members of the panel are appointed for five-year terms.

Reverend Seright, an ordained elder in the Independent Church of God in Christ in Niagara Falls, is executive director of a not-for-profit organization that provides young men with positive role models, family case management, counseling, education advocacy and court intervention. The center works with boys who have a history of general misconduct, often times of a serious nature and offers an after-school program that teaches them to make goals for themselves and respect other people.

Reverend Seright is also the founder of Majestic Booking and Promotions Inc., a public relations firm that promotes gospel recording artists, and has long been active in his community. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the “Beautiful People Award” from the Niagara Beautification Commission and the “I Have a Dream Award” from the Niagara Falls Martin Luther King Committee. Reverend Seright was cited by the Niagara Gazette for “outstanding work with at-risk youth.”

“I would like to thank Governor Paterson for the confidence he showed in me by appointing me to this important position, the Senate for its unanimous approval, and the support and encouragement I received from Tom Beilein, chairman of the Commission of Correction,” Reverend Seright said. “As a longtime advocate for at-risk and disenfranchised youth, I am acutely aware of the impact that a jail term has on a young person, that person’s family and the entire community. As a resident of the inner city of Niagara Falls, I understand the importance and difficulty of successful transition from incarceration to the community.”

Reverend Seright said many at-risk young people fail to show respect for other people and their property because they feel no one ever showed them respect.

“I believe that, by our example, we can teach incarcerated individuals an important lesson about fairness, justice, respect and, yes, accountability. That is what I intend to do – review complaints fairly and justly,” Reverend Seright said.

The Commission of Correction regulates and oversees the operation and management of state and local correctional facilities. It also reviews inmate complaints and grievances. Last year, the Commission received nearly 1,700 inmate grievances and more than 3,000 complaints.