Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

Commissioner Fischer Wins "Warden of the Year" Award

New York State Department of Correctional Services Commissioner Brian Fischer has won a national award for his service as superintendent of Sing Sing Correctional Facility.

The North American Association of Wardens & Superintendents presented the “Warden of the Year” award to Mr. Fischer Aug. 13 during the American Correctional Association’s summer conference in Kansas City, Mo.

A career professional in drug and alcohol treatment and corrections, Mr. Fischer ran Sing Sing for six years before Governor Eliot Spitzer selected him to run the Department.

In nominating Mr. Fischer for the warden of the year award last November, then-Acting Commissioner Lucien J. Leclaire Jr. said: “His knowledge and leadership skills are respected by staff and inmates alike in Sing Sing’s daily operations. He is seen routinely since he is one of those Superintendents who regularly walks every location in his prison, stopping to listen to staff and inmates. He is a confident leader who considers all sides before implementing a policy. Once he has decided on a plan of action, his employees know that he expects his direction to be carried out fairly and consistently with the safety and security of the staff and inmates as an overriding concern.”

In all, 22 other states nominated a warden or superintendent for the 2006-07 award.

Mr. Fischer is the fourth New Yorker to win the annual award, which began in 1979-80. The others were Phillip Coombe Jr. of Eastern Correctional Facility (also a former acting commissioner) in 1982-83, Thomas R. Barry of The Tombs, run by the New York City Department of Corrections, in 1985-86, and Walt Kelly of Attica in 1998-99.