QUEENSBORO CORRECTIONAL FACILITY SUPERINTENDENT DENNIS BRESLIN AWARDED 2019-2020 “WARDEN OF THE YEAR” BY THE NORTH AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF WARDENS AND SUPERINTENDENTS
Breslin’s 47-Year Career Includes Contributions to Combating Substance Use Disorder through the Implementation of DOCCS’ Statewide Opioid Overdose Prevention Training and Medication-Assisted Treatment Methadone Program
“Warden of the Year” Nominations are Considered from State, Federal and Private Correctional Agencies Across the United States and Canada
LONG ISLAND CITY – Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) Superintendent Dennis Breslin has been named as “Warden of the Year” by the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents (NAAWS). According to NAAWS, the award recognizes one Warden or Superintendent each year who has gone the extra mile to solve problems in their organization, has involved themselves in community or local organizations, and has mentored in the development of others. Superintendent Breslin will be officially recognized for his achievement at NAAWS’ annual banquet on May 27, 2020, in San Antonio, Texas.
DOCCS Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci said, “For over 47 years, Superintendent Breslin has been a truly dedicated and caring corrections professional who has provided leadership and direction on behalf of the Department. In every role that he assumed during his career, he has performed in an exemplary manner, and while each promotion and re-assignment meant a larger and more difficult clientele group, a larger workforce to supervise, and the issues that come with each, Superintendent Breslin did not shy away from any assignment, gladly accepting the challenges that each brought with it. It is my honor and pleasure to congratulate him for earning this prestigious recognition.”
Superintendent Breslin, who has held that title at Queensboro Correctional Facility since 2011, began his career as a Recreation Therapist in 1972. Continuing on a therapeutic path, Breslin has served as a Narcotic Rehabilitation Counselor, Drug Abuse Counselor, Correction Counselor, Assistant Director of the Community Correction Center at the now-defunct Fulton Correctional Facility, Deputy Superintendent for Program Services at four facilities, Superintendent at three facilities, and finally, Supervising Superintendent of DOCCS’ New York City Hub.
In February 2015, Superintendent Breslin began a pilot program at Queensboro that provided opioid overdose prevention training to incarcerated individuals, as well as giving them the option to receive a Naloxone kit upon their release from prison. The pilot program was so successful that it has now been expanded to all of New York State’s 52 correctional facilities and serves as a model for other states interested in offering a similar program in their correctional institutions. Since its inception, approximately 28,566 incarcerated individuals and 38,400 employees have received training on the risk of opioid overdose and the use of Narcan, and as of November 2019, more than 16,103 incarcerated individuals returning home have requested a kit.
Following Superintendent Breslin’s success in implementing the training pilot, he was again chosen in 2018 to spearhead a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Methadone pilot program announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo designed to assist specific returned parole violators who have a previously identified opioid addiction, enabling them to continue their treatment upon transfer to Queensboro Correctional Facility. As part of the program requirement, participants regularly attend addiction and other counseling services, and when released, continue receiving treatment through a community-based organization. Through Breslin’s leadership, the MAT Methadone pilot program has not only been a success at Queensboro, but has been expanded to additional segments of the incarcerated population at other facilities. Ultimately, this program will help reduce the likelihood of recidivism, overdose and death.
Breslin is the sixth Superintendent from New York State to receive the “Warden of the Year” award since it was introduced in 1979-80. Previous recipients include retired Otisville Superintendent Kathy Gerbing—the first female Superintendent from New York State to be honored—in 2017-2018, as well as retired DOCCS Commissioner Brian Fischer in 2006-2007.