Thomas A. Beilein, Chairman
Thomas Loughren, Commissioner
In Memoriam: Phyllis Harrison-Ross, M.D.
Long-time state Commission of Corrections Commissioner Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross died after a brief illness on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, leaving behind an impressive record of public health advocacy in New York State. She was 81.
Dr. Harrison-Ross’ first service with the Commission came after Gov. Hugh Carey appointed her as the Medical Review Board’s psychiatrist in 1976. She was appointed as one of three commissioners in 2008 and became chairwoman of the Medical Review Board, which Board, which is responsible for determining the cause and circumstances of all deaths in custody.
During a lifetime of public service, Dr. Harrison-Ross accumulated an impressive array of distinctions, accolades, and awards, as evidenced by her biography. A champion of the underserved population, she pioneered public programs for children with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses in the New York City area. She authored two books, co-hosted a television program, radio show and served as a trustee for the New York Society for Ethical Culture, which later named an award for public service in her honor.
Commission Chairman Thomas A. Beilein and agency staff extend their sincere condolences to all who knew and worked with Dr. Harrison-Ross. Though she will be sorely missed, her four decades of service at the Commission has left a positive legacy that will last into the foreseeable future.
The New York State Commission of Correction has a mission to provide for a safe, stable and humane correctional system in New York State.
To this end, the Commission:
- Promulgates minimum standards for the management of correctional facilities;
- Evaluates, investigates and oversees local and state correctional facilities and police lock-ups;
- Assists in developing new correctional facilities; and
- Provides technical assistance.