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Former Biden counselor DeMatteis to lead Carney prison reform

James Morrison
Delaware Public Media
James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna

A former senior counsel to then-U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, Claire DeMatteis, is taking a lead role in helping Gov. John Carney make changes at the Department of Corrections.  

The governor announced Wednesday the appointment of DeMatteisas Special Assistant to the Governor at the Department of Correction.


She’ll be focused on reforming management practices and training, as well as a cultural turnaround in the state prison system.


She’ll also be working with Correction Commissioner Perry Phelps to implement the governor’s prison reform plan that he created in the wake of February’s deadly riot at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

That plan includes hiring and training 50 new correctional officers at Vaughn and installing $2 million worth of new cameras there.


“We’re serious about getting this right. Claire is tough, she is independent-minded, and she has the judgement and credibility necessary to work alongside Commissioner Phelps and help us make real change,” said Gov. Carney in a statement.


“We owe it to the correctional officers, inmates and citizens of Delaware to get this right and resolve past deficiencies,” said DeMatteis. “We have a clear road map and mandate to make the needed changes.”


DeMatteis has a diverse legal background and most recently served in a senior role at the Department of Labor.


She begins in July and will report directly to the governor.


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