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1/7/2021 - Warden Smith Accepts Equal Opportunity Office Position

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, NEW JERSEY (January 7, 2021) Richard Smith, Warden for the Cumberland County Department of Corrections, has announced that he has accepted a position as an Equal Employment Opportunity Director. In his new position, Smith will be responsible for the implementation of a comprehensive strategic Equal Employment Opportunity Plan. In addition to his career in corrections, culminating in service as Warden of the Cumberland County Jail since 2017, Smith has been actively engaged for decades in the promotion of equal opportunity and civil rights through his leadership roles as a Commissioner for the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights and a board member and officer with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), at the local, state and national level.

“I am very proud of our accomplishments at the Cumberland County Department of Corrections during my tenure as assistant to the warden and then as warden”, stated Smith. “During that time we obtained a federal grant to open a job center at the jail, were the first in the State in GED graduations, implemented a Medication Assisted Treatment program for substance abuse and implemented both a five member officer search team and K-9 program to drastically reduce the introduction of illegal contraband into the jail”, Smith stated. “But, from my earliest days as a correction officer with the New Jersey Department of Corrections and throughout the many positions I held with the NJDOC before coming to the Cumberland County Jail, I saw the consequences of a lack of opportunity on a daily basis”, declared Smith.

“My service as a National Board Member, State President and long standing member of the NAACP as well as Commissioner to the NJ Division on Civil Rights has provided me with a platform and voice to promote the expansion of opportunities for people denied pathways to success by the societal obstacles placed in their way”, Smith stated. “My position as a Director of Equal Opportunity, will empower me to channel a lifetime of experience and commitment to action to expand employment opportunities”, added Smith.

Cumberland County Administrator, Kim Wood, stated, “This is bitter-sweet for us in Cumberland County government. We are happy for Warden Smith as the expansion of opportunity is his passion, but we will miss his wise and steady leadership that we have come to rely upon, particularly during the challenges COVID-19 has presented.”

Joseph Derella, Director of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners stated, “We will miss the Warden’s leadership as we implement our plan to house our detainees in Atlantic County’s correctional facility and replace our jail with a modern holding and transportation facility.” Derella added, “Warden Smith has been key to the development of a plan that satisfies our corrections needs while saving Cumberland County taxpayers $8 to $10 million a year in taxes.” Concluded Derella, “I am confident that Warden Smith will make an immediate positive impact in creating opportunities for those who have often been shut out in the past.”

Richard Smith will be assuming his new position on January 11, 2021.


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