Andy Pallito, who's been acting commissioner of Corrections for a month or so and has been with the department since 2001, had plenty of time to see exactly what he was getting into, but he's taking the job of commissioner anyway.
Being the state's head jailer is a bit of a no-win job. Plenty of things can go wrong with the volatile population at any time and nobody notices when things are going right. Like a hockey goalie or a copy editor.
Pallito, like his predecessor Rob Hofmann, has a management background more than a prison background. Unlike his predecessor, he's kept a low profile.
This is a job of particular prominence because any time something goes wrong (an escape, a prison riot, a probation recommendation that backfires), it's big and dangerous. The state spends quite a wad of money on Corrections and there is tremendous pressure to pull of feats that are in complete conflict with one another: lock away the bad guys, but don't spend much money doing it.
Is this a good appointment?
- Terri Hallenbeck