“Hudson Link is demonstrating that prison education is a fiscally sound and humanitarian effort that provides public safety for everyone.”
Brian Fischer is a recently retired Commissioner of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision after 44 years of dedicated service. Commissioner Fischer leads the nation’s fourth-largest state correctional system with 57,069 offenders incarcerated in 67 facilities and is responsible for the community supervision of 37,917 parolees.
He has served on the Board of Directors at Hudson Link since 2007. His knowledge, experience and dedication to enhancing efficacy and improving offender programs within New York’s prison system have been integral to Hudson Link’s success, and consequently, to the success of our graduates.
In addition to college programs, Mr. Fischer has championed services for inmates with serious mental health needs, and implemented several non-traditional programs, including some of which have become models for other prisons: transitional re-entry programs, theater, in addition to domestic violence and parenting skills for men. He knows the value of these programs in fostering the very best individual human potential while benefitting, ultimately, the whole of society.
“It is a win-win situation,” he says. “And Hudson Link enables that potential, the key being its willingness to look at what can be, rather than what was, for those who seek our help.”
Mr. Fischer also sits on the board of Puppies Behind Bars, a program that allows inmates to raise puppies that are then trained to be Seeing Eye dogs and, most recently, as special service dogs for disabled veterans.
He has been an adjunct professor at both Pace University and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Commissioner Fischer has received recognition by a number of organizations, most recently:
The New York State Bar Association Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Corrections, 2011
The Public Service Award from the Community College Fellowship, City University of New York, 2009.
Warden of the Year Award from the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents for his work at Sing Sing in 2006.
Mr. Fischer was born in Brooklyn and has lived most of his life in Rockland County. He is married and has two grown sons. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling, and a Master’s Degree in Professional Studies.