Column: East Bronx History Forum to delve into history of city Dept. of Corrections

The East Bronx History Forum will hold its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023 with an in-person presentation by Thomas McCarthy.
Photo Camille Botello

The East Bronx History Forum is pleased to announce it will be holding its 180th meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. with an in-person presentation by Thomas McCarthy.

The location of this month’s meeting will take place in Bartus Hall in the First Lutheran Church, located at 3075 Baisley Ave.

Former journalist and retired government agency spokesman, Thomas C. McCarthy will be sharing with the Forum some of the twists and turns he encountered while documenting New York City Department of Corrections (DOC) History for 35 years — initially as the Department of Correction’s first hands-on webmaster. His service as a director within the Office of Public Information at the Department of Corrections also included other communication activities besides the website.

After retirement, Tom has continued his history endeavors, two and a half decades, chiefly as webmaster of his independent, non-commercial site. He has spoken at the Forum in the past and collaborated with Bronx historians and Forum supporters, the late John McNamara and Bill Twomey.

 McCarthy’s government service previous to the DOC included working as a constituent communications staffer with state senators over a six-year span and as communications director and spokesman for the Queens DA office for about a decade and half. Interspersed with those years in government, he worked in the private sector as a reporter and editor on three daily newspapers and three weeklies.

We look forward to seeing you for this fascinating talk about the Department of Corrections history, which will include a facility formerly located on Hart Island and additionally, the development of Riker’s Island from its past to its present. Bring a friend and make it an enjoyable evening, for more information or updates, please follow us on our Facebook and Instagram pages or at our website at

Photo courtesy Jimmy Vann

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