Mayor Michael Nutter's Chief of Staff Clarence Armbrister named Louis Giorla Acting Commissioner of the Philadelphia Prison System (PPS) on Thursday, January 10, 2008 and his permanent appointment was announced on March 26, 2008.
Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Giorla had been the Warden at the Riverside Correctional Facility (RCF) since May of 2006, and previously served as Warden of the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (CFCF). A life-long Philadelphian, Commissioner Giorla began his career as an Officer at the House of Correction in 1982.
The 52 year-old Northeast Philadelphia resident was Director of the Prisons Internal Affairs Division for two years, and then Deputy Warden at Alternative & Special Detention, before being promoted to Warden in 2005. The son of a Correctional Officer, he attended Northeast Catholic High School and earned an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice at Community College of Philadelphia. With his wife Debbie, a former PPS employee, he has three children and 6 grandchildren.
Clyde Gainey attended Saint Augustine College in Raleigh, NC, and Philadelphia Community College.
Beginning his career with the Philadelphia Prison System in 1979, Clyde Gainey has been assigned to Holmesburg Prison, House of Correction, Alternative and Special Detention, and the Policy and Audit Division.
Clyde Gainey supervised the transition and activation team for Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility and is supervising the transition and activation of the Women's Detention Facility, tentatively scheduled to open in the first half of 2004.
Deputy Commissioner Gainey is a member of the American Correctional Association, the Pennsylvania Prison Wardens Association, and the American Jail Association. He is also a board member of various civic organizations.
Blanche Carney attained a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Lincoln University, Lincoln PA in 1992 and a Master of Social Services degree from Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research in 1997. Ms. Carney began her career with the Philadelphia Prison System (PPS) in December of 1995 as a Social Worker I. In April of 1999, Ms. Carney was promoted to the position of Social Work Supervisor and was responsible for the Intake Unit at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility and later assigned to the Riverside Correctional Facility for female inmates. Ms. Carney was instrumental in implementing gender responsive training to correctional officers, treatment staff, and contractors in working with female offenders and is a strong advocate for drug and alcohol treatment and transitional services. In March 2011, Ms. Carney was promoted to the position of Human Services Program Administrator where she implemented several new programs, pilot projects, and technological advances in promoting efficient and effective services to the inmate population. Ms. Carney served as the PPS representative for several inter-departmental, agency and City Coalitions resulting in the expansion of existing services and new programs. In addition, Ms. Carney assumed the responsibilities of the PPS’s long standing Opportunities for Prevention and Treatment Interventions for Offenders Needing Support (O.P.T.I.O.N.S.) Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program in the delivery of treatment education to inmates with substance abuse needs. In January 2015, Ms. Carney was promoted to the position of Deputy Commissioner for Restorative and Transitional Services where she continues her commitment to providing programs and services to the inmate population in support of positive reentry for returning citizens.
Robert Tomaszewski attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Temple University in 1991. He attended Saint Joseph's University and graduated with a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice in December 2003. At Saint Joseph's University, his concentration has been on Corrections, Victimology, and Restorative Justice.
Robert Tomaszewski began his career at the Philadelphia Prison System in 1984. Serving at House of Correction, Holmesburg Prison, Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center, Detention Center, and as Admissions and Diagnostics Manager for the Classification, Movement and Registration Division, Mr. Tomaszewski was promoted through the ranks, finally being promoted to the rank of Deputy Commissioner in April 2005.
Bruce Herdman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Pennsylvania State University (1969), served as an officer in the United States Coast Guard (1969 - 1973) and earned an MBA in Health Care Administration (1975), Masters in Management (1980) and PhD in Economics (1981) from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Herdman's career in health care administration in Philadelphia includes service as Executive Director of the Mayor's Commission on Health, Senior Vice President for Psychiatric Services at Pennsylvania Hospital, Vice President for Risk Arrangements and Ancillary Services at Independence Blue Cross and Senior Vice President of Provider Network Management at Keystone Mercy Health Plan. Dr. Herdman serves on the boards of two hospital foundations an on the board of the Carrier Clinic.
In 2006 Dr. Herdman joined PPS in the newly created position of Chief of Medical Operations. He is responsible for the delivery and quality of the medical, behavioral health and dental services provided to inmates at the Prison and in the community.
A Northeast Philadelphia native, John P. Delaney graduated from Father Judge High School in 1982. Shortly thereafter, in September of 1985 he began his career with the Philadelphia Prison System.
As an officer he was assigned to the Detention Center. During his tenure he continued to work his way through the chain of command and since, has been assigned to every major facility on the campus of the Philadelphia Prison System, holding several positions.
In 1991 he was appointed by the Commissioner of Prisons to attend the Philadelphia Fire Academy where he graduated with the 166th cadet class. He then served for several years on the Prison Fire Unit. He also served on the Transition and Activation team for the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in 1995.
In pursuit of personal and career goals, he returned to the classroom in September of 2000. In May of 2005 he graduated from Peirce College, Magna Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. In May of 2006 he was promoted to Warden of the Philadelphia Detention Center.
Michele Farrell began her career with the Philadelphia Prison System on October 22, 1984 as a correctional officer assigned to WDF (the original women's detention facility). Throughout her twenty-five year career she has been assigned to CMR, Detention Center, PICC, Training Academy, MIS, RCF (working on the Transition Team and the initial opening of the facility), ASD and House of Correction. Working her way up through the ranks, she became a Sergeant in 1992, a Lieutenant in 1995, a Captain in 1999 and a Deputy Warden in 2005. She was promoted to Warden on February 17, 2010.
Michele received her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Pierce College in June 2005 graduating Summa Cum Laude. In May 2010, she will receive her Master's Degree in Criminal Justice from Holy Family University. In addition to her education, she keeps on top of current industry information through memberships in the American Correctional Association, American Jail Association, and the Pennsylvania Prison Warden's Association.
William E. Lawton was appointed Warden of the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center (PICC) on October 20, 2008.
A thirty-one year veteran of the Philadelphia Prison System (PPS), his career started on Oct. 31, 1977 when his first assignment was to the Detention Center (DC). After eleven years as a Correctional Officer assigned to Holmesburg Prison his service extended into supervision.
He served as Sergeant at the Women's Detention Facility (Replaced by the Riverside Correctional Facility (RCF)) for four years. Tenure as Lieutenant was for the House of Correction (HOC) where he helped establish a Hooked on Phonics Program that is now used throughout the PPS. Additional duties at HOC included directing the Staff Deployment Relief Factor Management System that documents every aspect of correctional staff usage, and training requirements expenditures.
Four years as Captain of Alternative and Special Detention (ASD) gave this civil servant experience working with Work Release programs and the opportunity to assist in the designing of Cambria Community Center, one of the premier intercity facilities in Philadelphia.
As Deputy Warden he had the opportunity to work under experienced wardens at PICC, HOC, RCF and DC.
Warden Lawton received his Bachelors Degree in Business Administration (Concentration in Management) at Pierce College in June 2005.
He served three years in the United States Navy as an Aviation Maintenance Administration Clerk in Jacksonville Fla.
As a member of NABCJ (National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice), ACA (American Correctional Association), and PPWA (Pennsylvania Prison Wardens Association), Warden Lawton keeps abreast of changes and operational advances in corrections as well as giving back to the community through youth encouragement programs.
Warden Lawton in an Associate Pastor at the Faith and Love Center Pentecostal Church right here in Philadelphia where he was born and raised.
"Serving our community has always brought satisfaction to me through the years. The profession of corrections touches the families of those we live among everyday of our lives. I see it as ministry."