Episode #40

Martin Horn

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Monday, April 29, 2013


Former New York City Commissioner of Correction and Probation, Martin Horn has held every job imaginable in corrections: from debating the fairness of a state’s sentencing guidelines to fixing leaky water pipes in aging facilities. Horn tells Alec that his opinion toward inmates was formed from his early years as a parole officer: “every one of them was just a normal, ordinary guy … who had made bad judgments.” Though, nowadays Martin Horn has moved on: "It was a fascinating career. I am absolutely glad I’m done." 

Read | Full Transcript

Hosted by:

Alec Baldwin

Produced by:

Emily Botein and Kathie Russo

Comments [10]

Ernie Newsum from Queens, New York

Having worked for Marty Horn in the NYS Division of Parole, I have nothing but respect for his professionalism and judgement. His open minded view of
criminal justice population dovetails perfectly with mine. After fifteen years as a Corrections Officer in Sing Sing and a stint as instructor in the
NYS Corrections Academy in Albany, my experience with the inmate population
corellates with Marty's open ended view that ciminal behavior can be ameliorated by a variety of diverse means easily afforded and implemented.

Jun. 27 2014 05:30 PM
Ernest Newsum from Queens, New York

I was employed as a Parole Officer from 1982 until 2002, and found
Martin Horn to be one of the most reasonable and understanding members
of the Executive Dept. The last decade of my employment with the Division was spent as a supervisor in the Parole Absconder Task Force which was composed of police officers and parole officers. Having spent fifteen years as a Corrections Officer I felt a strong sense of empathy for the inmate population and refused to lump them all as useless and undesireable members of society. I have known several inmates who I believe might have been wrongfully convicted. Marty Horn was a man open to the truth of humanity,
and I am sure that those who take his classes will benifit greatly.
His interview on Al Jazeera solidified my faith in his judgement.

Jun. 27 2014 03:19 PM
Brad from NYC

I was very pleasantly surprised to turn on my radio and hear this interview. It was insightful and a much needed dialogue in our country. We must figure out some way to get a grip on how we deal with crime and so-called crime. However, unless I missed it, and if I did it was only touched on, a KEY component of the discussion was left out - RACISM. This system from its inception in the west was designed to protect the rich from the poor; when you bring race and racism into it, as you must in this country, it becomes - well, read Michelle Alexander's "The New Jim Crow" and have her on the show, maybe with Horn to discuss that. I understand that the show is more geared to the individual journey, but when that journey intersects so profoundly with one of the major issues of our society, I think it is incumbent upon the discussants to cover the key points. This VERY key point was somehow missed, though many great thoughts were expressed and for that I am grateful.

Jan. 23 2014 08:50 AM
reply to ann

ann, get a grip

Dec. 24 2013 02:01 PM

I don't watch your program and never will. I do not like men who curse children and women. You are a foul mouthed liberal looser and I turn your lame commercials off when I see them too. Why anyone would hire you is beyond me. I work in domestic violence and see women get abused much like you do and you are a scumbag as far as I am concerned. I hope your show gets canceled as you have loosers like your ilk on it.

Sep. 10 2013 12:26 AM
Thomasina from BKLYN 11201

That was a GREAT interview.
Why isn't he running for mayor? (sigh)
Would that this interview would inform the powers. . .
Deep thanks,

May. 29 2013 10:12 PM
Clark from Los Gatos


I wanted to pass on my appreciation for your program. What I find most valuable is how you reveal a common theme across your interviews: the randomness and serendipity of the paths of your guests. I enjoy how you tease out the sequence of steps in your guests' careers that lead to the ultimate sucess and accomplishments in their lives. It's rarely a direct path.

I have two children in college, who both put great pressure on themselves to figure out what they want to pursue in life. I pointed them to your program as inspiration that you don't need to figure it out by the time you're 18. Life will take you on paths that are impossible to predict.

Thanks for the inspiriation, and keep up the great work.

May. 24 2013 12:08 AM
Peter Winterble from Ex NYC now Buenos Aires

I spent several years in NYC working with parolees, parole violators, and probation violators, and first met Marty when he was Executive Director of the NYS Division of Parole and was immediately impressed both with his executive ability and his obvious concern for his "client group." There are many of us out there who see Marty as one of the real stars the corrections/parole/probation world and would recommend that anyone considering it as a career field find a way to take classes of his. I enjoy doing so even in retirement, just to learn more from him.

May. 13 2013 06:02 PM
Bill from Kalamazoo

This was a the best episode yet. thanks.

May. 03 2013 05:47 PM
pat hoy

Can you please deliver this comment to Marty. I worked with Martin at the NYS Division of Parole- from 1970 thru the nineties. I like and respect him- decent guy with a great sense of humor- but Marty, give me a break!"Every one of them was just a normal ordinary guy"? Not so- most fit into that category, but I dealt with and supervised some truly evil and monstrous creatures- and you must have too- not to mention some of the evil Parole Commissioners you had to deal with!

May. 01 2013 05:36 PM

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