Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Prison Advisor Indicted On Corruption

For decades, Michael Mahoney was one of the nation's leading corrections experts, the troubleshooter courts hired to try to straighten out problem prisons.

Now he faces the possibility of prison himself. An indictment made public Friday charged that Mahoney took part in a scheme to kick back payoffs to the director of the Illinois prison system to ensure his health-care client kept multimillion-dollar state contracts.

While the longtime executive director of the John Howard Association, a prison watchdog group in Chicago, Mahoney was best known as the monitor of overcrowding at Cook County Jail.

Thomas Anthony Durkin, Mahoney's lawyer, called the charges "baseless" and an "all-time low watermark" for the U.S. attorney's office. Mahoney was told for several years that he was not a target of the investigation, Durkin said.

Mahoney began working on the side as a consultant in the corrections field well before he left his post as an independent watchdog in 2002, according to the indictment. Beginning in 1996, he teamed up in business with John Robinson, then Cook County undersheriff.

Between 2000 and 2002, Mahoney, Robinson and an undisclosed individual allegedly kicked back a combined $20,000 in payoffs to Donald Snyder Jr., then head of the Illinois Department of Corrections. Snyder, who was indicted in July, has pleaded not guilty. Robinson pleaded guilty in August and is cooperating with the government.

The indictment doesn't disclose Mahoney's client, but sources have said he and Robinson were consultants to Addus HealthCare of Palatine, which received more than $250 million from the state since 2003 to provide health care to inmates.

David Bayless, a spokesman for Addus, said the firm had no knowledge of the alleged payoffs, stopped doing business with Mahoney when it learned of the probe and cooperated with authorities.

In his plea agreement, Robinson said he, not Mahoney, handed the cash payoffs to Snyder, typically as the two shook hands. The final payment allegedly occurred at a bar near the Palmer House Hilton. The indictment alleged that Mahoney agreed to the plan to make the payoffs.

Snyder is also accused of accepting $30,000 in kickbacks from Springfield lobbyist Larry Sims, who earlier pleaded guilty to his role in the alleged scheme.

The John Howard Association issued a statement praising Mahoney's work.

"I'm always sorry when somebody who has worked so hard for so many years on issues involving reform of correctional facilities has a personal setback like this," said Benjamin Wolf, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union who is involved in the matter.



Anonymous said...

DOC hires out inmates for 60 cents a day to the farms and charges them 9.00 an hour, contracts with aramark for concessions on exclusive rights to overpriced goods in visitors rooms, contracts with JPAY and Western Union for a cut in their exclusive contract for $6-?? per transaction ...this should be profit center for the state...
Building prisons with local contractors so they can get kickbacks. Private prisons make a profit and put it in the governor and legislature's re-election campaigns...it is all probably happening...but no one cares.

This Stalinist regime must be heheaded as soon as possible before we make them all rich.

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