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  4. Governor Quinn Names Chief Public Safety Officer For Illinois Department of Corrections

Governor Quinn Names Chief Public Safety Officer For Illinois Department of Corrections 

CHICAGO - January 6, 2010 - Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Michael J. McCotter, a 37-year law enforcement veteran, has been named to the recently announced position of Chief Public Safety Officer at the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC).

McCotter, whose experience includes a number of high-ranking positions in the Chicago Police Department, will evaluate and oversee implementation of IDOC’s statutorily-sanctioned meritorious good time and electronic home-detention programs.

“Mike McCotter is an experienced law enforcement professional and public safety expert whose responsibilities will include reviewing and improving implementation of the meritorious credit and electronic home-detention programs.  My mandate to the Illinois Department of Corrections is and always has been that the public’s safety comes first and that’s also Mike McCotter's top priority,” said Governor Quinn.

In addition, Governor Quinn named Sean Vinck, Chief of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Office of the Governor of Illinois, as a special administrator for IDOC and named Mark S. Prosperi, a former Assistant United States Attorney, as Public Safety Liaison Officer for the Office of the Governor.

These appointments are part of Governor Quinn’s plan to overhaul IDOC’s meritorious credit program, which has been in existence since 1978, and is undergoing a comprehensive evaluation headed by criminal justice expert Judge David A. Erickson.  A review of IDOC’s electronic home-detention program is also underway.

A top-level executive with the Chicago Police Department, McCotter brings nearly four decades of experience to his new position.  At the Chicago Police Department, McCotter served as a Chief of Patrol, Deputy Chief of Detectives, Commander of Special Events and as a District Commander.  He has also participated in professional training sessions with the FBI, United States Secret Service, Homeland Security and other law enforcement agencies.

“I am happy to accept Governor Quinn’s appointment and look forward to working at the Illinois Department of Corrections,” said McCotter.

Governor Quinn has designated Sean Vinck to be a special administrator for IDOC, where his primary task will be to assist in the day-to-day management of the agency.  He will report to Governor Quinn and Jerome Stermer, Chief of Staff to Governor Quinn.  Vinck will retain his position as Chief of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Office of the Governor.

As Public Safety Liaison Officer for the Office of the Governor, Mark Prosperi will also assist in the oversight, coordination and implementation of the meritorious credit and electronic home-detention programs.  In this recently announced position, Prosperi will work in the Office of Governor’s General Counsel.

A former Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago from 1991 through 2007, Prosperi was also a member of the Chicago Strike Force for the United States Department of Justice.  His former positions include:  Chief of the Narcotics and Gangs Section; Deputy Chief of Special Prosecutions Section; Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime Section; and a U.S.A. coordinator for Great Lakes Region, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

The Illinois Department of Corrections was established in 1970.  When IDOC began, Illinois only operated seven adult facilities.  Since that time, stricter laws have resulted in increased sentencing and longer terms.  To address this steady increase in the inmate population, the agency today operates 28 adult correctional centers as well as various work camps, boot camps and eight adult transition centers.  IDOC’s recommended budget is $1.28 billion for Fiscal Year 2010.  The agency employs approximately 11,000 employees and is responsible for the management of 45,000 adult inmates.

In Illinois the rate of recidivism, a tendency to relapse into criminal behavior, were 51.3 percent in fiscal year 2009 and 47 percent of DOC inmates serve six months or less.