DC Mayor Withdraws Proposed Jail Health Care Contract Amidst Controversy

George Lavender

DC Mayor Vince Gray on Tuesday withdrew a proposed $66.1 million contract with Corizon Health Inc. to run DC’s jail health care. The Mayor had faced opposition to the plan from prisoner advocates as well as legislators, the Washington Post reports: 

City procurement officials had tentatively awarded the three-year contract last month to Corizon Health Inc. — the nation’s largest provider of health care in prisons and jails, operating in more than 500 facilities in 27 states. The D.C. Council was set to vote on the contract Wednesday.

But Gray (D) withdrew the contract Tuesday evening, according to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) and an administration official, who both said it appeared that Corizon did not have enough support for approval. Continue reading…

Mayor Gray’s office hit back at critics of the proposed contract, according to the Washington Times

We agreed to withdraw it to give Corizon more time to get the facts out,” said Mr. Gray’s spokeswoman Doxie McCoy. They were getting unfairly smeared. It will likely be resubmitted next year.” Continue reading…

ThinkProgress’ Alice Ollstein, who reported on the contract spoke with HuffPost Live about Corizon’s trackrecord in other prisons and jails. She also points out that the contract with the Tennessee-based company could be resubmitted by incoming Mayor Muriel Bowser when she takes office next month. (The report begins at 15.40)

George Lavender is an award-winning radio and print journalist based in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @GeorgeLavender.
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