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Denver federal prosecutor honored by AG Jeff Sessions for work on mental health

Marcy Cook helped find solutions following lawsuit
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Posted at 4:56 PM, Oct 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-26 18:58:54-04

WASHINGTON, DC — A federal prosecutor from Denver was one of five people awarded Wednesday afternoon for their work in resolving a lengthy dispute about mental health treatment of inmates at the federal prison known as Supermax.

Marcy E. Cook, with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver, received the Attorney General's Award for Alternative Dispute Resolution from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

A class action complaint had been filed on behalf of all Supermax inmates claiming they were not given adequate mental health treatment.

The Justice Department recognized the inmates had legitimate concerns and worked to reach a solution without going to trial, according to Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the United States Attorney’s office in Denver.

Solutions included pledging to better identify and treat mental illness and hiring specialists and monitors to make sure mental health issues are addressed as promised, Dorschner said.

The changes will be used as a model at other prisons, Dorschner said.

Cook and Amy L. Padden, who is no longer with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver earned the award along with the Federal Bureau of Prisons' Kathleen M. Kenney, Christopher B. Synsvoll and Kaitlin B. Turner.

The five spent four years working toward the solution.

Supermax is the unofficial name for the administrative maximum prison in Florence, Colorado operated by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Supermax is the Federal Bureau of Prison’s only maximum-security facility and houses terrorists and dangerous individuals alike.