Wednesday, June 19, 2013

AP: Days Are Numbered for Idaho Private-Prison Operator CCA

Posted By on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Following years of controversy, including understaffing, accusations of gladiator-like inmate-on-inmate violence, and falsification of nearly 4,800 hours in staffing records, the State of Idaho is set to kick private prison operator Corrections Corporation of America to the curb and find a new manager for the state's largest prison, the Idaho Correctional Center.

The Associated Press' Rebecca Boone reports that a three-member Board of Correction met the night of June 18 and decided not to renew its options with CCA when its current contract expires Sunday, June 30, 2014. While the State of Idaho will not submit its own bid to take over the facility, which is part of a large prison complex south of Boise, it will accept proposals from other operators.

In November 2012, eight inmates launched a lawsuit against CCA, alleging that the private prison operator was working with prison gangs to control the Boise facility. According to an October 2011 AP report, it ran the most violent lockup in the Gem State. AP obtained records that showed between September 2007 and September 2008, ICC had 132 inmate-on-inmate assaults, compared to just 42 at the state-run Idaho State Correctional Institution. Additionally, in 2008, ICC had more assaults than all other Idaho prisons combined, according to the AP. The complaint alleged that CCA "fosters and develops criminal gangs" at its Boise lockup. Additionally, it alleges that prison housing supervisors "ask permission from gang leaders" before moving anyone new into an empty cell.

In April, CCA admitted that it it had falsified staffing records at the privately-run prison, thus violating CCA's contract with the State of Idaho. The admission came after an investigation by the Idaho State Police and an internal review found that correctional officers claimed that they had staffed security positions at ICC, when in fact the posts had been left vacant. Nearly 4,800 hours during a seven month-period were falsified.

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