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Posts tagged: Corrections Corp. of America

Nation’s two largest private prison firms both say ‘no thanks’ to bidding on ICC contract

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The two biggest private prison companies in the nation say they don't want the contract to run a troubled Idaho prison, and that could shrink the pool of potential bidders to just two smaller companies. GEO Group sent a letter to Idaho Department of Correction officials last month to say thanks but no thanks to the chance to bid on a contract to run the Idaho Correctional Center. Corrections Corporation of America, which currently operates the facility, has also said it won't seek a new contract when its current $29-million-a-year deal with the state expires next summer. That leaves two smaller companies in the pool of likely bidders: The Centerville, Utah-based Management and Training Corp., and Community Education Centers, which is based in West Caldwell, New Jersey.

No fed charges against ICC guards, after three-year investigation

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — After a three-year investigation into allegations of possible criminal civil rights violations at Idaho's largest private prison, the U.S. Department of Justice is declining to prosecute any current or former guards with Corrections Corporation of America. U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson made the announcement Monday, saying the FBI's investigation into inmate-on-inmate assaults at the CCA-run Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise was detailed and covered multiple incidences. Olson says that while the assaults at the prison have been problematic, prosecutors didn't believe they would be able to prove elements of a federal crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Under federal criminal civil rights law, prison guards commit a crime if they willfully fail to stop an assault or are deliberately indifferent to an inmate who is in need of medical care.

You can read the Justice Department's full announcement here. It says the investigation included an assault, captured on videotape, of inmate Hanni Elabed on January 18, 2010, in which Elabed was severely beaten by another inmate while guards watched but didn't intervene. U.S. Attorney for Idaho Wendy Olson said in the statement that various civil lawsuits brought by inmates against the CCA are “a more appropriate vehicle for addressing the assaults that the investigation examined.” Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

State prison agency knew for years about CCA staffing deficiencies

Administrators and staff at Idaho's state Department of Corrections have known since at least 2010 about staffing deficiencies by private prison contractor Corrections Corporation of America at an Idaho state prison, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press - and that the deficiencies violated CCA's contract with the state. The new details about the state's oversight of CCA come as Idaho State Police investigators are looking into allegations that the nation's largest private prison company defrauded taxpayers by filing reports that showed vacant positions were fully staffed. Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

Sixteen Dem lawmakers urge prisons board to let state run ICC, guv’s aide delivers message

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Democratic lawmakers are urging the Board of Correction to put Idaho's largest prison back under state control instead of contracting with another private prison operator. The letter signed by 16 of the Legislature's 20 Democrats was delivered Tuesday by an unexpected messenger: Republican Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter's spokesman, Mark Warbis. Warbis said there was no “hidden message” to Otter's decision to deliver the Democrats' message to the board. Instead, he said Democratic leaders approached the governor last week after they learned Otter was open to all options for running the Idaho Correctional Center. Corrections Corporation of America operates the prison for $29 million a year. The Idaho State Police is investigating CCA for possible contract fraud, and CCA has admitted understaffing ICC in violation of a federal court order.

Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

Otter now says he’s open to considering possible state takeover of troubled private prison

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter now says he’s open to ideas from legislative leaders and others on whether the state should take over running its troubled private prison, or whether a new private operator should be sought.             “I’m going to listen to other people,” Otter said. “I’m not foreclosing that discussion.”

Corrections Corp. of America, the nation’s largest private prison operator, announced last week that it will leave Idaho, and won’t submit a new bid to operate the Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise when its contract ends next summer. The state Department of Correction is developing a request for proposals for a new private operator.

“I am confident that I am not the source of all great wisdom,” Otter said. He said he wants to “hear all the ideas from JFAC and all the ideas from leadership, as to what we ought to do.” JFAC is the Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, which sets the state budget; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com.

Private prison firm CCA leaving Idaho

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Private prison giant Corrections Corp. of America says it will leave Idaho after more than a decade. The decision comes after the company wrestled with scandal and lawsuits surrounding its operation of the state's largest prison. CCA Vice President Brad Regens notified state officials on Wednesday that the Nashville, Tenn.-based company won't bid on the next contract to run the Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise. The Idaho State Police, aided by a forensic auditing firm, is currently investigating the company's operations in Idaho over allegations of possible contract fraud and falsified staffing reports. CCA spokesman Steven Owen says the company is taking appropriate steps to remedy staffing problems, and the company is committed to making up for any unverified work hours.

Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

Judge says CCA persistently understaffed privately run Idaho prison

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge says private prison company Corrections Corporation of America is in contempt of court for persistently understaffing an Idaho prison in direct violation of a legal settlement. U.S. District Judge David Carter made the ruling Monday in a lawsuit between inmates at the CCA-run Idaho Correctional Center and the Nashville, Tenn.-based company. Carter wrote that CCA had ample reason to make sure it was meeting the staffing requirements at the prison, yet the level of understaffing was apparently far worse than the company originally acknowledged. He is appointing an independent monitor to oversee operations at the prison, and says steep fines will follow if the company violates the agreement again. The fines will start at $100 an hour if more than 12 hours are understaffed in a single month.

“It is clear that there was a persistent failure to fill required mandatory positions, along with a pattern of CCA staff falsifying rosters to make it appear that all posts were filled,” the judge wrote. Those deficiencies continued even in the weeks leading up to hearings in August on whether the company should be found in contempt for violating a court settlement agreement, he wrote; you can read his decision here.

Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

Judge scolds attorneys in prison lawsuit

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge is scolding attorneys in a lawsuit alleging understaffing and mismanagement at a private Idaho prison, warning both sides that they need to play nice or risk losing their case. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge wrote in an order Wednesday that attorneys for private prison giant Corrections Corporation of America and attorneys representing a group of inmates at the CCA-run Idaho Correctional Center have refused to interact with each other reasonably and civilly. Lodge says he considered lots of ways to make them get along, but decided against ordering the attorneys to play a game of “rock, paper, scissors.” Instead, Lodge is sending them to mediation, where they must try to resolve all their pending disputes over what evidence they must share and other pretrial issues.

Newly unsealed CCA documents say staffing logs falsified for years

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Several documents have been unsealed in a contempt of court case against private prison company Corrections Corporation of America that provide some detail to inmate allegations that CCA understaffed an Idaho prison in violation of a court order and a state contract. CCA has acknowledged that its employees filed reports with the state that falsely showed 4,800 hours of vacant security posts as being staffed during 2012. The company says it has taken steps to fix the problems and it will reimburse taxpayers. But inmates at the facility and the American Civil Liberties Union say that number grossly underestimates the understaffing, and that problems continue today. In one of the affidavits, CCA employee Susan Fry says it's been the practice to falsify staffing logs at the Idaho prison for years.

Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

Fight at Idaho’s private prison sends inmate to the hospital

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Prison officials say one inmate and a guard suffered injuries during a fight between inmates at the state's private prison. Corrections Corporation of America officials say the fight broke out Friday night at the Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise. CCA officials say the fight didn't last long and was broken up by prison staff. The prison was immediately placed on lockdown. The company did not provide any details of the injury to the inmate who was taken to a Boise hospital for treatment. The guard was treated and released. The Ada County Sheriff's Office is conducting a criminal investigation into the fight.

CCA asks judge to bar media from joining lawsuit, says they only want to cover scandals

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Private prison company Corrections Corporation of America is asking a federal judge to deny a request from Idaho news organizations to keep documents open in a lawsuit over conditions at a CCA-run prison. A coalition of 17 news organizations including The Associated Press, KBOI-TV, and the Idaho Statesman asked to intervene in the lawsuit to oppose CCA's request to seal a variety of documents in the case. The coalition contends the protective order sought by Nashville, Tenn.-based CCA would hamper the ability of journalists to report on the lawsuit; CCA maintains the secrecy is needed for security and privacy reasons. In a document filed Tuesday, CCA contends that news organizations have no First Amendment right to civil proceedings and that the news groups only want to cover something scandalous.

Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

Idaho news outlets ask judge to unseal documents about CCA, private prison

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A coalition of news organizations across Idaho is asking a federal judge to deny a proposed order that would give private prison company Corrections Corporations of America the power to seal whatever it wants in a lawsuit brought by inmates. The Associated Press, Idaho Statesman, The Spokesman-Review, The Times-News, KBOI-TV, Idaho Press-Tribune, Post Register, Lewiston Tribune, Coeur d'Alene Press, Bonner County Daily Bee and others filed the motion Friday in Boise's U.S. District Court. The news organizations contend CCA's proposed protective order is too broad and would severely hamper the ability of journalists to report on the lawsuit. CCA says it needs to be able to hide certain information from the public for security reasons. In the lawsuit, the inmates contend CCA understaffs the Idaho prison. CCA denies the allegations.

Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

Idaho to look for new company to run private prison, but won’t look at running it itself…

Idaho prison leaders are looking for a new company to run the state's largest prison, the AP reports, after Corrections Corporation of America admitted to understaffing and overbilling for its work operating the Idaho Correctional Center. But the Idaho Department of Correction won't be allowed to submit its own bid or take over operations at the prison south of Boise, because Board of Correction Chairwoman Robin Sandy said that would amount to expanding state government.

The three-member Board of Correction made the decision during a meeting Tuesday evening, opting not to let an automatic two-year extension of CCA's $29.9 million contract kick in when the current contract expires on June 30, 2014. The board also decided that it would consolidate medical services at all the prisons under one statewide medical contract, rather than keeping the medical care services at the Idaho Correctional Center separate. Currently, Corizon provides medical care at every prison in the state except for Idaho Correctional Center, where it is handled by CCA. Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

Warden of troubled private prison quits

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The warden of the privately-run Idaho Correctional Center has quit, one month after his company acknowledged falsifying staffing records for much of 2012. Timothy Wengler, who works for Corrections Corporation of America, lasted three years as warden of the prison south of Boise. The Nashville, Tenn.-based company with the contract to run the prison through 2014 says Wengler's last day is May 31. CCA spokesman Steve Owen says Wengler had been thinking about quitting for a year and described his departure as a “personal decision.” Wengler was supposed to help repair problems at the prison. He arrived in Idaho in 2010, a replacement for a previous warden the company removed after the American Civil Liberties Union sued over claims of brutal inmate-on-inmate violence. CCA says it's mulling Wengler's replacement now.

Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

CCA admits falsifying prison guard staff hours at ICC Idaho lockup

The Corrections Corp. of America, the for-profit private prison firm that operates the Idaho Correctional Center state prison south of Boise, has acknowledged falsifying prison staffing records last year, violating its contract with the state and overcharging the state for nearly 4,800 staff hours during a seven-month period, telling the state correctional officers were staffing security positions at ICC during those hours, when in fact those posts were vacant. Click below for the Idaho Department of Correction's full news release. CCA also issued its own news release; you can read it here.

CCA wants lawsuit dismissed that charges it uses inmate gangs to help run Idaho prison

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Attorneys for the nation's largest private prison company have asked a federal judge in Idaho to throw out a lawsuit from inmates who say the company uses gangs to run a Boise-area prison. Attorneys for Corrections Corporation of America said in the motion filed Monday that a lawsuit brought by eight inmates at the Idaho Correctional Center fails to meet legal standards and should be tossed out of court. The inmates sued in November, contending the company is working with a few powerful prison gangs to control the facility south of Boise. The inmates say that CCA is able to save money on staffing by essentially allowing the gangs to run the prison, and that as a result some inmates are forced to join gangs or risk being attacked.

Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

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About this blog

Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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