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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: prison lawsuit

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.

Prison lawsuit settlement requires CCA to make changes at privately-run Idaho lockup

Click here for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone on today's settlement of the prison-violence lawsuit between Idaho prison inmates and Corrections Corp. of America, which operates the Idaho Correctional Center state prison south of Boise. CCA doesn’t acknowledge the allegations but agrees to increase staffing, investigate all assaults and make other sweeping changes at the lockup south of Boise. If the company fails to make the changes, the inmates can ask the courts to force CCA to comply.

While the prison is owned by the state, Boone reports, it is run for a profit by CCA under a contract with the Idaho Department of Corrections. The inmates claimed the company made decisions based on profit, rather than on “responsible administration of the prison.”

Inmate, CCA settle lawsuit over violence at Idaho’s private prison

Here's a news item from the Associated Press:  BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An inmate who sued a privately run Idaho prison over allegations of extreme violence and medical neglect has reached a settlement with the private prison company Corrections Corp. of America. Meanwhile, dozens of other inmates who also sued the Nashville, Tenn.-based CCA in federal court are in settlement talks with the company that could end the potentially class-action case by the close of the week. Riggs and the other inmates claimed the Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise was so violent that it's called “Gladiator School,” and that guards used inmate-on-inmate violence as a management tool and then denied injured prisoners adequate medical care. Riggs' settlement with CCA was sealed by the court, so the terms weren't available. He was seeking $55 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

Judge rejects gag order in prison violence case

A federal judge has sided with the Associated Press and rejected Corrections Corp. of America's request for a sweeping gag order in the lawsuit over prison violence at Idaho's privately-run state prison, the Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise. Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

Federal judge steps down from prison lawsuit

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill has agreed to step down from the lawsuit over conditions at a violence-ridding Idaho private prison at the request of the lockup's operator, Corrections Corp. of America, the Associated Press reports. Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

Video shows brutal attack on inmate at private Idaho prison while guards watch

There’s a really stunning video story out from the Associated Press about Idaho’s privately operated prison, the Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise, where surveillance videos show an inmate being brutally attacked by another inmate while guards do nothing to stop the attack, even when the attacker stops and sits in a chair to rest, then gets up and resumes the kicking and beating. The victim suffered brain damage and won a medical release from prison. Corrections Corp. of America, which operates the prison for the state, incredibly had this response: That it was wrong of the AP to release the video. “Public release of the video poses an unnecessary security risk to our staff, the inmates entrusted to our care, and ultimately to the public,” CCA said in a statement. You can watch the story below.

CCA: Toss prison lawsuit because inmates didn’t exhaust administrative remedies

The private prison company that runs Idaho’s Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise is trying to get a federal lawsuit over violence there dismissed, saying the severely beaten inmates bringing the case didn’t exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit. The ACLU’s attorney said the Corrections Corp. of America was twisting the issues and the lawsuit should proceed; a judge is mulling it now, and will issue a decision in the coming weeks. Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

AP: Partial settlement in prison violence case

Here’s a news item from The Associated Press:  BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The ACLU has reached a settlement with the Idaho Department of Correction in a potentially class-action lawsuit over violence at a privately run prison near Boise. Under the agreement, the Idaho Department of Correction has agreed to “aggressively oversee compliance with any such order” a federal judge makes against private prison company Corrections Corporation of America in connection with the lawsuit. The ACLU filed the lawsuit against CCA and the state earlier this year, saying the Idaho Correctional Center is so violent that inmates refer to it as “gladiator school” and that guards deliberately expose prisoners to brutal beatings from other inmates. CCA has countered that the prison is under the constant supervision of the state and that it meets the highest professional standards in the country for correctional management.

Weekly: Inmate assaults increase at ICC

The Boise Weekly reports today that violent assaults on inmates at Idaho’s privately-run Idaho Correctional Center increased in April and May after a drop in March, with six incidents in April and 11 in May through the 26th of the month. The Weekly obtained the information through a request under the Idaho Public Records Act. Among the incidents: On May 19, an ICC inmate with golf ball-sized lumps on his temple and the side of his head was hospitalized for emergency cranial surgery after an assault. In another, on May 24, two inmates beat another with a radio. The ICC, run by Corrections Corp. of America, is in the midst of a giant federal lawsuit over prison violence; you can read the Boise Weekly article here.

One Idaho prison violence lawsuit moves toward conclusion; newer one pending

A major portion of an Idaho prison-conditions lawsuit that stretches back nearly three decades could be closed, as a federal judge weighs whether changing conditions and procedures at the Idaho State Correctional Institution have done away with rampant violence, near-routine brutal rapes of newly arrived young prisoners, overcrowding, limited access to psychiatric and medical care and other problems that were identified there in the early 1980s. Click below to read the full story from AP reporter Rebecca Boone. At the same time, more recent federal-court litigation involving Idaho’s first privately operated prison, the Idaho Correctional Center, which is run by the Corrections Corp. of America, include allegations of brutal inmate-on-inmate violence ignored by guards, denial of medical care and more; that case still is pending.

Class-action prison violence lawsuit can proceed

A federal judge has ruled that a class-action lawsuit over violence at Idaho’s privately-operated state prison, the Idaho Correctional Center, can proceed, after the prison’s operator, Corrections Corp. of America, tried to stop the case from expanding beyond the first named victim. U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill ruled that amending the case to include other inmates was a more efficient way to deal with the claims rather than bringing 24 or more individual lawsuits; click below to read the full story from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

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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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