BOISE – Idaho prison leaders are looking for a new company to run the state’s largest prison 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.
CCA’s Idaho spokeswoman Andrea Evans said she didn’t know if the company would bid on a new contract.
An Associated Press investigation into CCA’s staffing reports showed the company sometimes listed its guards as working as much as 48 hours straight in order to fill minimum staffing requirements. The Idaho Department of Correction subsequently asked the Idaho State Police to investigate understaffing allegations at the Idaho Correctional Center, and CCA later admitted its employees falsified thousands of hours of staffing records during much of 2012. The Idaho State Police investigation is still underway, and state officials have not released any details of their findings.