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News >  Idaho

Idaho extends prison health contract for 2 years

UPDATED: Fri., Dec. 14, 2018

Inmates walk to the dinning hall from their cell block June 15, 2010, at the Idaho State Correctional Institution outside Boise, Idaho. (Charlie Litchfield / AP)
Inmates walk to the dinning hall from their cell block June 15, 2010, at the Idaho State Correctional Institution outside Boise, Idaho. (Charlie Litchfield / AP)
Associated Press

BOISE – Idaho’s state Board of Correction voted to extend its $46 million-plus-a-year contract with Corizon Health for inmate health care for another two years.

The board also voted this week to immediately launch a process to take the contract out to bid at the end of the two-year extension, The Idaho Press-Tribune reports

The contract allowed for an additional two-year extension after this one, but the board opted against that.

“There were lots of hesitations, let’s put it that way,” Board Chairwoman Debbie Field said.

Idaho has faced multiple lawsuits and court orders over inmate health care.

“Obviously there are things that haven’t gone as smoothly as we would like them to go with the current contract that we have,” Field said. However, she said, “We don’t have any performance issues really in the last 12 months. We’ve really monitored it well and will continue to do so.”

Field said there are “several other entities that have approached us that would like to bid on the contract.”

Corizon, based in Brentwood, Tennessee, has held the contract since 2005.

The contract provides that if the contractor meets performance requirements, that rate could rise by 3 percent on Jan. 1, 2019; that would bring it to $17 per inmate per day. If Idaho’s inmate numbers remained static, that would bring the total to nearly $48 million, but Idaho’s inmate population is growing quickly, so it likely will be more.

“It’s a lot of money,” Field said. “We just have some real concerns. It’s a tough climate to offer services, we understand that.”

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