ACLU Drops IDOC From Prison Suit


On June 3, the American Civil Liberties Union announced that it had amended its suit against Idaho's largest prison, removing the Idaho Department of Corrections Director Brent Reinke and the Commission on Pardons and Paroles from the suit's list of defendants.

The ACLU complaint filed in March alleged that prison officials at Idaho Correctional Center not only accepted the culture of violence at the prison but encouraged violence among inmates.

On June 2, Boise Weekly reported that since the suit was filed, prison violence had increased. A May 26 letter written by Idaho prison chief Brent Reinke said: "During the month of April, six incidents were reported. Since the beginning of May, there have been 11 reported incidents."

In a release on the amended complaint, ACLU of Idaho Director Monica Hopkins said, "We felt Corrections Corporation of America is the real culprit. However, when the state government chooses to contract out management of its facilities, they do not contract out their responsibility to adhere to constitutional standards. We expect the Idaho Department of Corrections to aggressively enforce safety at its facilities.”

In April, Hopkins told Boise Weekly that although a bill carried through the Legislature earlier this year designed to help quell prison violence was a step in the right direction, it would not affect the lawsuit.