In 1997, the Corrections Corporation of America crafted its first contract with the State of Idaho to build and operate the Gem State's first private prison. Following 16 years of scandal and lawsuits, CCA is limping away from Idaho.
The Associated Press reports that on Oct. 3, CCA announced it would not bid on a new contract to operate the Idaho Correctional Center, south of Boise.
In April, CCA admitted that it it had falsified staffing records at the privately-run prison, thus violating CCA's contract with the State of Idaho. The admission came after an investigation by the Idaho State Police and an internal review found that correctional officers claimed that they had staffed security positions at ICC, when in fact the posts had been left vacant. Nearly 4,800 hours during a seven month-period were falsified.
In November 2012, eight inmates filed a lawsuit against CCA, alleging that the private prison operator was working with prison gangs to control the Boise facility. According to an October 2011 AP report, CCA ran the most violent lockup in the Gem State. AP obtained records that showed between September 2007 and September 2008, ICC had 132 inmate-on-inmate assaults, compared to just 42 at the state-run Idaho State Correctional Institution. Additionally, in 2008, ICC had more assaults than all other Idaho prisons combined, according to the AP. The complaint alleged that CCA "fosters and develops criminal gangs" at its Boise lockup. It also alleges that prison housing supervisors "ask permission from gang leaders" before moving anyone new into an empty cell.
In June of this year, a three-member Board of Correction decided not to renew its options with CCA when its current contract expires Sunday, June 30, 2014. While the State of Idaho will not submit its own bid to take over the facility, which is part of a large prison complex south of Boise, it will accept proposals from other operators.
"CCA is going to leave the cleanup and aftermath of those problems to somebody else," Boise attorney T.J. Angstman told the AP. Angstman represents inmates in the lawsuit alleging CCA ceded control to prison gangs. "Likely it will cost the state more money to find a new contractor, because somebody's going to have to pay more money to fix the problems."