Idaho’s Last Private Prison

Source: Harrison Barry, Boise Weekly, September 7, 2016

Opened in 2010, CAPP is a minimum security facility owned and operated by Management and Training Corporation that houses about 430 low- to medium-risk male inmates undergoing treatment for substance abuse or cognitive issues. It’s one of four minimum security prisons in Idaho and boasts a 93 percent “graduation” rate, meaning it releases its inmates after they have completed a rigorous regimen. … In mid August, the Department of Justice issued a directive to the federal Bureau of Prisons to begin phasing out contracts with private prison companies, following a report that showed their facilities were more violent than their public counterparts. Following the announcement of the DOJ’s directive, the fallout was swift and severe. Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison company in America, saw its stock fall 40 percent within hours of the opening bell on Wall Street. For its part, MTC—the third largest prison contractor in the country behind CCA and Geo Group—pushed back at the directive: “bas[ing] this decision on cost, safety, security, and programming is wrong,” the company stated in a release. “The majority of inmates in contract prisons are from one country which brings inherent increased risk of violence.” … Because CAPP is a minimum security lockup for those undergoing substance abuse and behavioral programs, however, it’s in a different class of prison with a different set of problems. When asked about a relatively high number of complaints regarding food service at CAPP, Finn explained that a good number of them were related to offenders’ displeasure with the water-to-juice mixture served with meals. The matter was resolved only after extensive tweaking of the ratio. … Of a more serious nature, in the past 24 months there have been 175 incidents of violence requiring disciplinary action at CAPP, compared to 155 at the North Idaho Correctional Institution (pop. 414), 140 at the South Idaho Correctional Institution (pop. 565) and 36 at the Saint Anthony Work Camp (pop. 242)—all of which are all-male, minimum security facilities. …