Private prison official says bonuses were paid for cutting costs

Source: Rebecca Boone, Associated Press, February 17, 2017

A former regional manager for private prison company Corrections Corporation of America says top employees at a private prison in Idaho were given yearly bonuses if they cut costs on salary, wages and other operational expenses and met other company goals. CCA, which has since changed its name to CoreCivic, operated the Idaho Correctional Center under a $29 million annual contract with the state of Idaho until chronic understaffing, violence and other problems prompted Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter to order the state to take over the facility in 2013. Kevin Myers was CCA’s managing director who oversaw the Idaho prison and several others. He testified Thursday in a federal lawsuit against the company brought by a group of inmates at the Idaho prison. The inmates contend CCA understaffed the prison to boost profits, causing dangerous conditions in which they were attacked.

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Trial starts Monday in ‘ghost worker’ private prison lawsuit
Source: Rebecca Boone, Associated Press, February 12, 2017

A private prison company accused by inmates of dangerously understaffing an Idaho prison as part of a scheme to boost profits will have a chance to present its defense to jurors on Monday when a civil trial begins in Boise’s U.S. District Court. Eight inmates at the Idaho Correctional Center sued the Nashville, Tennessee-based private prison company Corrections Corporation of America in 2012, contending that poor management and chronic understaffing led to an attack in which they were jumped, stabbed and beaten by a prison gang. The inmates contend the company, now called CoreCivic, purposely understaffed the prison in a so-called “ghost worker scheme.” CoreCivic didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment but the company has vigorously disputed the claims in court filings. CoreCivic CEO Damon Hininger has been ordered to testify in the trial about comments made during quarterly conference calls with investors.

Private Prison Company CCA to Face Trial in Violence Lawsuit
Source: Associated Press, July 8, 2016

A federal judge says the Corrections Corporation of America will stand trial in December in a civil rights lawsuit over understaffing and violence at an Idaho prison. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge made the ruling Thursday. Eight inmates at the Idaho Correctional Center sued the private prison company in 2012, contending that poor management and chronic understaffing led to an attack in which they were stabbed and beaten by a prison gang. CCA spokesman Steven Owen said the Idaho prison was appropriately staffed at the time of the attack and that he’s confident CCA will prevail at the trial. …


Opinion: West Views: Idaho prison throws away ‘for profit’ keys
Source: Lewiston Tribune, Idaho Statesman, July 7, 2014

As of this week, the Idaho Department of Correction is running the Idaho Correctional Center outside of Boise. Gone is Corrections Corporation of America, the Nashville, Tenn.-based contractor that in 14 years transformed ICC into the violence-plagued “gladiator school.” …. None of the “savings” went to state or county budgets. None of it went to taxpayers. All of it went into CCA’s corporate coffers….

State begins takeover of private prison in Boise
Source: Kimberlee Kruesi, Associated Press, July 1, 2014

The state takeover of a privately managed prison in Boise is now underway. Idaho corrections staff have been preparing for months to take over the 2,080-bed prison — the state’s largest — since Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter announced earlier this year he would not renew the $29 million-a-year contract with Corrections Corporations of America. That process officially began Tuesday. Ever since the state entered into a contract with CCA, the prison has been sued and wracked by accusations of violence, gang activity and understaffing.

House editorial: A failed experiment
Source: Post Register, July 2, 2014

The Corrections Corporation of America is gone from Idaho. Let that sink in. Now, in your mind at least, do a tap dance on the grave of a company that profits more than any other from human misery. Go ahead. It feels really, really good. For 14 years, CCA ran the state’s largest prison, the Idaho Correctional Center. During that relatively short tenure, the Nashville, Tenn.-based company racked up a list of misdeeds so long even Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter no longer could defend it. Otter accepted nearly $20,000 in campaign contributions from CCA. His former chief of staff became a lobbyist for the company. Otter thwarted a promised Idaho State Police investigation into CCA’s overbilling of taxpayers. Only after the FBI started poking around did Idaho’s see-and-hear-no-evil governor do what should have been done long ago: send CCA packing….

Guest Opinion: Idaho’s CCA prison debacle shows need for serious reform
Source: A.J. Balukoff, Statesman, April 26, 2014

When elected leaders hire a private corporation to manage an essential government function, they do not make government smaller. Privatizing a public service merely reduces control, oversight and accountability. Idaho’s contract with Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) to manage the Idaho state prison is a glaring example of privatization gone badly wrong. That travesty was a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars that has led to an FBI investigation. Inmates called the prison “Gladiator School.” Videos show inmates viciously beating each other. The FBI stepped in only after the administration first misled the public by claiming there had been an investigation that never occurred, and then Gov. Otter refused to order one. It fell to others to demand a probe before Gov. Otter acceded.

FBI investigates company that ran Idaho prison
Source: Rebecca Boone, Associated Press, March 7, 2014

The FBI has launched an investigation of the Corrections Corporation of America over the company’s running of an Idaho prison with a reputation so violent that inmates dubbed it “Gladiator School.” The Nashville, Tenn.-based CCA has operated Idaho’s largest prison for more than a decade, but last year, CCA officials acknowledged it had understaffed the Idaho Correctional Center by thousands of hours in violation of the state contract. CCA also said employees falsified reports to cover up the vacancies. The announcement came after an Associated Press investigation showed CCA sometimes listed guards as working 48 hours straight to meet minimum staffing requirements….

Prison company CCA to pay Idaho $1M over staffing
Source: Rebecca Boone, Associated Press, February 5, 2014

Business Corrections Corporation of America will pay Idaho $1 million for understaffing the state’s largest prison in violation of its contract, according to a settlement agreement announced late Tuesday. Nashville-based CCA acknowledged last year that its employees falsified staffing records given to the state, making it look as though thousands of hours of mandatory guard posts were filled when they were actually left vacant for months.

Private Idaho prison a nightmare of violence and under-equipped guards, says lawsuit
Source: Scott Kaufman, Raw Story, January 27, 2014

Workers at Idaho’s largest private prison are suing Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) over what they claim is an unnecessarily unsafe work environment. Mandi Bravo, Mark Eixenberger, Leonard King and Mario Vasquez contend that they suffered severe emotional stress because they were placed in a work environment at the Idaho Correctional Center (ICC) with inadequate training and broken equipment. They are each seeking $1 million in damages. …

State budget writers approve prison takeover hires
Source: Associated Press, January 20, 2014

Legislative budget writers have approved $1.9 million in spending to hire 90 prison guards and workers for Idaho’s takeover of the privately managed Idaho Correctional Center.

Board: Idaho can start taking over private prison
Source: Associated Press, January 10, 2014

The Idaho Board of Correction has officially ordered the state’s prison department to begin the process of taking over operations at the privately run Idaho Correctional Center. The board made the decision Friday, one week after Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter announced that he believed the state’s experiment with privatization at the facility was over. …

When For-Profit Prisons Become the Crime
Source: Rich Smith, DailyFinance.com, January 8, 2014

According to Idaho state law, defendants found guilty of the crime of false imprisonment can be punished by as much as a year in prison, or a fine of up to $5,000, or both. One company found guilty of breaking the law whilst imprisoning people, however, has been getting paid $29 million a year for its services. Over the course of the past decade, private prison-operator Corrections Corporation of America (CXW) — one of several for-profit prison operators that have been grabbing headlines in America lately — has been accused of mismanaging the 2,080-bed Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise….

Editorial: Idaho finds privately run prisons don’t measure up
Source: Statesman Review, January 9, 2014

Idaho’s decadelong experiment with prison privatization has failed, so Gov. Butch Otter had little choice when he reluctantly pulled the plug last week. The promise of incarceration at a lower cost was never fulfilled, and the 2,080-bed facility south of Boise became mired in controversies over inmate violence, lax oversight and possible fraud. … Privatization of certain government services can work to keep costs down, but the urge to make a profit on incarceration has produced unacceptable results in Idaho and elsewhere.

Idaho corrections department to take control of problem-plagued privately run prison
Source: Associated Press, January 03, 2014

Idaho’s governor says the corrections department will take over operation of the largest privately-run prison in the state after more than a decade of mismanagement and other problems at the facility. Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corporation of America has contracted with the state to run the prison since it was built in 1997. Taxpayers currently pay CCA $29 million per year to operate the 2080-bed prison south of Boise. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter made the announcement Friday at a preview of the upcoming legislative session. …

Private Idaho prison to be handed over to state control
Source: Associated Press, January 3, 2014

Decision comes after news report exposes staffing problems and allegations of fraud at the privately run facility

Idaho to operate troubled Correctional Center publicly
Source: Spokesman-Review, January 4, 2014

Our View: Otter’s plan for state-run prison a good step
Source: Editorial, Idaho Statesman, January 4, 2014

…Gov. Butch Otter and Idaho took a step in the right direction Friday when Otter announced that the state will take over management of a prison that has been operated by Corrections Corporation of America for several years. Taking back control of the prison might lead the Legislature to much-needed prison reforms. We hope it does. … AP’s 2012 analysis of the costs to run the prison found that “any savings compared to state-run prisons were more than offset by other factors, including contract oversight costs.” …

Idaho prison staffing problems were no secret to state
Source: Rebecca Boone, Associated Press, October 24, 2013

Administrators and staff at Idaho’s prison agency knew since at least 2010 that private prison contractor Corrections Corporation of America was understaffing the state’s largest prison in violation of the state contract. … The new details about the state’s oversight of CCA come as Idaho State Police investigators are looking into allegations that the nation’s largest private prison company defrauded taxpayers by filing reports that showed vacant positions were fully staffed. …

Idaho private prison case documents unsealed / Affidavits say issues were well-known
Source: Rebecca Boone, Associated Press, August 20, 2013

Several documents unsealed in a contempt of court case against private prison company Corrections Corporation of America detail inmate allegations that CCA understaffed an Idaho prison in violation of a court order and a state contract.

Among the documents, unsealed in a lawsuit between Idaho Correctional Center inmates and CCA on Friday, were affidavits from two current CCA employees and one former employee. All three described what they said was a well-known understaffing problem that prison officials routinely tried to hide.

CCA has acknowledged that its employees filed reports with the state that falsely showed 4,800 hours of vacant security posts as being staffed during 2012. The company says it has taken steps to fix the problems and that it will make taxpayers whole for any unverified hours. … She said upper administrative staff members also routinely signed “passdown” logs showing that they had checked security conditions in the her unit without ever actually checking. Metal detectors were frequently unstaffed, she said, allowing inmates to bring contraband through without being checked. …


Inmate, guard injured in private prison fight

Source: Associated Press, August 12, 2013

Prison officials say one inmate and a guard suffered injuries during a fight between inmates at the state’s private prison. Corrections Corporation of America officials say the fight broke out Friday night at the Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise.

Former CCA warden in Idaho tells judge he didn’t know mandatory posts were often unstaffed
Source: Associated Press, August 8, 2013

A former warden for private prison giant Corrections Corporation of America says he didn’t know that mandatory posts at the Idaho prison he led were chronically unstaffed.

…. ACLU attorney Stephen Pevar said he would show evidence that CCA violated the court’s order by failing to fill thousands of hours of security posts, that the company tried to cover up the understaffing by filing false documents with the state, that CCA deliberately avoided learning who was responsible for the problems, and that despite learning of the staffing problems more than a year ago, the understaffing continues to this day.

Judge says documents in Idaho private prison lawsuit must be unsealed; contempt hearing set Source: Associated Press, August 5, 2013

A federal judge has ordered that several documents be unsealed in a lawsuit between Idaho inmates and Corrections Corporation of America just days before a hearing is set over whether the private prison company should be held in contempt of court.

… “It is hardly private spite, promotion of public scandal, or libelous, to contend that CCA is wrong, and to submit sworn affidavits from past and current employees in support of that argument,” Carter wrote. “Idaho taxpayers pay CCA to operate one of their prisons. With public money comes a public concern about how that money is spent. Such a public interest cannot be swatted away by calling it a desire for ‘public spectacle’ or a form of ‘private spite’ or any of the other labels that CCA offers.”

Private prison admits to false staffing records at Idaho Correctional Center
Source: Associated Press, April 11, 2013

A private company that operates Idaho’s largest prison acknowledged Thursday that its employees falsified nearly 4,800 hours of staffing records over seven months last year in violation of its contract with the state. The admission by Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corporation of America is the latest in a string of staffing problems alleged or being investigated at the the Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise.

Inmates claim private prison falsifies staff logs
Source: Rebecca Boone, Associated Press, January 23, 2013

Attorneys for inmates at Idaho’s largest private prison say Corrections Corporation of America is falsifying staff logs to hide chronic understaffing. The allegation was raised Friday in an amended lawsuit filed in Boise’s U.S. District Court. … In the amended complaint filed Friday, Angstman described a staffing scheme that the inmates claim the company is using to make it appear as if more correctional officers are on duty. The inmates contend fewer guards were on duty than were listed in the staff logs when some of them were attacked and stabbed by gang members in a brutal assault caught on the prison’s security cameras. …

Idaho Inmates Claim Private Prison Run By Gangs / Some inmates say prison officials are ceding control to gang leaders to save money on staffing
Source: Rebecca Boone, Associated Press, November 13, 2012

A gang war that appears to have taken over parts of an Idaho private prison is spilling into the federal courts, with some inmates contending prison officials are ceding control to gang leaders in an effort to save money on staffing. Eight inmates at the Idaho Correctional Center are suing the Corrections Corporation of America, contending the company is working with a few powerful prison gangs to control the facility south of Boise.


Does private prison save Idaho money? No one knows

Source: Rebecca Boone, Associated Press, March 4, 2012

Idaho leaders have long promoted private prisons by saying it’s cheaper for the state to outsource prison management. But an examination of comparative costs by The Associated Press shows the state has never actually done the math, and there may be no cost savings at all. On paper the private Idaho Correctional Center appears to be $12 per inmate, per day cheaper than a similar state prison. But adjusting for known system-wide expenses and contract oversight brings the per diems to just $5 apart. The state prison also houses all the sick and geriatric inmates. State leaders refuse to examine the issue. Department Director Brent Reinke asked the Board of Correction about four years ago if he could bid for the ICC contract. The board said no….