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Posts published in “Day: June 29, 2012”

Private prison II

Years before a private prison company was even selected for Idaho - but just after the concept was adopted by the state - this space predicted that the future for that prison held news stories about scandal and lawsuits.

An accurate prediction: After high-profile news stories about the Corrections Corporation of America-run prison at Boise described it as a "gladiator school" and worse after violence and injuries, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in March 2010 "that alleged deliberate indifference by CCA officials, inadequate staffing and supervision, and a failure to investigate acts of violence." About a year and a half later the case settled. (CCC did not acknowledge wrongdoing but did agree to make a number of procedural changes.)

Since then, Idaho's prison population - the state has one of the highest rates in the nation - has continued to grow, according to the Department of Correction: "Idaho’s inmate population is 8,099 and has grown by more than 500 inmates since the fiscal year began on July 1, 2011. Idaho is managing its prisons at capacity and also houses more than 800 inmates in county jails statewide."

So how is it resolving the difficulty? By entering into a new contract with CCC:

"Idaho has selected a Colorado prison to help house Idaho’s growing inmate population. This week, the Idaho Department of Correction notified Corrections Corporation of America of its intent to award a contract to house Idaho inmates at the Kit Carson Correctional Center in Burlington, Colorado. Idaho issued a request for proposals for beds in April. Two companies offered a proposal. The CCA proposal won based on an overall score of criteria that included bed availability, security practices, inmate supervision, and experience managing medium custody inmates. ... The Department expects to finalize the bed contract in early July, and will send 250 male medium-custody inmates out of state in late July or early August. IDOC has already notified the inmate population, asking for volunteers for out-of-state placement."

Note that the respondents were two companies - private companies.

Yeah, this sounds like another winner of a proposition.

The other side on Holder

While the Republican arguments against Attorney General Eric Holder, leading to a House vote to charge him with contempt, have gotten wide play around the region - new Idaho Representative Raul Labrador was one of the leaders of the effort - the other side of the argument has gotten little.

There was a good article, nearly the only piece of digging journalism on the subject, in the magazine Fortune providing one of the few good perspective pieces on the Fast and Furious issue.

More succinctly, maybe, Oregon Democratic Representative Kurt Schrader, a Blue Dog, said: "The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform found no proof that Attorney General Holder authorized or condoned gunwalking, a program started under the Bush Administration. After the release of more than 7,600 pages of documentation, testimony by an agent involved in Operation Fast and Furious denying Holder had any knowledge of the program, the committee's refusal to check past abuses or interview the Attorney General under President Bush, Chairman Issa went forward with a contempt vote having no solid evidence of impropriety by Attorney General Holder."

Worth factoring in.