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First Take

The Idaho State Police probably were right in their conclusion that the issues surrounding the Corrections Corporation of America private prison in Idaho were not properly a subject for investigation by that agency. It was, Colonel Ralph Powell said, “This appeared to be a breach of contract dispute, and therefore a civil, not a criminal matter.” Two other issues come up from this, however. One is the reasons why so many people in state government were under the impression, for a year, that ISP was in fact investigating. An Idaho Statesman report out today says that “A state police major introduced himself to IDOC Deputy Warden Timothy Higgins as the investigator in the case, did an interview with Higgins and took IDOC’s documents about the CCA allegations.” Huh? And were there other such instances? The Statesman story adds some useful information to the background, but raises some more questions. One, just slightly farther afield but something state legislators should consider, is this: If the Idaho State Police are not the proper agency to investigate something like the CCA situation, then who is? Someone kin state government should be.

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