Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What the Hell is Going on in Idaho?

Boy is the Idaho Correctional Center, run by CCA, ever a mess. In addition to the $155 million lawsuit the company faces from the ACLU over charges that its levels of violence are so high it's informally called "Gladiator School," the prison was just fined thousands of dollars by the Idaho Department of Corrections for its failure to comply with the terms of the contract CCA has with the state. 10 of 13 drug counselors are not properly licensed, and the prison has "extensive problems administering medical care" (and they've already missed a deadline to improve the care). Of course both these issues will cost Idahoans in the long run, as drug addiction and dependence among these inmates won't be properly treated, and most will be released following years of deficient medical care (meaning they will suffer from various sorts of preventable diseases and seek more emergency care, which will wind up costing taxpayers). Unfortuantely, situations like this are all too common among private prisons, and highlight some of the hidden social costs of privatizing corrections.

In other Idaho clusterfugazy news, the IDOC has demanded CCA beef up security at the prison after continued high levels of violence:

And a little note from a great editorial on CCA's inability to operate a humane facility: staffing levels have been so abhorrently low at the facility that there have been times when 2 guards were in control of 350 prisoners. This is exemplary of another major problem with private prisons; understaffing to save money and maximize profits. This places both the prisoners and the guards (who typically aren't trained or paid as much as employees at state-run institutions) at increased risk:

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