Private prison company says lawsuit must be tossed

BOISE, Idaho — Attorneys for the nation’s largest private prison company have asked a federal judge in Idaho to throw out a lawsuit from inmates who say the company uses gangs to run a Boise-area prison.

In a motion filed in Boise’s U.S. District Court on Monday, attorneys for Corrections Corporation of America say that a lawsuit brought by eight inmates at the Idaho Correctional Center fails to meet legal standards and so should be tossed out of court.

The inmates sued in November, contending that the company is working with a few powerful prison gangs to control the facility south of Boise. The inmates say that CCA is able to save money on staffing by essentially allowing the gangs to run the prison, and that as a result, some inmates are forced to join gangs or risk being attacked.

CCA officials have said the company’s top priority is the safety and security of its prisons, employees and inmates and that the company is always held to the highest standards of accountability and transparency by its contracts with government partners like the Idaho Department of Correction.

“Once the hyperbole is removed from Plaintiff’s complaint, two fundamental defects come into sharp focus,” CCA’s attorneys wrote in the motion.

First, CCA contends that several of the inmates failed to fully use the prison’s grievance system — a step that is generally required before a prisoner may be allowed to file a lawsuit. Secondly, the company argues that the inmates didn’t meet legal standards for specificity in their complaint, and that they failed to include enough factual statements to show that their claims were even plausible.

It’s not the first time CCA has been sued in federal court over conditions at the Idaho Correctional Center.

The American Civil Liberties Union-Idaho represented inmates in a lawsuit that claimed the prison was so violent that inmates called it “Gladiator School” and that guards used inmate-on-inmate violence to control prisoners. That case resulted in a settlement agreement requiring management and organizational changes at the prison. Attorneys for the ACLU and CCA have recently been in talks over whether the terms of that settlement are being met.

More in Local News

Departing mayor’s locally drawn portrait joins city’s pantheon

Artist Elizabeth Person’s portrait of Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson will hang with others at City Hall.

Inslee proposes tapping reserves, carbon tax in budget plan

The proposal also includes money for the mental health system and efforts to fight opioid addiction.

One dead in crash south of Granite Falls

Two cars collided near the intersection of N. Lake Roesiger Road and Hidden Valley Road.

2 women struck, injured while crossing busy roads

The first happened Wednesday night in Everett. The second was Thursday morning in Edmonds.

Lynnwood robbery leads to lockdown at Edmonds schools

Edmonds police said it was just a precaution as they search around Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Marysville 7-Eleven hit by armed robbers

Officers set up a perimeter and brought in a police dog, but the man couldn’t be found.

Snohomish man, 63, missing from home since Monday

He left without his keys, wallet and phone, saying something about going to “the river.”

Counties fed up with unfunded mandates may sue the state

For example, no money has been provided to install, maintain and clear out required ballot boxes.

Inslee budget solves school funding puzzle with piece of carbon

His plan commits to putting another $950 million into the system.

Most Read