Judge holds private prison company in contempt of court

09/17/2013 // West Palm Beach , Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Idaho – A federal judge has held a private prison company in contempt of court over understaffing issues. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), the 24-page ruling against Tenn.-based Corrections Corporation of America was issued Monday by U.S. District Judge David Carter.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in 2010 by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of inmates at an Idaho prison who asserted understaffing and mismanagement at the facility contributed to a serious issue with violence. CCA agreed to a settlement in the case, but denied the allegations. The ACLU requested that CCA be held in contempt for failing to comply with terms of the settlement, which include a promise to increase staffing levels.

Carter is quoted by the AP as stating in his decision, “It is clear that the non-compliance was far worse than the report of about 4,800 hours would lead one to believe… For CCA staff to lie on so basic a point — whether an officer is actually at a post — leaves the Court with serious concerns about compliance in other respects, such as whether every violent incident is reported.”

CCA spokesman Steven Owen is quoted as saying in a prepared statement following the ruling, “We believe we are taking all appropriate steps to correct the staffing matter and are unaware of any new findings beyond what we’ve previously acknowledged. We are meeting the contractual staffing requirements and are working on an ongoing basis to ensure that continues.”

This report is provided by Justice News Flash – Idaho Legal News

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