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Idaho prison staffing problems were no secret to state
By spokesman.com - Rebecca Boone
Published: 10/24/2013

Administrators and staff at Idaho’s prison agency knew since at least 2010 that private prison contractor Corrections Corporation of America was understaffing the state’s largest prison in violation of the state contract.

Idaho Department of Correction officials and CCA eventually came to an agreement about staffing levels, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press, but inmates and advocates continued to complain about inadequate staffing and its impact on prisoners’ safety.

The new details about the state’s oversight of CCA come as Idaho State Police investigators are looking into allegations that the nation’s largest private prison company defrauded taxpayers by filing reports that showed vacant positions were fully staffed.

That investigation is expected to be completed sometime in the next several weeks. The probe was launched after an AP public records request raised questions among officials about payroll reports and staff rosters from the CCA-run Idaho Correctional Center.

Idaho corrections officials say they made efforts to oversee CCA – efforts which included adding more employees to check on the prison and lengthening CCA’s contract from 30 pages to 450 in an effort to better spell out the company’s responsibilities.

But the agency never fact-checked CCA’s staffing reports against payroll records.

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