Ending rampant violence in Idaho’s “gladiator school” private prison.

We filed this federal lawsuit, Kelly v. Wengler, to put a stop to the culture of rampant violence that has led to carnage and suffering among prisoners at officials at the Idaho Correctional Center (ICC), the state-owned facility formerly operated by the for-profit company Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).  The class action complaint identified epidemic violence at the facility as the direct result of, among other things, ICC officials turning a blind eye to brutality, a prison culture that relies on the degradation, humiliation and subjugation of prisoners, a failure to discipline guards whose misconduct precipitated assaults, and a reliance on violence as a management tool.  After reaching a settlement agreement in September 2011, we learned that CCA had been violating the agreement the whole time, understaffing the prison at dangerous levels. In September 2013, we prevailed in holding CCA in contempt of court. Although CCA appealed, in May 2016 we prevailed again, with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the contempt order. 

Just months after our contempt order, CCA ended its operation of ICC, turning control back over to the State of Idaho. Today, Idaho prisoners are no longer housed in CCA facilities. 

Attorney(s)

ACLU of Idaho (Richard Eppink), ACLU National (Stephen Pevar), James D. Huegli

Date filed

February 11, 2011

Court

United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit

Judge

Edward Lodge, David O. Carter, Williams A. Fletcher, Raymond C. Fisher, Claudia Wilken

Status

Victory!

Case number

13-35972, 14-35199

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