On November 9, 2012, 8 inmates at Idaho Correction Correctional Center filed a lawsuit through private counsel against Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), which operates the facility. The Plaintiffs had been the victims of a gang assault in which 6 members from the Aryan Knights and the Severely Violent Criminals hid in a closet in order to attack the Plaintiffs with shivs and shanks. Plaintiffs alleged that CCA was using gang violence as a way to gain control over the inmate population and decrease the operating costs. Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged that CCA's operating practices, which included housing members of the same gang in the same block (creating what prisoners call a gang-controlled walk), operating at or above maximum capacity, and using insufficient numbers of guards, created a substantial risk of harm to inmates in the form of gang violence, pressure to join gangs, and pressure to participate in gang activities in and outside of the prison. Plaintiffs filed suit under 42 U .S.C. §1983 for violation of their 8th and 14th amendment rights under the color of state law and sought compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorneys' fees. Plaintiffs also sought whatever injunctive relief the court might deem appropriate. Pictures, video of the attack, and other documents can be found on the Plaintiff's lawyers' website
On January 18, 2013, Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint as a result of an anonymous email from a member of prison staff that alleged that the CCA had been falsifying its records to make it appear that the various blocks were fully staffed and in compliance with a settlement agreement from a previous case, Kelly v. CCA (Clearinghouse code: PC-ID-0007).
On February 8, 2013, CCA filed a motion to stay discovery and to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim and for failure to exhaust administrative remedies, claiming that 6 of the 8 inmates had not completed the full grievance procedure. On March 1, 2013, CCA filed a motion for a protective order to avoid discovery until the court rendered its decision on the motions to stay and to dismiss.
The Court (Judge Edward J. Lodge) denied the motion to stay and the motion for a protective order on April 19, 2013. 2013 WL 2446480 (D. Idaho 2013). CCA then filed a motion for a protective order to keep certain information confidential (personal identifying information for staff, criminal, medical, and institutional records of inmates, security sensitive policies, procedures, and reports).
On June 4, 2013, the Court dismissed the claims of two of the inmates, but ruled that irregularities in the grievance process and the assistant warden's approval of the response that "If you would like to pursue [compensation], you can do so utilizing outside sources." made the six remaining inmates' partial exhaustion of the grievance process sufficient to meet the requirements of the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (42 U.S.C. § 1997e, et seq.), and thus they were allowed to proceed. The Court also held that, despite what it considered to be exaggerations in the complaint, the Plaintiffs had stated a plausible claim for relief based on the ghost worker allegation and gang member placement.
A collection of Associated Press news organizations filed a motion to intervene in the proceedings so that it could oppose CCA's proposed protective order on the grounds that it would interfere with the press's ability to gather and report news.
As of this writing the docket shows no further development and the case is ongoing.Kenneth Gray - 07/10/2013