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Idaho Governor Says Private Prison Take Over Will be Smooth

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BOISE, Idaho (KTVB) — Idaho Gov. Butch Otter says a major transition at one of the prisons is on schedule and on budget. But, there are concerns about security as the state takes over.

Private contractor Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) will no longer be operating the prison after June 30. An overhaul like this is uncommon, so many of those involved are being cautious about the details of the transition. CCA has run the facility in south Boise since it was built in 2000. But there have been issues including under staffing and over billing.

CCA decided not to put in a bid to continue the $30 million contract. So, earlier this year, Gov. Otter decided the state would take over. The governor’s office says the warden, Randy Blades, has been going cell to cell to notify prisoners of the change. He says while most won’t see much difference, those managing the prison want to be prepared.

But, both Otter and the Idaho Department of Correction say they have to be careful about how the shift will affect the inmates. Both agencies aren’t allowing media inside at this point, hoping to maintain a safe environment during the transition. IDOC says employee uniforms will change, but most aspects of day-to-day life for prisoners, including food and recreation, will not.

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