A gang war that appears to have taken over parts of an Idaho private prison is spilling into the federal courts, with some inmates contending prison officials are ceding control to gang leaders in an effort to save money on staffing.
Eight inmates at the Idaho Correctional Center are suing the Corrections Corporation of America, contending the company is working with a few powerful prison gangs to control the facility south of Boise.
The lawsuit, filed Friday in Boise's U.S. District Court, paints the prison as a place where correctional officers work in fear of angering inmate gang members and where housing supervisors ask permission from gang leaders before moving anyone new into an empty cell. The inmates also contend that CCA officials use gang violence and the threat of gang violence as an "inexpensive device to gain control over the inmate population," according to the lawsuit, and that housing gang members together allows the company to use fewer guards, reducing payroll costs.
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