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Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

ACLU Idaho Prison Officials Promote Rampant Violence

BOISE, ID – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Idaho today filed a class action federal lawsuit charging that officials at the Idaho Correctional Center (ICC) promote and facilitate a culture of rampant violence that has led to carnage and suffering among prisoners at the state-owned facility operated by the for-profit company Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, the lawsuit charges that epidemic violence at the facility is the direct result of, among other things, ICC officials turning a blind eye to the brutality, a prison culture that relies on the degradation, humiliation and subjugation of prisoners, a failure to discipline guards who intentionally arrange assaults and a reliance on violence as a management tool. 

"In my 39 years of suing prisons and jails, I have never confronted a more disgraceful, revolting and inexcusable case of mass abuse and federal rights violations than this one," said Stephen Pevar, a senior staff attorney for the ACLU. "The level of unnecessary human suffering is appalling. Prison officials have utterly failed to uphold their constitutional obligation to protect prisoners from being violently harmed and we must seek court intervention."

According to the lawsuit, a deeply entrenched culture of brutality has resulted in higher levels of violence at ICC than at Idaho's eight other prisons combined. The lawsuit highlights 24 different cases of assault that have occurred at ICC since November 2006, all of which were entirely preventable and the direct result of failures by ICC officials to protect prisoners despite being placed on notice that these prisoners faced a substantial risk of serious harm. The cases highlighted in the lawsuit are not exhaustive, but instead are merely representative of the scores of additional assaults that have occurred at ICC during the past four years.

The cases of prisoner-on-prisoner violence highlighted in the lawsuit include a prisoner who was hit in his ear so hard that it partially detached from the side of his head, a prisoner who, in anticipation of being brutally assaulted, removed his eyeglasses to protect them prior to receiving a pummeling, a prisoner who was beaten so badly that his teeth were pushed through his lower lip causing effusive bleeding that took an officer more than two hours to clean up, a prisoner who required eight screws to put his jaw back into place after being savagely beaten in the face and a prisoner whose requests for X-rays on the heels of being beaten were met by laughter from a prison guard who callously informed him there was no need for x-rays since his nose was so obviously broken.


Anonymous said...

This is a bunch of crap! I actually work at this prison and have never heard by any of the 2050 inmates that they call the prison gladiator school. we have no clue when a fight is going to kick off. WE try our hardest to help the inmates keep out of trouble, but they are convicts and serve the rules and laws in their own ways.

Robert Heizelman said...

your a lying piece of shit, and you know you are, you and all them cos promote violence, and have for years, my name is Robert Heizelman, you pieco, my website is http://americaneaglecivilandhumanrights.com , and I say your a liar and a fat mouth...I was there in your stinking prisons, being jumped, and put back on the same tier it happened, after I healed, about 2 months later, and was given no choice what so ever, but stay there and fight, and thats exactly what happened, you piece of shit, fight to live, and I am still alive. You piece of Garbage, and some day, piecos like you will be fired, for the lying piecos you are..I can't wait, till these people take your prisons foe millions, call yourself by your name next time(piece of shit) so we can all know who you are...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for speaking the truth, God Bless You.

sara said...

CCA does what they want no matter what state they're in!!!! Close them all down!!! maybe sueing them for millions is the only way to put "prisons for profit", out of business.

I don't believe Robert lies!! Good luck to you and take care

Anonymous said...

I'm sure there are some decent people employed in the prison system, but a lot of them will follow the rest of the crowd because they are in fear of being a target themselves by other employees. Anonymous must have tunnel vison or chooses to ignore what goes on there. My son is currently in that prison..he is a convict, but he is still a person who deserves to be treated with respect. "Serve the rules and laws in their own way"....yeah, he is trying to stay alive and get the hell out of there! Why don't you help these prisoners by keeping them safe from harm by other prisoners and actually have programs that work, not that just sound good on paper. The more I learn about CCA, the sicker I am.

Anonymous said...

I am sure there are some good people that work there trying to support there family's but there are some there that need to be behind bars more than the inmates a lot of the trouble is due to over crowding they keep petty crime people in prison for way to long let them out throw the power head guards in there place see how that turns out Robert i am ashamed that the people that promise to protect and serve there community would allow this to happen to you or any prisoner in any state i hope you will jump on the band wagon and sue the hell out of them hit them where it hurts there there pocket with all them petty prisoners in there Idaho is losing billions on holding them lol dumb ass state