Jury: Prison company violated rights, but no need to pay

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – A federal jury says private prison company CoreCivic had a longstanding custom of understaffing an Idaho prison, and that the company was deliberately indifferent to the risk of serious harm that posed to inmates.

But jurors also found that the company, formerly called Corrections Corporation of America, doesn’t have to pay damages for the problem because the inmates who sued failed to prove that the understaffing happened in the hours before they were attacked by a prison gang.

The verdict came late Thursday evening in Boise. Afterward, attorneys on both sides claimed victory.

The inmates brought the lawsuit in 2012, contending that CCA deliberately understaffed the prison to boost profits, and that the understaffing allowed a prison gang to hide in a janitorial closet for several hours before jumping out to beat and stab the inmates.