AP NewsBreak: Idaho prison contract up for bid
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho prison leaders are looking for a new company to run the state's largest prison after Corrections Corporation of America admitted to understaffing and overbilling for its work operating the Idaho Correctional Center.
But the Idaho Department of Correction won't be allowed to submit its own bid or take over operations at the prison south of Boise, because Board of Correction Chairwoman Robin Sandy said that would amount to expanding state government.
The three-member Board of Correction made the decision Tuesday evening. CCA's $29.9 million contract to run the prison expires on June 30, 2014; CCA's Idaho spokeswoman Andrea Evans said she didn't know if the company would bid on a new contract.
The Idaho State Police is investigating whether CCA's understaffing amounted to a crime or civil violation.
Idaho leaders: How can we reduce crime, spending?
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A group of Idaho lawmakers will spend the next several months researching ways to reduce crime and prison costs with the help of the Council of State Governments and other organizations.
Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter announced the Justice Reinvestment project on Tuesday, saying he wants the state to figure out how to do a better job of keeping people out of prison without spending more money.
Numbers from the Council of State Governments show Idaho has a higher percentage of people on probation or parole than surrounding states, and the number of people incarcerated in Idaho prisons grew nearly 30% between 2004 and 2010. More than a third of those in prison are repeat offenders.
The Council of State Governments Justice Center will help lawmakers research the issue.
TERRORISM CHARGES-NEW LAWYER
Uzbek charged with terrorism gets new Idaho lawyer
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - An Uzbek refugee accused of terrorism-related crimes in Idaho and Utah has new lawyer who has handled some of the region's highest-profile federal cases.
A federal judge appointed Charles Peterson to take over Fazliddin Kurbanov's defense.
The 30-year-old Kurbanov has pleaded not guilty to charges including helping teach people to build bombs.
Peterson's resume includes successfully defending Randy Weaver against charges of murdering a federal agent during what became an 11-day standoff in 1992 on northern Idaho's Ruby Ridge.
In 2004, Peterson helped win freedom for a University of Idaho student from Saudi Arabia, Sami Al-Hussayen, who faced charges including working for a group funneling money to terrorists.
Peterson didn't return a call Tuesday.
Kurbanov's former federal defense lawyer withdrew after citing budget cuts that have sapped his office's resources.
HOMELESS SHELTER EMBEZZLEMENT
Chubbuck woman sentenced, embezzled from shelter
POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) - A 36-year-old Chubbuck woman has been sentenced to nearly two years in prison for embezzling more than $100,000 from clients of a Pocatello homeless shelter.
The U.S. Attorney's office says Leslie A. Briggs was sentenced Tuesday to 21 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. She pleaded guilty in March to theft of government property.
U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Briggs to pay nearly $104,000 in restitution.
Briggs was an assistant to the manager of the shelter's Representative Payee Program, which receives Social Security payments for shelter clients. The shelter administers the fund and pays for the clients' personal expenses.
Briggs admitted that from November 2008 through December 2010 she wrote unauthorized checks on the trust account to pay for her personal expenses.
She has two previous embezzlement convictions.
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