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BOISE -- The two biggest private prison companies in the nation say they don't want the contract to run a troubled Idaho prison, and that could shrink the pool of potential bidders to just two smaller companies.

GEO Group sent a letter to Idaho Department of Correction officials last month to say thanks but no thanks to the chance to bid on a contract to run the Idaho Correctional Center. Corrections Corporation of America, which currently operates the facility, has also said it won't seek a new contract when its current $29-million-a-year deal with the state expires next summer.

That leaves two smaller companies in the pool of likely bidders: The Centerville, Utah-based Management and Training Corp., and Community Education Centers, which is based in West Caldwell, New Jersey.

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