BOISE -- Several lawmakers are pushing for change when it comes to Idaho's prisoners housed out of state.
Currently, 234 inmates are held at a Corrections Corporation of America facility in Colorado.
But, despite overcrowding here in Idaho, several lawmakers are asking to end that relationship and bring the inmates back to Idaho.
Two legislators, Rep. John Gannon and Rep. Matt Erpelding, just drafted a memorial that expresses their opinion and their plea to the Board of Corrections.
They are asking to immediately end a contract with CCA to hold our prisoners out of state and instead bring them back to Idaho.
The relationship is not working, has not worked, and has been a failed private prison experiment, said Gannon.
Gannon says the private prison company had issues here in Idaho and shouldn't be trusted to take care of our inmates out of state either.
The relationship has been so rocky and the many problems that have occurred, well documented and publicized in the press, said Gannon.
Those problems include under-staffing and false documentations.
Employees also recently filed a lawsuit against the company, and just last week Gov. Butch Otter ordered an immediate criminal investigation into CCA.
This comes after Otter already announced CCA would no longer run Idaho's private prison in Kuna, ending the agreement this summer, an agreement that's been in place since 2000.
But over the years, there have been other issues as well, like video released in 2010, showing excessive inmate violence.
It doesn't make sense to keep dealing with this company, we would like to see the prisoners brought back to Idaho, housed in Idaho, said Gannon.
On Wednesday, CCA released this statement: Our Kit Carson facility provides important flexibility for the Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) in managing inmate populations and avoiding unsafe overcrowding. While we acknowledge that there have been challenges at the Idaho Correctional Center (ICC), we have no reason to believe it was anything but an isolated incident, and we have taken and will continue to take the necessary steps to address any concerns. In fact, we recently reached an agreement with IDOC that the department agrees makes taxpayers whole on the staffing issue, and we ve also worked very hard to ensure it never happens again.
As for the 234 currently held at the CCA-run Kit Carson Correctional Center in Colorado, Gannon wants them transferred back here, no matter how crowded our prisons already are.
There are issues there because of overcrowding but I think we are working through that with the legislation that we have pending, said Gannon.
IDOC tells us Idaho has had prisoners housed out of state since 2012. That year, IDOC says 130 prisoners were held at Kit Carson Correctional Center, and in 2013, 120 were held there.
Idaho pays CCA about $54 per day for each prisoner housed in Colorado.
Earlier this month, CCA announced they would pay Idaho $1 million for the under-staffing at the facility.
The state will take over operations at the Kuna prison beginning on July 1st.