BOISE - A private prison company accused by inmates of dangerously understaffing an Idaho prison as part of a scheme to boost profits will have a chance to present its defense to jurors on Monday when a civil trial begins in Boise's U.S. District Court.

Eight inmates at the Idaho Correctional Center sued the Nashville, Tennessee-based private prison company Corrections Corporation of America in 2012, contending that poor management and chronic understaffing led to an attack in which they were jumped, stabbed and beaten by a prison gang.

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The inmates contend the company, now called CoreCivic, purposely understaffed the prison in a so-called "ghost worker scheme."

CoreCivic didn't immediately respond to a request for comment but the company has vigorously disputed the claims in court filings.

CoreCivic CEO Damon Hininger has been ordered to testify in the trial about comments made during quarterly conference calls with investors.

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