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Idaho prisoners moved to Texas (again)

Despite a history of catastrophe, CBS reported that 250 prisoners from Idaho will be transferred to Karnes County Correctional Center in Karnes City, Texas. The article cited a shortage of prison beds in Idaho as the state’s reason for the transfer. The Karnes County Correctional Center is operated by private prison corporation GEO Group. As we have previously reported, the long-distance separation of prisoners from their families can have devastating impacts.

The transfer of prisoners from Idaho to Texas, described as the GEO Group ‘shell game,’ was ended previously when two prisoners from Idaho died in two separate GEO Group facilities. These facilities were described as “squalid” and “horribly understaffed.”

One of those incidents took the life of Scot Noble Payne, who committed suicide in GEO’s Dickens County Detention Center after spending a year in solitary confinement. In 2007, Payne’s mother filed suit against the Idaho Department of Corrections for $500,000, the maximum amount allowed under the state law. For full coverage of Idaho to Texas prisoner transfer, see our archive here.

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