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Board: Idaho can start taking over private prison

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- The Idaho Board of Correction has officially ordered the state's prison department to begin the process of taking over operations at the privately run Idaho Correctional Center.

The board made the decision Friday, one week after Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter announced that he believed the state's experiment with privatization at the facility was over.

Still, board Chairwoman Robin Sandy appeared to leave open the possibility that the prison could revert to private management sometime in the future. Sandy said that after two years of state management, the board would be able to evaluate future management plans.

Taxpayers currently pay Corrections Corporation of America $29 million per year to operate the prison, and the company has been the subject of multiple lawsuits and investigations alleging violence, understaffing and possible contract fraud.