Idaho Inmates Make Their Case To Hold State In Contempt

Jul 22, 2015

Credit Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

Attorneys representing Idaho inmates in a class action lawsuit over prison health care told a federal judge Wednesday that prison officials intentionally misled a court-appointed examiner and the department should be punished by the court.

But attorneys for the state denied the inmates' claims and countered that the allegations are based on incomplete evidence that has been taken out of context.

Elijah Watkins, the attorney for the inmates, told U.S. District Judge David Carter that the case ultimately will come down to credibility. He asked the judge to consider which side has a reason to tell the truth, and which side has an incentive to lie.

The inmates at the Idaho State Correctional Institution have asked Carter to hold the Idaho Department of Correction in contempt of court or take other steps to punish the department. The hearing is expected to last two days.