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Dept. Of Corrections Ask for Money to Shore Up Lawsuits

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislative budget writers say they’ll support some unanticipated spending by the Idaho Department of Correction to cover the cost of wrapping up some lawsuits. The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee approved the department’s supplemental budget requests Thursday morning, sending them to the full Legislature with a “do pass” recommendation.

Many of the supplemental requests were connected to a long-running lawsuit brought by inmates at the Idaho State Correctional Institution over poor medical and mental health care at the prison. The state has reached a settlement with the inmates that could bring a close to the case, but the terms included more than $560,000 to help pay for 12 additional staffers and nearly $800,000 to pay for an on-site pharmacy and other services from the state’s medical contractor.

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