Video Shows Idaho Prison Guards Watching Brutal Assault Without Intervening

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For several minutes and in front of several prison guards at the Idaho Correctional Center, inmate Hanni Elabed appears in a video to be brutally beaten by another prisoner. It's only after the second time the beating stops that guards enter the cell to offer assistance. Now the video is being used as evidence that the privately owned prison uses the threat of cell-block violence to force inmates to rat each other out.

The AP reported the story today after obtaining security camera footage of the assault. In it, Elabed is punched unconscious and kicked repeatedly on the ground by another prisoner, all while guards stand idly by behind protective glass.

At one point the attacker stops and sits down to relax before getting up and hurling a few more kicks into the prone man's ribs.

The prison is run by Corrections Corporation of America, the nation's largest private prison company, with 75,000 inmates in more than 60 facilities.

Accusations of mishandling inmates and failing to provide care for them have long plagued the company. Most notably, a federal investigation followed nine prisoners who died at a CCA facility in Eloy, Arizona, from treatable conditions that were never attended to by prison staff.

In the latest case in Idaho, prisoners have accused the guards of denying them medical care to cover up the fact that assaults ever took place. They call the facility "gladiator school" because of its extreme violence.

The AP fought for weeks to obtain the videos. And when they aired them, CCA seemed more concerned that the videos were released at all than what they showed, stating:

"Public release of the video poses an unnecessary security risk to our staff, the inmates entrusted to our care, and ultimately to the public."

Here's the AP's report:

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