Idaho’s state prisons have shipped another 120 inmates off to an out-of-state private prison, in this case the North Fork Correctional Facility in Sayre, Okla. They join another 120 Idaho prisoners who were sent to the Oklahoma lockup in September. It’s owned and operated by CCA, the same firm that operates the Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise. Brent Reinke, state prisons chief, said, “We firmly believe Idaho inmates are best managed at home in Idaho. But the fact is there is simply no room for them.”
Idaho currently has 7,400 criminals incarcerated. Not all of them fit in the state’s prisons – the figure includes the 240 in Oklahoma, 373 at the Bill Clayton Detention Center in Littlefield, Texas, and about 600 in county jails across Idaho. Reinke expects to send another 120 inmates to Oklahoma this summer. Though Gov. Butch Otter has been talking about a big new prison in Idaho, lawmakers took no action on that in their just-concluded legislative session.