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Last out-of-state Idaho inmates returned to Idaho lockups

Idaho’s state Department of Correction says it’s brought back 188 inmates who were being housed in a private prison in Oklahoma, and that completes the job - Idaho now has no more inmates housed out of state due to overcrowding. It’s been four years since the state could say that. “This is a milestone for the department and something the people of Idaho can truly celebrate,” said Brent Reinke, state corrections director. “We’re saving taxpayer dollars, and in the long run, making our communities safer.” Click below to read the department’s full announcement.


Idaho Department of Correction
News Release

July 10, 2009

Idaho Completes Return of Out-of-State Inmates

BOISE – The Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) has completed the
transport of 188 inmates from an Oklahoma prison to Idaho, signaling an
end to the department’s four-year practice of renting out-of-state
beds to ease overcrowding.

“This is a milestone for the department and something the people of
Idaho can truly celebrate,” said IDOC Director Brent Reinke.
“We’re saving taxpayer dollars, and in the long run, making
our communities safer.”

The return of the inmates is made possible, in part, by the opening of
628 new beds at Idaho Correctional Center (ICC).  It will cost $40.00 a
day to house one inmate at ICC versus $61.53 at North Fork Correctional
Facility (NFCF) in Sayre, Oklahoma. As a result, IDOC will save $1.4
million in Fiscal Year 2010.

In addition to the savings, the money that is spent on incarceration
will help create new jobs for Idahoans. Corrections Corporation of
America, which operates ICC, says it has hired 103 people as a result of
the increase in the facility’s inmate population

“It’s wonderful to see this money being put to work right here in
Idaho creating jobs and helping fuel our economy instead of flowing out
of state,” said Idaho Board of Correction Chair Robin Sandy.

Three hundred four of the new beds at ICC were created by converting a
warehouse into a housing unit. The conversion cost $4.7 million, far
less than the estimated $12.5 million needed to build a new, standalone
facility of comparable size.

The removal of the inmates from NFCF began on June 21st.  It culminated
with today’s arrival of 40 inmates at Idaho State Correctional
Institution south of Boise. All of the inmate transports were done by
bus.

“This was a huge logistical undertaking that has quietly played out
over the past three weeks,” Director Reinke said. “I’m very proud
of the correctional professionals who made sure the operation went off
without a hitch.”

IDOC started sending inmates out of state on October 25, 2005.
 


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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