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No privatization for Orofino prison

The Idaho Department of Correction has decided against pursuing privatization of the state prison at Orofino, a controversial move opposed by the local community, where the state prison is among the major employers. “The department identified several key services provided at the Orofino prison that would need to remain under state operation reducing potential cost savings of private operation,” the department reported in a news release. “The governor thanked the department for its due diligence in looking at the option, but agreed it should not be pursued at this point.  He challenged the department to continue looking for cost saving measures throughout the system.” Click below to read the full release.


Idaho Department of Correction
News Release

May 6, 2009

Prison Request for Information Update

BOISE - The Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) will not issue a
request for information on possible private operation of the Idaho
Correctional Institution-Orofino. Governor Otter requested the
department and all agencies explore creative options to reduce costs
during the economic downturn.

In development of the request for information, the department
identified several key services provided at the Orofino prison that
would need to remain under state operation reducing potential cost
savings of private operation. The Governor thanked the department for
its due diligence in looking at the option, but agreed it should not be
pursued at this point.  He challenged the department to continue looking
for cost saving measures throughout the system.

“At this time the Idaho Board of Correction feels the economic
benefit to North Idaho and the firefighting industry outweighs the need
to privatize Orofino,” said Board of Correction Chairman Robin Sandy.

“Our prison numbers are stable and we plan to bring all out-of-state
inmates back by late summer. Even though these tough economic times are
challenging, we feel IDOC has done the best possible job with
taxpayers’ money.  The system is working well at this juncture,”
she said.

IDOC continues its initiative to focus on No Prison Growth in 2009.
During the current fiscal year the inmate population has dropped by 68
inmates, creating cost savings and allowing the department to return 430
inmates from out of state beds.


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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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