Canyon County will ask voters Nov. 4 to approve a $4.6 million bond levy to renovate the old jail and expand the regional juvenile detention center.
Modification of both is necessary to accommodate rising numbers of offenders, Sheriff George Nourse said.
“We’re running at capacity,” he said of the jail. “In a short time we’ll be out of room. Paying some other county to take care of our prisoners could cost us $35 to $54 a day.”
Remodeling the old jail, empty since 1993, and adding more than 100 new beds would take $1 million of the bond funds. The remaining $3.6 million would add 72 beds and 24 offices to the juvenile detention center.
If the old jail is expanded, Nourse said he advocates contracting out a minimum of 50 beds a year to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for illegal aliens. That contract could recover the cost of the remodel in just a few years, Nourse said.