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Friday, April 3, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  ID Government

Idaho budgets for swelling load of prison inmates

Idaho lawmakers have set a budget for the state Department of Correction next year that reflects a 7.6 percent increase in state funds and nearly doubles funding for county and out-of-state inmate placements to $21.2 million.

“We all know that the growth of the inmate population continues to increase, not only just in our current state facilities, but throughout Idaho in our county (jail) facilities,” said Rep. Rick Youngblood, R-Nampa. “It just continues to explode.”

The latest projections show Idaho expects to house an average of 8,612 prison inmates a month next year, with 644 in county jail beds and 392 in private out-of-state beds. The state recently shipped out about 250 inmates to a private prison in Texas.

Overall, the prison budget set by lawmakers for next year calls for spending $233.8 million in state general funds. It was approved unanimously Friday by the Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.

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