(Click on a question below to display the answer.)

All inmates committed to the custody of the department are sent to the Reception and Diagnostic Unit (RDU) for evaluation and classification. During the RDU process (usually lasting two weeks), the inmate receives a physical examination, psychological evaluation, educational assessment and a substance abuse evaluation. Information received during the reception and diagnostic process is reviewed by a classification committee and entered on a classification sheet.


The three inmate classifications are close (those serving long-term sentences, have an escape history or a disciplinary problem), medium (offenders who have demonstrated an ability to follow instructional rules and regulations, may have a considerable amount of prison time left to serve and who may be an escape risk at a lower custody level), minimum (those who have continually demonstrated the ability to follow instructions and who don’t represent an escape risk). 

Offender Classification

The number of juveniles (under age 18) varies, but typically makes up a very small percentage of the overall offender population.

Our inmates do work. Inmates provide janitorial services and a majority of the maintenance work at the prisons and community work centers. Correctional Industries keeps more than 400 inmates busy at the Idaho State Correctional Institution, the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center and the Idaho Correctional Institution – Orofino. Correctional Industries inmates work in trades such as furniture-making, upholstery, printing, sign shop and metal shop. Every year, inmate work crews assist the Idaho Transportation Department on road projects and the U.S. Forest Service on firefighting and forest rehabilitation. Inmates are also active in numerous community projects throughout the year.


The department manages four community work centers. A community work center allows offenders to work while becoming reunited with families and the communities. The centers also provide protection to the community through high accountability and security.

Information on crimes is available on our Web site.


Our Population Statistics

The Department of Correction realizes the importance of support from the families and friends of inmates. Visitation is allowed at every one of the IDOC's eight prisons and five community work centers. If you are interested in visiting an incarcerated offender, you must complete a visitation application. Visitation applications may be obtained by the inmate in his or her housing unit and mailed to potential visitors. Inmates and proposed visitors can expect a six (6)-week minimum processing time for visitation applications. The visiting room officer's supervisor will approve or deny the visitation application based on the review of the application, background check, and departmental policy.


Each institution sets its own visitation schedule. Inmates can pass this information on to approved or potential visitors.

It’s easy to stop unwanted telephone calls. Since all inmate telephone calls are collect, you can just refuse to accept the charges. You also can call the institution where the inmate is incarcerated, tell them what the problem is and they can put a block on your telephone that prohibits the inmate from calling. To stop an inmate from corresponding with you, contact the warden’s office at the facility and asked that they be stopped. An inmate who continues to write after being asked to stop will be disciplined.

The average cost per day to house an inmate in Idaho prisons was $55.50 for fiscal year 2013. The average inmate cost per day at the community work centers is $47.12 for fiscal year 2013. CWC inmates pay 35% of their wages to help defray those costs. Their wages paid $14.57 of the CWC cost per pay for fiscal year 2013. The average offender cost per day for someone on probation or parole is $3.94 in fiscal year 2013.

No, we do not. State law requires the IDOC to provide an inmate, prior to release from confinement, written notification of the duty register. Sexual offenders must register with the sheriff's office in the county in which they reside in. The Idaho State Police maintains the master list of registered sex offenders living in Idaho. More information is available on the Idaho State Police website including photos of offenders classified as Violent Sexual Predators.


Idaho Sex Offender Registry

The Idaho Commission on Pardons and Parole operates independently from IDOC.  All questions about parole matters should be directed to the commission.  You can learn more about the process by visiting the Commission of Pardons and Parole.


The commission considers many factors when deciding if an offender will be released into the community.  They include but are not limited to the offender’s behavior while in prison, psychological evaluations and educational accomplishments.

Security is the top priority in everything the department does, and Idaho’s institutions are considered to be among the safest in the United States. When offenders enter the system, they are classified at a reception and diagnostic unit. Those who are considered to pose a risk to other inmates are assigned living arrangements that provide higher security.  


Likewise, offenders who are thought to be especially vulnerable are given housing assignments where security staff can provide a higher degree of protection.  Security staff periodically interviews vulnerable offenders in a private setting to assure they feel safe. Inmates who assault staff or other offenders are immediately segregated from and face disciplinary measures.  They include loss of privileges and the possibility of new criminal charges.

The department takes all forms of assault seriously.  If an inmate has been assaulted or feels they are in danger, they should immediately contact a correctional officer or sergeant.  They will take steps to report and investigate the inmate’s concerns and move the inmate to a safe place at the institution. If the inmate doesn’t feel comfortable talking with an officer, they can ask to talk with an investigator or shift commander.  Offenders can also go to the chapel and report their concerns to the chaplain, call a toll-free hotline (866-565-5894) where they can leave a message 24 hours a day, or place a note in any one of several grievance boxes located around the institutions. 

The department has a formal grievance process that enables all inmates, without the threat of reprisal, to resolve problems. The process is explained to offenders when they begin their incarceration. A grievance must be filed within 15 days of the incident about which the offender is complaining.  The grievance should be specific and include facts like dates, places, people involved, a description of how the offender was affected, informal action taken to resolve the complaint and the names of employees from whom the offender has already sought help regarding the grievance.

The department provides medical, dental, psychiatric and psychological services and treatment to inmates.  Emergency care is available 24 hours a day.  Correctional officers undergo a yearly training program and are expected to respond to health emergencies within four minutes.  Inmates who have illnesses or injuries that cannot be adequately treated at the institution where they are incarcerated are transported to hospitals and clinics.

Transfers occur to maximize security and capacity at IDOC facilities and to prepare inmates for re-entry into society.  Inmates are also moved to lower security facilities when their classification is lowered.

Yes.  Each institution has one officer assigned to collect and record intelligence on gang members.  The information is then analyzed by IDOC’s gang unit.   In addition, the department disperses criminal gang members and frequently changes security practices to ensure safety.


The department considers gangs to be a threat to security and seeks to discourage gang activity whenever possible.

Most questions can be answered by calling the institution where your family member is incarcerated.  This should be your first stop for answers.  If you have a question or concern that cannot be answered directly by the officer on duty, you may be referred to the warden’s office.

Print this pagePrint this page