- How many juveniles are in your system?
The number of juveniles (under age 18) varies, but typically makes up a very small percentage of the overall population.
- Why don’t you put prison residents to work?
Our residents do work. Residents provide janitorial services and a majority of the maintenance work at the prisons and community reentry centers. Correctional Industries keeps more than 400 residents busy at the Idaho State Correctional Institution, the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center, and the Idaho Correctional Institution – Orofino. Correctional Industries participants work in trades such as furniture-making, upholstery, printing, sign shop, and metal shop. Every year, resident work crews assist the Idaho Transportation Department on road projects and the U.S. Forest Service on firefighting and forest rehabilitation. Residents are also active in numerous community projects throughout the year.
The department also manages our community reentry centers. A community reentry center allows residents to work while becoming reunited with families and the communities. The centers also provide protection to the community through high accountability and security.
- How can I visit a resident?
The Department of Correction realizes the importance of support from the families and friends of residents. Visitation is allowed at every one of the IDOC's nine prisons and five community reentry centers. If you are interested in visiting a resident, you must complete a visitation application. Residents 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. Residents can pass this information on to approved or potential visitors.
- What types of crimes are residents serving time for?
Information on crimes is available on our website.
- I keep getting unwanted telephone calls and letters from a prison resident. How can I stop it?
It’s easy to stop unwanted telephone calls. Since all resident telephone calls are collect, you can just refuse to accept the charges. You also can call the institution where the resident is incarcerated, tell them what the problem is, and they can put a block on your telephone that prohibits the resident from calling. To stop a resident from corresponding with you, contact the warden’s office at the facility and asked that they be stopped. A resident who continues to write after being asked to stop will be disciplined.
- Do you maintain a list of convicted sexual offenders who are out in the community?
No, we do not. State law requires IDOC to provide sex offenders written notification of their duty to register prior to their release from confinement. Sex offenders must register with the sheriff's office in the county in which they reside. 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.
- What can I do to help my family member prepare for his/her parole hearing?
The Idaho Commission of 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 a prison resident will be released into the community. They include but are not limited to the resident's behavior while in prison, psychological evaluations, and educational accomplishments.
- What is being done to prevent violence on IDOC employees by prison residents and resident-on-resident violence?
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 an individual enters the system, they are classified at a reception and diagnostic unit. Those who are considered to pose a risk to other prison residents are assigned living arrangements that provide higher security.
Likewise, residents who are thought to be especially vulnerable are given housing assignments where security staff can provide a higher degree of protection. Security staff periodically interview vulnerable residents in a private setting to assure they feel safe. Residents who assault staff or other residents are immediately segregated and face disciplinary measures. They include loss of privileges and the possibility of new criminal charges.
- What can my incarcerated family member do to report and stop violence in IDOC facilities?
The department takes all forms of assault seriously. If a prison resident 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 resident's concerns and move them to a safe place at the institution. If the resident doesn’t feel comfortable talking with an officer, they can ask to talk with an investigator or shift commander. Residents can also call the 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.
- What can my incarcerated family member do to file a grievance at an IDOC facility?
The department has a formal grievance process that enables all prison residents, without the threat of reprisal, to resolve problems. The process is explained when residents begin their incarceration. A grievance must be submitted within 30 days of the incident about which the resident is complaining. The grievance should be specific and include facts like dates, places, people involved, a description of how the resident was affected, informal action taken to resolve the complaint, and the names of employees from whom the resident has already sought help regarding the grievance.
- What can my incarcerated family member do to receive medical care and what services are offered?
The department provides medical, dental, psychiatric and psychological services and treatment to prison residents. 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. Residents who have illnesses or injuries that cannot be adequately treated at the institution where they are incarcerated are transported to hospitals and clinics.
- Why are prison residents transferred between IDOC facilities?
Transfers occur to maximize security and capacity at IDOC facilities and to prepare residents for re-entry into society. Residents are also moved to lower security facilities when their classification is lowered.
- Is IDOC aware of gang activity in its facilities?
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.
- How are residents classified?
All residents 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 resident 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 resident classifications are close (those serving long-term sentences, have an escape history, or a disciplinary problem), medium (those 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).
- Who can I contact with questions about my family member’s incarceration?
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. You can also contact the Office of Constituent Services at Central Office with questions.
- How many individuals can be incarcerated in IDOC's correctional facilities?
IDOC's nine state-owned prisons and five reentry centers house a total of 8,000 incarcerated individuals. Some are also held in county jails and when necessary, out-of-state contract facilities.
- How much does it cost per day to house a prison resident or supervise a probationer or parolee in the community?
The average cost per day to house a prison resident in Idaho prisons was $74.34 for fiscal year 2020. The average inmate cost per day at the community reentry centers was $57.72 for fiscal year 2020. CRC residents pay 35% of their wages to help defray those costs. Their wages paid $16.08 of the CRC cost per day for fiscal year 2020. The average cost per day for someone on probation or parole was $4.97 in fiscal year 2020.