Idaho moves 130 inmates to Colorado

Inmates boarding aircraft
Inmates depart Boise on August 21

BOISE, August 21, 2012 – A group of 130 inmates from Idaho have been moved to Colorado to ease population pressure in Idaho’s prisons and jails.

The inmates were flown aboard a chartered jetliner from Boise to Denver this morning. From there they travelled via bus to Kit Carson Correctional Center (KCCC) in Burlington, Colorado.

“We know how hard this is on the inmates’ families but the fact is we’re running out of room,” said Idaho Department of Correction Director Brent Reinke. 

After four years of little or no growth, the state’s prison population started going up in 2011. On April 20, 2012, the population for the first time reached more than 8,000 inmates incarcerated under the department’s jurisdiction.

To ease the crunch, IDOC has been renting beds in county jails and will soon re-open a housing unit at Idaho Maximum Security Institution. But those measures alone are not enough to accommodate the demand, so in April the State of Idaho issued a nationwide request for proposals from companies and government agencies that would be willing to rent beds to IDOC.

Two companies responded – one for KCCC, which is operated by Corrections Corporation of America, and another for a detention center in Hardin, Montana, which would have been operated by Management and Training Corporation.

The State chose KCCC because the facility is more secure, already in operation and has a capacity for 768 Idaho inmates if needed. The Montana facility does not have an adequate perimeter fence, has never been occupied and could only hold 450 inmates. MTC would have had to fully staff the facility and develop procedures before Idaho inmates could be sent there.

IDOC does not know how long Idaho inmates will be incarcerated at KCCC but it will likely be for a period of several years. Much will depend on the rate of growth in the size of the inmate population here in Idaho and the ability to bring new beds online here at home.

The last time IDOC had inmates out of state was from October 2005 until July 2009.  The out-of-state population was at its highest from July to September of 2008. During that time, 715 Idaho inmates were incarcerated in correctional facilities in Sayre, Oklahoma and Littlefield, Texas.

Story published: 08/21/2012
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