SBWCC warden, inmates support Correctional Industries at statehouse

Warden, inmates, Sen. Lodge stand for photo
Barlow, Haley, Keenan, Lodge
By Lt. Alicia Carver, South Boise Women’s Correctional Center

In 1974 the Correctional Industries Act was passed by the Idaho legislature.

The Correctional Industries program has allowed employment opportunities for inmates to not only earn an income while incarcerated but also develop work ethics, learn a skill that will benefit them upon their release from prison, as well as provide labor to the agriculture industry, which in recent years has struggled to find enough labor to support farms, warehouses, etc.

It wasn't until a recent expansion of the Correctional Industries program, that in 2016 the Idaho Department of Correction employed it' first female Ag-crew in the Treasure Valley. By the summer of 2017, a second crew was created.

These two crews, along with Ag-crews from SICI and SAWC are currently restricted to the production, harvest, and processing of perishable agricultural food products.

On Friday, January 19, 2018, Warden Barlow-Hust, Inmate Darlene Haley, and Inmate Gypsie Keenan, testified before the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee, chaired by Sen. Patti Anne Lodge. They, along with local farmers, were seeking support for Senate Bill 1208, which proposes a change in the legislative verbiage that restricts inmate ag-crews to only working in the agriculture industry in the capacity of the production, harvest, and processing of perishable food products. The agriculture industry reaches far beyond just the production, harvest, and processing, of perishable food products. If Senate Bill 1208 is passed into law, inmate ag-crews will be able to expand further into the agriculture industry and work in horticulture, forestry, livestock, and beekeeping.

On Wednesday, January 24, 2018, the Idaho Senate voted in support of Senate Bill 1208. The bill will now go before the House committee, then the full House. If approved by both, Senate Bill 1208 will go before Governor Butch Otter to be signed into law.

Story published: 01/25/2018
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