Bringing the Economy Home

Idaho Sends First Group Of Inmates To Colorado

Sadie Babits / Boise State Public Radio

IDOC says inmates who have been convicted of serious or violent crimes won't be considered for a move to Colorado.

The Idaho Department of Correction flew 130 prisoners to Colorado this morning in an effort to relieve crowding as Idaho’s inmate population goes up.

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

The Department could eventually move as many as 800 inmates to Colorado over the next couple of years.  It’s unclear how long the inmates will be housed out of state.  A written press release says it could be “several years.”

On average, it costs the state $52.82 per day to house an inmate at an Idaho correctional facility.  It will cost, on average, $54.19 per inmate per day at the Kit Carson Correctional Center (KCCC) in Burlington, Colorado.

If 800 inmates are moved to KCCC, it will cost Idaho more than $15.8 million per year, compared to the $15.4 million cost of housing the inmates here in Idaho. This doesn’t include the cost of two oversight teams that will supervise Idaho prisoners in Colorado.

Idaho’s inmate population has increased steadily since 2009, when 7,295 people were incarcerated.  Now, 8,097 people are jailed.

Correction Department spokesman Jeff Ray says all categories of offenders have increased and the state also has seen an increase in parole violations.

This isn’t the first time Idaho has sent prisoners out of state.  Between 2005 and 2009, Idaho sent more than 700 inmates to correctional facilities in Oklahoma and Texas.


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