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Canyon County jail expansion denied again

Posted at 4:37 PM, Oct 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-04 18:53:21-04

Two inmates who escaped from the Canyon County Jail Saturday night have been located and taken into custody. 

The Canyon County Sheriff's Office says Jeffery Duvall and Juan Cervantes were both found inside a home on Bighorn Way in Caldwell Tuesday afternoon.

Duvall and Cervantes were the fourth and fifth inmates to escape from the jail's tent structure since 2015, raising more concern over the security of the facility.

Niles Harlow has lived a block from the Canyon County Jail for most of his life. In fact, he grew up in the same house he lives in now. Even with the recent escapes, Harlow says he doesn’t feel like he’s in danger in his neighborhood.

“It just doesn't bother me,” he says. “I don't worry about it."

Monday night, the Caldwell City Council shut down a request for a jail expansion to the Canyon County jail. This comes after two more inmates escape from the jail’s tent structure.

After three separate failed attempts to get voters to approve a bond for a new jail, Canyon County Commissioners proposed the expansion to meet the needs of an expanding inmate population.

The plan to expand the jail has now been shot down twice by the Caldwell City Council.

The Planning and Zoning committee denied the application for expansion in August. Monday night, the City Council upheld their previous decision to deny the expansion in a 5 to 1 vote.

Though the expansion plan Canyon County Commissioners put before City Council would add more space for inmates, it would not eliminate the use of the jail's tent structure.

Harlow says even though he isn't worried for his safety, some of his neighbors have expressed concern after the escapes.

"They seem like some of them are saying that they worry about it, but I think, of course, any time you have a jail people are always nervous,” Harlow says. "I don't worry about it. Somebody that breaks out of there, they're not going to come terrorize you. They're going to get out of here, anyway.”