Idaho correctional officials say the state’s criminal justice crisis has escalated to a point where it might declare an emergency and begin housing overflow inmates in National Guard barracks.
Debbie Field, chairwoman of the state Board of Correction, said Monday the National Guard is currently studying the possibility after meeting with the Idaho Department of Correction and Gov. “Butch” Otter last week.
Field says the state's growing prison population has forced officials to explore every option.
The National Guard will submit their analysis of using the barracks for inmates by the end of the week.
Idaho recently signed a contract to send up to 670 inmates at a private prison in Texas starting at the end of August. In the meantime, Idaho's prisons are currently at capacity and the state needs to find space for overflow inmates.
(by Kimberlee Kruesi, Associated Press)