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Overcrowding prompts Idaho to send inmates out of state

Posted: 2:38 PM, Dec 08, 2017
Updated: 2017-12-08 21:38:49Z

As many as 1,000 Idaho inmates could soon be serving out their time in out-of-state prisons as the state grapples with overcrowding at home.

The inmates could end up in a private prison facility -- despite Idaho's long history of trouble when it comes to getting some private prison providers to meet the terms of their contracts.

Idaho Department of Correction Director Henry Atencio notified the Board of Correction and several lawmakers on Wednesday that, despite efforts to increase prison capacity and reduce inmate numbers, the inmate population continues to grow. Atencio says the department anticipates it will need to start moving inmates to out-of-state facilities in March.

The state had just under 8,300 inmates in November, and that is expected to increase to more than 8,400 by March. By May of 2019, prison officials expect to have nearly 1,000 inmates more than the state has prison beds.

(by Rebecca Boone, Associated Press)