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Saturday, January 10, 2009

ACLU Will Not Clean for You!

THE GUARDIAN read all 20 pages of the ACLU filing against Canyon County Commishes and the County Top Cop. The meat of this starts on page 5 and ends with item number 50 in the filing.

Jail and prison overcrowding is an endemic (means everywhere) problem. Neglect, mismanagement and poor maintenance of a public asset is another matter. A thorough read of the ACLU filing against Canyon County is a clear slap at how the Commishes and Sheriff have managed our jail, as well as their responsibility to be good stewards of the physical plant and inmates in their charge. The entire jail facility, including the old jail, passed every Idaho Sheriff's Association inspection it ever had as well as monthly inspections by the incumbent Commishes under former Sheriff George Nourse.

THE GUARDIAN worked in the Dale Haile Detention facility and knows the layout and features as well as design shortcomings in the facility.

Management systems, procedures, resources of materials and staff were not issues until the recent crop of Commishes and Sheriff took office several years ago. The place was cleaned on a schedule much the same as a US Naval ship (been there and done that too).

The previous Sheriff had two full time maintenance staff people during the day and one on call for night time issues. The Supply staff in the jail kept cleaning supplies and painting issues up to date constantly. Pest control services were on a contract to provide weekly services. Toilets and showers were not allowed to go unrepaired for weeks and months at a time. Fire systems were maintained and tested regularly and fixed promptly. Fire drills were held at a minimum of annually and deputies were well trained in evacuation procedures.

The environment inside the jail was maintained at a constant temperature all four seasons. Daily inspections were made by the Assistant Jail Commander of all living units. Ventilation systems kept the jail warm in the winter and air conditioned in the summer. County maintenance staff kept filters, air handlers and controls maintained on a regular basis. The jail was never allowed to be an unclean place for inmates. A schedule based on rotating bunk assignments was established with a designated number of inmates doing the cleaning of their unit on a daily basis. Inmates were never denied access to the inmate handbook or printed rules and policies. Grievances by inmates were dealt with on a fair and consistent basis. Jail management was keenly aware of potential abuses of power at the hands of those in charge of living units.

Staffing and turnover of manpower were issues from time to time. A constant effort to promote from within and entry level hiring were dealt with as ongoing issues to resolve while providing opportunites to promote from within the department. Management issues cropped up from time to time and once defined were dealt with quickly by Sheriff Nourse via employee surveys by staff on their bosses. One such survey resulted in the termination of the jail commander and a significant number of other management staff.

If you take the time to read the ACLU filing, it is clear the Commishes and Top Copper have abdicated their fiduciary responsibilities as "SERVANTS OF THE COURT" and stewards of our jail assets. Overcrowding is one issue but filth, mold, mismanagement, poor maintenance, lack of staff and their training are things they need to be held accountable for to us the taxpayers.

The ACLU filing, with the exception of overcrowding, is a punch list of things that can and should be corrected immediately (if not sooner).


  1. As I read the IPT article this A.M., I thought the need for warmer blankets and non-functioning smoke detectors are not a cause to spend millions on a new facility. Smith & Duelen need to go away if they can't keep up maintenance on what we've got.

  2. poor maintenance, poor training, inadequate staffing. Talk about a recipe for disaster. The only way to deal with this is hold the elected officials feet to the fire.

  3. I just finished reading through the law suit filed by the ACLU against Canyon county and it tells me our elected officials are ignoring any and all maintenance of all the jail facilities. They obviously think by not keeping them up in good repair it will help their cause in building a new jail. These clowns have tried everything they can to strong arm the public into their crazy schemes to build a jail miles away from the courts. Something that only makes sense to them. They want everyone to believe them when they say they can run two jails for the same cost as running just one. No new help will be required for the additional jail. Amazing I guess the inmates are going to be doing all the cooking and prisoner transports back and forth to the courts.These guys have no concept of the truth they are totally unbelievable and lie with a straight face.

  4. The IPT will cover this up like everything thing else these losers have done. Five years of wild jail plans at a cost of millions of our hard earned tax dollars squandered for property,engineering jail tables, that were made for a jail that didn't even exist, and stolen. I Idaho Press Tribune will make Smith and the Commissioners the victims of a public that just does not understand what is good for them. After all these idiots were the IPT's candidates. Their readers will get only what the IPT wants them to know.

  5. Sheriff "Woody" lives in la la land. His usage of our tax dollars are an insult to all Canyon County Citizens. However, they voted him and believed in that painted on smile. He uses threats of letting criminals go on the street to bully the public into thinking we need a new jail. He probably wants a new jail, just so his name can go on it. Hah!


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