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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Are We Going for Another Jail Bond?

The local paper came out in favor of a new jail for Canyon County in the Sunday edition of the IPT.  Not much has changed other than the costs of building a new jail.  The Guardian has opposed all jail bond efforts in the past due to the extremely high costs of building, maintaining and other jail overhead costs like food, medical and staffing costs.

Typically it costs about $100K per jail bed to build a proper jail these days.  It also costs about $100/day to keep someone incarcerated in a jail when all the ancillary costs are put into running a jail.  

Our county commissioners have spent another $250,000 for this latest jail study.  The support for building a new jail is that we have over 200,000 people in our county.  No stats were given to support building a new jail other than the size of the jail in Ada County.  It would really be interesting to see how they came up with the data to support the costs of running a new jail.  One thing for sure is we will continue to use what we have in addition to any and all existing jail beds.

Here's a very good example of why we are not managing jail space properly.  I know a person who got a 45 day sentence for "malicious damage to property" over a $45 cell phone bill.  He owed the money so the judge sentenced his to work off his $45 damages in jail via 45 days of incarceration.  One has to ask if this was an appropriate sentence and questions "are the right people ending up in jail".  In this case I think not.


  1. The Guardian has filed a public records request for a copy of the "study" and will give a report on the contents in the near term. It will be interesting to see if all the costs associated with a new jail will be covered in this study.

  2. If they would propose a jail not a Holiday Inn i would vote for it. Use sealed concrete not ceramic tiles eliminate cable TV and computer access and any other unnecessary expenses. Jail is not supposed to be a pleasant place to live.Perhaps if being in jail was less pleasant repeat offenders would be less interested to repeatedly go back to jail.


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