Idaho Prisons

Lancey / Flickr Creative Commons

Private prisons are often touted as a good source of jobs and economic prosperity for communities. But how do those jobs compare to the ones in government-run facilities? 

Wikimedia Commons

 


Over the next few days, the Mountain West News Bureau is exploring the private prison industry in our region. 

Darin Oswald

The Idaho Department of Correction is hoping to send 500 more inmates out of state to ease overcrowding in prisons and county jails, which, in turn, is expected to cost a lot more money.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Bob Hall was just released from Idaho state prison. He spent 20 years behind bars, and in two decades — a lot has changed. Boise State Public Radio's George Prentice profiled Hall, who is learning how to navigate life after prison through a new Idaho Department of Correction program. 

James Dawson

On any given week, the news headlines include a deluge of stories on crime on punishment: a criminal act, the arrest of a suspect, a trial, a verdict, a sentence and Idaho's ever-swelling prison system.

Jim Cole / AP Photos

Here in Idaho prisoners have been used to help fight fires, but did you know they are also helping out on farms? We talk with Stian Rice about farm-labor shortages and the history of “convict leasing.” We also talk with the Division Chief of Idaho Correctional Industries about his organization's use of inmate labor.

On The Wednesday, July 3, 2019 Edition Of Idaho Matters

Jul 2, 2019
Boise State Public Radio

  • Inmate labor and "convict leasing."
  • Stargazing with Maki Jackson.
  • A “lightbulb moment” for Higher Education.

Erik Jones - Boise State Public Radio

This City Club of Boise forum was recorded on Friday, the 1st of March, 2019 at the Grove Hotel in Boise.


Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Originally broadcast October 25, 2018.

Back in August, we had a chance to visit the South Boise Women’s Correctional Center south of Boise. We wanted to take a look at what life was like in a women’s prison and we heard about several very unique programs that the prison offers the women. We also heard some very compelling stories about what brought the women behind bars.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Originally broadcast October 25, 2018.

There were 311 women prisoners at the South Boise Women's Correctional Center on the day we visited in August. It's a minimum security facility. We wanted to find out more about a women's prison, and about the woman who runs it. On a windy day outside the prison, Noel Barlow-Hust opened up about why she became warden and why women are different from men behind bars. 

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Originally broadcast October 25, 2018.

The South Boise Women's Correctional Center is a tight cluster of buildings south of Boise. Behind the prison stands a long, covered tent-like structure. Inside are thousands of rows of tiny green plants. Gemma Gaudette walked along the rows of sagebrush with warden Noel Barlow-Hust who says the plants are grown by inmates and help restore the landscape after wildland fires.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Originally broadcast October 25, 2018.

The South Boise Women's Correctional Center has some very unique programs designed to help the women there learn job skills and other qualities like leadership and responsibility. One of those is the Whiskers Program, a collaboration with the Idaho Humane Society where inmates take care of sick and neglected cats and kittens.

We talk with Stephanie Mark, who's been at the prison since May. She's the Cat Coordinator. She starts out talking about the Whiskers Program and then the conversation takes a turn toward some very serious subjects.

On The Friday, December 28, 2018 Edition Of Idaho Matters

Dec 28, 2018
SAMANTHA WRIGHT / BOISE STATE PUBLIC RADIO

  • Idaho Matters presents an encore broadcast of our four-part look into the the fastest-growing demographic in Idaho prisons: women.

FLICK/NPS CLIMATE CHANGE RESPONSE

The Idaho Department of Corrections facilitates a program allowing inmates to be trained as firefighters and deployed on the lines of some of the most intense wildfires in the West. This is a voluntary program and participants are eager to break up the monotony of prison life by making a difference in a community by battling wildfires. We'll meet with the warden of the South Idaho Correctional Institute, in Kuna, and an inmate who puts his life at risk with his crew to protect wildlands and property in the West.

On The Friday, August 24, 2018 Edition Of Idaho Matters

Aug 23, 2018

  • Our team of journalists breaks down the week's headlines.
  • Idaho prison inmates are on the front lines battling wildfires.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr

As Idaho's inmate population swells, state officials are considering building a new state prison. The suggestion comes at a time when all of Idaho’s county jails and prisons are at or above capacity.


Lancey / Flickr Creative Commons

This week, several employees of the Idaho Department of Corrections were indicted by federal authorities. One group, who faces a range of charges, was allegedly willing to help traffic drugs.

Clipp2nd / Flickr

A federal judge has ruled that the Idaho Department of Correction must provide Kosher meals to prisoners in any of their facilities. The lawsuit came about after prisoners went on a starvation diet at Passover this year.


Scott Ki / BSPR

Attorneys for the Idaho Department of Correction say inmates exaggerated problems with the prison medical care system and waited too long to complain, and as a result, prison officials shouldn't be held in contempt of court for violating a settlement in a decades-old class action lawsuit.

The court documents were filed late last week in federal court. They mark the latest twist in a lawsuit first brought by inmates in 1981 that contends unconstitutionally poor medical care was provided to prisoners at the Idaho State Correctional Institution.

Sadie Babits / Boise State Public Radio

A federal judge has sanctioned Idaho for misleading the court about medical and mental health care for inmates.

The ruling from U.S. District Judge David Carter means that the Idaho Department of Correction will remain under the court's supervision until at least the fall of 2017.

The health care legal battle between inmates at the Idaho State Correctional Institution and the state has been happening for more than three decades.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

Attorneys representing Idaho inmates in a class action lawsuit over prison health care told a federal judge Wednesday that prison officials intentionally misled a court-appointed examiner and the department should be punished by the court.

But attorneys for the state denied the inmates' claims and countered that the allegations are based on incomplete evidence that has been taken out of context.

Still Burning / Flickr

An 11th person has joined a sex abuse lawsuit involving Nampa's Idaho Juvenile Corrections Center.

The Idaho Press Tribune reports attorney Bruce Skaug of Skaug Law PC in Nampa is representing the 11 claimants. This newest filing in the lawsuit says 41-year-old Valerie Lieteau performed oral sex on a juvenile inmate and had sex with him in her office.

Lieteau was a nurse at the center from 2008 to 2012.

barbed wire, prison
Havankevin / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge says an Idaho inmate can move forward with his lawsuit against the state even though he's already won a six-figure settlement from the state's prison health care provider.

William Bown, an inmate at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution south of Boise, filed the lawsuit in 2012 after he had a heart attack. Bown contended that the prison guards and the medical care providers failed to realize the seriousness of his condition and sent him to an observation cell instead of calling for emergency care.

Inmates at an Idaho prison are asking a federal judge to sanction the state because they believe prison officials deliberately misled a court-appointed examiner on prison health care by tampering with medical records and hiding problem inmates.

The Idaho Department of Correction, meanwhile, contends the inmates' claims are without merit and little more than exaggerations based on unsubstantiated hearsay.

It's the latest tangle in the three-decades-old lawsuit over prison conditions at the Idaho State Correctional Institution.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

New allegations of misconduct at the Idaho State Correctional Institution have surfaced in a court case that dates back to 1981.

The accusations include destroying, altering, or falsifying prisoner medical records. The state is also accused of deceiving a special investigator whose job it is to keep the state in line with past rulings in the case.

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