Utah Department of Corrections

Tami Peay's husband is incarcerated in a Utah state prison for an illegal drugs conviction, and she hasn't seen him in more than four months. She used to see him at least once a week. But that was before visitations were nixed due to COVID-19.

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

There have been more than 40,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in prisons and jails across 47 states. Only Idaho and Wyoming, as well as Hawaii, have yet to see a confirmed case within the inmate population in state correctional facilities, according to the nonprofit journalist outlet the Marshall Project


Madelyn Beck / Boise State Public Radio

Support for our series Private Prison: Locking Down The Facts came from The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a nonprofit news organization that partners with journalists and newsrooms to support in-depth reporting and education around the globe.

It was the early 2000s, and the largest prison in Idaho was run by the private company Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA. The state had also started sending prisoners to a private facility in Texas run by GEO Group.

Darin Oswald

For men and women returning to society from incarceration, access to affordable housing is key to their success. But with Idaho's tightening rental market already keeping affordable housing out of reach for much of the general public, the risk of prison recidivism continues to rise when former inamtes can't secure sustainability, according to the Prison Policy Initiative

In his latest budget proposal, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis requested $7.2 million to begin transitioning the state away from private prisons. A big part of that plan was to close the Cheyenne Mountain Re-entry Center in Colorado Springs. It’s a medium security facility run by the GEO group, one of the largest prison companies in the country. 

There’s wide variability in state policies about what care to give to women who are pregnant and behind bars. That’s according to a new report from the Prison Policy Initiative, a research and advocacy organization focused on mass incarceration.

“Women's populations in prisons have been growing faster than men's for quite awhile now,” said Wanda Bertram, a spokesperson with the Prison Policy Initiative. “So it's a good time to start looking at how women's experiences differ from men's while they're inside.”

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.

Bannock County Sheriff Describes Jailhouse Riot

Jul 17, 2018
Bannock County

We continue our conversation about the state of Idaho's incarcerated population. Late last Wednesday, a riot broke out in the Bannock County jail. The Idaho Department of Corrections has been housing state inamtes in county jails due to overcrowding and on Tuesday's Idaho Matters, we speak with Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen about the stress this is causing in his county's jail.

Old Idaho Penitentiary Gives A Glimpse Into Prison Life

Jul 17, 2018

The Idaho State Penitentiary in Boise closed 45 years ago, and as hard as they tried to keep people in, these days they can't keep people out. Amber Bierle of the Idaho State Historical Society talks about the history of the "Old Pen" and some of the upcoming events.

On The Tuesday, July 17, 2018 Edition Of Idaho Matters:

Jul 17, 2018

  • Our conversation about the state of corrections in Idaho continues.
  • A controversial presidential pardon sends a message across the Northwest.
  • The Old Pen used to keep prisoners in, now they can't keep visitors out.
  • We go on a quest for the lost books of Walt Whitman.

On The Monday, July 16, 2018 Edition Of Idaho Matters:

Jul 13, 2018

  • IDOC over-crowding causes problems for county jails.
  • The Old Pen used to keep prisoners in, now they can't keep visitors out.
  • The 103rd Snake River Stampede kicks off on Tuesday.

Four Meridian Executives Face Prison Time

Jul 9, 2018
SalFalko / Flickr

On Tuesday, four ex-business executives from Meridian will face a magistrate judge before being sent to prison for numerous counts of fraud. This comes after four years of appeals and legal proceedings.

State Considers $500 Million Prison

Jun 12, 2018

Idaho prisons are so overcrowded the Idaho Department of Corrections is forced to send state prisoners to other states for incarceration. Idaho officials are discussing the possibility of a new half-billion dollar prison to accommodate the prison population. Idaho Press Boise Bureau Chief Betsy Russell joins Idaho Matters to talk about her coverage of the proposal.

St. Alphonsus Suing Prison Contractor For Millions

Apr 27, 2018
Saint Alphonsus Hospital
Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

One of the Treasure Valley’s largest health care providers, Saint Alphonsus, sued a private prison contractor in a federal court this week. The medical group says it’s owed millions for procedures on inmates.

Melissa Robison / Flickr

A man was sentenced Monday to life in prison after being convicted of fatally shooting his girlfriend's ex-husband in an ambush.

Joshua Alberts was convicted of second-degree murder for the February 2016 killing of Joshua Warren.

According to prosecutors, Alberts shot Warren at least 12 times in the face, neck, and torso while Warren was unarmed.

Alberts shot Warren when he went to the apartment complex where his ex-wife lived to pick up his two children.