Report: Idaho could save money by building a state prison

Prisons chief aims to make ‘hard time’ a rehearsal for home

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – State auditors say Idaho’s prisons are overcrowded and dilapidated, the inmate population is rapidly growing and taxpayers could save millions by building a new prison.

The findings came from the Office of Performance Evaluation’s report on managing the state’s correctional capacity.

The report found that the Idaho Department of Correction could save as much as $17 per inmate, per day by building a state-run minimum security prison in Idaho.

Idaho currently has more than 9,400 inmates, but only enough prison beds to house about 6.970 of them.

That means thousands of inmates are shipped out of state to privately run prisons or housed in already crowded county jails.