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Bonneville County Jail To Take In 100 State Inmates

Bonneville County will play a big role in alleviating overcrowding in Idaho’s state prisons.

Bonneville is one of the few counties in Idaho with room in its jail, so there will be an influx of inmates from across the state in just a matter of weeks.

“It’s not gonna make us any less safe,? said Bonneville County Sheriff Paul Wilde. ?We are a safe facility.”

The Bonneville County Jail will be taking in 100 new inmates on June 1, as part of an agreement struck with the Idaho Department of Correction following news that the state’s inmate population surpassed 8,000 for the first time.

?We are looking at a variety of different options as we watch our population grow and fluctuate,? said IDOC director Brent Reinke.

Wilde says the arrangement is a welcome alternative to sending inmates out of state.

“That would guarantee money coming into Bonneville County,? Wilde said. ?It’s a revenue source.”

Per the two-year agreement, Bonneville County will be paid $40 per inmate, per day — the amount they already get for the 138 state inmates currently in their custody — making up roughly 42 percent of the jail population.

A previously closed-off part of the jail will be opened to accommodate the new medium-security inmates. That facility was originally intended to expand the work-release program until the economic downturn in recent years. It now houses 80 spare beds.

The Bonneville County Jail is in the process of hiring six more employees.

Wilde says the state inmates will not affect the county’s ability to house local inmates.

IDOC also discussed housing prisoners in tents as a potential solution to overcrowding. That method would only be used for up to 96 inmates at the maximum security institution south of Boise.

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