A group of 130 Idaho inmates were moved from Boise to Colorado on Tuesday morning.
The Idaho Department of Correction said the inmates were flown by chartered jetliner and bus to Kit Carson Correctional Center in Burlington, Colo.
“We know how hard this is on the inmates’ families but the fact is we’re running out of room,” said the department’s director, Brent Reinke, in a news release.
The department said the state’s prison population started going up in 2011, after years of little or no growth. In April of this year, for the first time, more than 8,000 inmates were under the department’s jurisdiction.
To ease the crunch, IDOC has been renting beds in county jails and will soon re-open a housing unit at Idaho Maximum Security Institution. But those measures alone are not enough to accommodate the demand, so in April, the Gem State issued a nationwide request for proposals from companies and government agencies that would be willing to rent beds to the department.
KCCC, operated by Corrections Corporation of America, was one of two respondents to Idaho’s request.
IDOC does not know how long Idaho inmates will be incarcerated at KCCC, but it will likely be for a period of several years. Much will depend on the rate of growth in the size of the inmate population in Idaho and the ability to bring new beds online here at home, the department said.
The last time IDOC had inmates out of state was fromOctober 2005 to July 2009. The out-of-state population was at its highest from July to September of 2008. During that time, 715 Idaho inmates were incarcerated in correctional facilities in Sayre, Okla., and Littlefield, Texas.