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Bannock County jail bond fails

UPDATE: Bannock County voters have very narrowly rejected a $16 million jail bond and crisis center bond issue.

The project needed a 66.6 percent majority to pass but received a 66.32 percent vote. That is based on unofficial results from Tuesday’s election.

Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said he was disappointed with the results and said the county would have to “go back to the drawing boards” to determine it’s next step.


The $16 million Bannock County Jail Bond issue required a 2/3 majority for approval.

The bond proposed to set aside $14 million to remodel and improve the Bannock County jail. Another $2 million was targeted to acquire, construct, and equip a crisis care center as an alternative to incarceration.

Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said the Behavioral Care Center would provide crisis care, stabilization, and alternatives to incarceration and hospitalization.

Officials believe a 40-bed, monitored facility would direct individuals away from incarceration or hospitalization with oversite by the judicial system, law enforcement, behavioral health care and community-based services.

The crisis center would reduce jail expansion from the original 260 bed projection to an estimated 120-160 beds. That would reduce severe overcrowding of the Bannock County Jail and help ensure that the right people are incarcerated.

If approved, it is estimated the cost of the bond would be $27.32 per $100,000 of assessed property valuation per year.

The bond will require a two-thirds majority vote for approval.

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