After losing its bid to purchase the former Lincoln School building this winter, the Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) moved to Plan B at the St. Anthony Work Camp. The original work camp was built in the former Fremont General Hospital Building. It opened in April 1990.
The new plan is for a 125 bed expansion of the current facility. IDOC officials said the project would also require an expansion of the facility’s kitchen, laundry, visiting, and administrative areas. The Center would also hire more officers, food staff, and administrative positions.
There are currently 276 offenders being held at the work camp. It typically serves about 364 individuals each year. The department is shooting for a target capacity of 400 beds total, but officials say that will depend on the outcome of design plans.
Work Camp officials say there is strong demand for its offenders’ labor. They usually work 6 to 8-hour shifts in a variety of local agricultural entities. Their work help them pay fines, child support, and restitution and helps them set money aside for their eventual release. Those funds are used for things like first-month’s rent and transportation.
In addition, offenders also learn life skills, like responsibility, accountability, and marketable job skills. And, Work Camp IDOC said its employees would also provide a positive economic addition to the St. Anthony market.