Boise, ID. – Due to a shortage of beds in Idaho’s prisons and jails, the Idaho Department of Correction will soon move up to 250 male inmates to the Karnes County Correctional Center in Karnes City, Texas. The inmates will be held at the facility temporarily while the department seeks a long-term agreement with a prison-bed provider.
“We wish we didn’t have to send inmates out of state; we know it creates challenges for the inmates, their families and our staff,” says Henry Atencio, director of the Idaho Department of Correction. “But as Idaho grows, so does the size of our prison population, and we simply have no more room here at home.”
The Karnes County Correctional Center is a 550-bed facility operated by the GEO Group. During the time Idaho inmates are at the facility, the Idaho Department of Correction’s Contract Oversight Unit will closely monitor the facility’s operation in person and onsite to assure it meets the standards the department sets for its contract-bed providers.
The Karnes County Correctional Center is accredited by the American Correctional Association and the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. It recently passed inspections by the Texas Department of Health Services and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The inmates will remain at the Karnes County Correctional Center until the Idaho Department of Correction executes a long-term contract for the incarceration of up to 1,000 inmates at an out-of-state facility and the facility’s beds become available. The department’s contract request is for up to 1,000 beds for up six years. The department expects to have a contract finalized by March 17, 2018.
The inmates selected for out-of-state incarceration are all classified as medium custody and, until recently, were held at Idaho State Correctional Institution, Idaho Maximum Security Institution, South Idaho Correctional Institution and Idaho State Correctional Center.
To assure the secure transport of the inmates from Idaho to Texas, the date and time of their scheduled movement will not be announced publicly. The inmates will be able to call their families immediately upon their arrival at the Karnes County Correctional Center.