June 26, 2006

ID: ACLU calls for more prisons

...considering the alternative, which is continuing to ship Idaho inmates out of state to an uncertain fate. From the Times-News:

ACLU Idaho calls for more state prisons

Overcrowding and the practice of housing inmates out of state have prompted the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho to call for state leaders to build more prisons.

"Bottom line, we probably have to immediately start thinking about building more prisons in Idaho, which is a terrible thing for an ACLU activist to say," Jack Van Valkenburgh, head of ACLU Idaho, told The Spokesman-Review... "I want my money going to schools; I don't want it going for prisons, but you've got to provide minimally adequate care..."

Van Valkenburgh said sentencing reform and increased drug-treatment programs are "the way to solve the prison problem," but in the meantime he believes Idaho is risking an increase in crime by sending its prisoners to Texas.

"My sense is the mentality of this facility doesn't have rehabilitation and reintegration into society as a goal," he said.