November 05, 2007

ID: a hard sell for in-state private prisons

Idaho news from the Spokesman-Review, via Eye on Boise:

Prison proposal draws criticism - Otter's plan allows out-of-state inmates

The idea that Idaho could import out-of-state murderers, rapists and other criminals to serve time at new profit-making private lockups in the state makes some key state lawmakers squirm.

"I have some questions about the advisability of doing that – I think a lot of people do," said Senate Judiciary Chairman Denton Darrington, R-Declo. "I'm not sure it would be well-received by the citizens of the state..."

Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, said..., "I have a problem modifying the statute to allow a business or industry to bring in persons who have proven to be capable of very serious criminal misconduct. It's not something that I'm a fan of."

Idaho has sent hundreds of its own prisoners to out-of-state private prisons in recent years because of overcrowding in state prisons; 550 Idaho inmates are in such facilities now, and hundreds more are headed out in the next few months. Problems have included escapes, abuse complaints and an inmate suicide in the past two years at private prisons...

Mark the date: this is one time I agree with Denton Darrington of Declo.