Study: Idaho jail will need more than 1,000 new beds

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CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) A county jail in Caldwell will need more than a 1,000 new beds to meet capacity needs over next 10 years, an ongoing study indicated.

Jail officials gave a report to Canyon County officials on Monday on the progress of the study that's examining current jail facilities and planning for the future, the Idaho Press-Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/2wWLn93 ).

The jail holds 477 beds with 452 currently occupied. More than 20 inmates are jailed elsewhere at an additional cost due to housing restraints.

Jail Capt. Daren Ward said building a new jail facility will be costly, but "the county really does not have any options at this point." The cost to build a new facility has not been because the numbers are still being calculated, he said.

The county government hired the DLR Group to conduct the study at a cost of $245,000. The study's aim is to provide answers for how long current jail facilities can effectively be used, how many beds will be needed, the costs to build and operate a new jail and what can be done to the existing facilities.

Officials have met with the group every two weeks for the past few months, Ward said.

Jail overcrowding is not a new issue for the county. A previous plan to expand the jail facility failed due to a lack of funding, and county voters did not approve past bond proposals that asked to build a new jail.

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Information from: Idaho Press-Tribune, http://www.idahopress.com

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