Idaho looks to national program to fix incarceration rate - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho looks to national program to fix incarceration rate

Posted: Updated:
Idaho, with the help of a national program has created the Justice Reinvestment Act. Idaho, with the help of a national program has created the Justice Reinvestment Act.
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -

Idaho had one of the highest incarceration rates in the country in 2013. If this trend continues the prison population is expected to increase by 15 percent in the next five years. At one point state officials were considering spending $288 million on a new prison. Instead, the state, with the help of a national program, analyzed the contributing factors of these increasing numbers and presented a plan to state legislators on how to fix it.

"What resulted was the Justice Reinvestment Act," says District Manager of the Department of Corrections Eric Kiehl.

Kiehl says roughly $50 million of the proposed $288 million was given to the department of corrections. The extra funding goes toward more training and staff with the goal to keep non-violent offenders from returning to jail.

"This will allow us to better supervise these individuals as we move them through their correctional experience in a little more judicious fashion," says Kiehl.

There are 25 parole officers working in Idaho's five northern counties, Kiehl says all of them work on nearly 90 cases. The reinvestment act is designed to cut the caseload down from 90 to a more manageable number, 50 or 60. Kiehl says this would give his department more of an opportunity to reintroduce those on parole into society without the risk of re-offending.

Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger says jails have their place and he understands some offenders can't be rehabilitated, but admits these types of community programs are much more effective than the threat of time behind bars.

"We try to look at what best serves everyone," says Wolfinger. "This isn't something they've dreamed up. They've looked at case studies from around the country and other areas that have done this, and it seems to be working and working well."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Parks and Rec: Skater injured in Ice Ribbon accident in critical condition

    Parks and Rec: Skater injured in Ice Ribbon accident in critical condition

    Sunday, January 21 2018 5:54 PM EST2018-01-21 22:54:44 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - After reporting that a woman injured Friday at Riverfront Park's Ice Ribbon had passed away Saturday, the department now says that the injured woman is in critical condition.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - After reporting that a woman injured Friday at Riverfront Park's Ice Ribbon had passed away Saturday, the department now says that the injured woman is in critical condition.

    >>
  • Skater dies from injuries in Riverfront Park accident

    Skater dies from injuries in Riverfront Park accident

    Sunday, January 21 2018 12:11 AM EST2018-01-21 05:11:18 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - City of Spokane Parks and Recreation officials confirmed Saturday night that a skater injured Friday at Riverfront Park has died from their injuries. The skater fell and was hurt, but additional details about the extent of the injuries were not available. “The City of Spokane is deeply saddened by this horrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with their family, and we send our deepest condolences,” said Mayor David Condon in a release Saturday.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - City of Spokane Parks and Recreation officials confirmed Saturday night that a skater injured Friday at Riverfront Park has died from their injuries. The skater fell and was hurt, but additional details about the extent of the injuries were not available. “The City of Spokane is deeply saddened by this horrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with their family, and we send our deepest condolences,” said Mayor David Condon in a release Saturday.

    >>
  • Same-sex active-duty couple marries at West Point

    Same-sex active-duty couple marries at West Point

    Sunday, January 21 2018 3:25 PM EST2018-01-21 20:25:00 GMT

    WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) - Two Army captains who met at West Point have returned there to be married, in what is believed to be the first same-sex marriage of active-duty personnel at the storied New York military academy.    The New York Times reports Captains Daniel Hall and Vincent Franchino were married on Jan. 13. They're both Apache helicopter pilots stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.

    >>

    WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) - Two Army captains who met at West Point have returned there to be married, in what is believed to be the first same-sex marriage of active-duty personnel at the storied New York military academy.    The New York Times reports Captains Daniel Hall and Vincent Franchino were married on Jan. 13. They're both Apache helicopter pilots stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Second suspect arrested in connection to Moses Lake park shooting

    Second suspect arrested in connection to Moses Lake park shooting

    Monday, January 22 2018 12:39 AM EST2018-01-22 05:39:19 GMT

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - Moses Lake Police say they have arrested a second suspect in connection to a shooting that left a teenager critically injured last week. Police say a 17-year-old male was arrested Sunday morning. The teenager was not identified because he is a juvenile. Police say an 18-year-old victim was shot in the chest last Sunday and taken by private vehicle to the hospital.

    >>

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - Moses Lake Police say they have arrested a second suspect in connection to a shooting that left a teenager critically injured last week. Police say a 17-year-old male was arrested Sunday morning. The teenager was not identified because he is a juvenile. Police say an 18-year-old victim was shot in the chest last Sunday and taken by private vehicle to the hospital.

    >>
  • Women's Persistence March draws large crowd to downtown Spokane

    Women's Persistence March draws large crowd to downtown Spokane

    Sunday, January 21 2018 9:10 PM EST2018-01-22 02:10:12 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Thousands marched through the streets of downtown Spokane for the Women’s Persistence March and Rally. Everyone had a reason why they’re marching. It’s a part of a nationwide event this weekend, as people across the country marched to support women’s rights, civil rights, racial equality, and justice. One woman KHQ spoke with says she was marching to spread the message of standing up for one another and being there for one ano...

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Thousands marched through the streets of downtown Spokane for the Women’s Persistence March and Rally. Everyone had a reason why they’re marching. It’s a part of a nationwide event this weekend, as people across the country marched to support women’s rights, civil rights, racial equality, and justice. One woman KHQ spoke with says she was marching to spread the message of standing up for one another and being there for one ano...

    >>
  • No Texas probes involving California torture suspects

    No Texas probes involving California torture suspects

    Sunday, January 21 2018 7:04 PM EST2018-01-22 00:04:57 GMT

    RIO VISTA, Texas (AP) - An official in Texas says authorities there had no reports involving the couple charged in California with shackling and starving 12 of their 13 children.    David and Louise Turpin have pleaded not guilty in Riverside County, California, to multiple counts of torture, child abuse and false imprisonment. The couple moved to California from near Fort Worth, Texas, in 2011.

    >>

    RIO VISTA, Texas (AP) - An official in Texas says authorities there had no reports involving the couple charged in California with shackling and starving 12 of their 13 children.    David and Louise Turpin have pleaded not guilty in Riverside County, California, to multiple counts of torture, child abuse and false imprisonment. The couple moved to California from near Fort Worth, Texas, in 2011.

    >>