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Exiled From Idaho

I'm a prisoner from Idaho doing time in a private facility in Minnesota. I'm sure you all never hear much about the DOC in Idaho. It's pretty small, a little less than 4,000 prisoners. It has much of the same problems as the rest of the states. However, prison news is news.

Overcrowding is a big problem. Idaho moved 150 to a private prison in Minnesota, more than 200 to Texas, and more are slated to go to Texas.

The parole board is out of control, has been for years. Many prisoners are still doing time after their fixed [minimum sentence], even model prisoners and first-time offenders. You've heard this same story from many states for some time now.

The Idaho legislature had a vote about the first part of this year [1997] for an investigation of the parole board, IDOC, sentencing practices, and possible reform. It was voted down. Missed it by one vote, 14 to 15. The legislature then went ahead and allocated [funds] for more prisons, "private prisons". The same story again. Lock 'em up and throw away the key.

D.M., Minnesota

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