Bill Would Help Relieve Idaho Prisons from Non-Violent Offenders
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Senators acknowledged overwhelmingly Idaho can do a better job of readying convicts for freedom — and then keeping them from re-offending once they've been released — by passing a bill designed to reduce the number of non-violent offenders in prison. The chamber voted 35-0 Thursday for the so-called "Justice Reinvestment Act," a measure being promoted by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter. It now goes to the House. Among other things, it aims to spend $2.3 million to strengthen parole supervision and reduce recidivism. If it works, Sen. Patti Anne Lodge predicts Idaho may face lower long-term prison costs and a slower-growing prison population that delays the need for Idaho to build expensive new lockups. In debate, Lodge, a Republican from Huston, said the bill's ultimate goal is to help struggling families.