Jerome County Jail Faces New Teeth In ICRMP Standards


By Jay Michaels

Jerome, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Some problems just won't go away. That's the case with the old Jerome County Jail that doesn't meet today's 21st century safety standards. And that's why the old facility might have to be closed.

ICRMP is the risk management company for all of the counties in Idaho. Since they pay half the salary of the person who conducts the jail inspection, they also decide how idaho jail standards are created and enforced. This year, the current Jerome County Jail's failure to pass inspection could come with some teeth for a change.

Lt. Dan Kennedy with the Jerome County Sheriff's Department says, "Now there's actually an assessment penalty or consequences for not passing what ICRMP has defined as their eight core standards."

Kennedy says if the Jerome County Jail's physical building doesn't pass the annual inspection again next month because it doesn't meet Idaho code, ICRMP could limit its insurance coverage to only half a million dollars. Or in the worst case scenario, this jail could actually be closed.

Sgt. Lynd with the Jerome County Jail says, "The other issues we that we have are the doors. The doors all need to be retrofitted. And the problem is when you retrofit something, you're basically taking something that was designed back in the 1970s, and trying to make it current with something today. And that's not cost effective."

A prime example are the old school toilets that cost up to $5,000 a piece. Four times Jerome County voters have narrowly missed approving the construction of a new county jail. But even though those measures failed, the problems faced by the Jerome County Jail's outdated facility haven't gone away.

Kennedy says, "We anticipate that's not going to change when we're inspected in March. We anticipate that we'll probably fail for that standard again. And we'll be back to having that discussion with ICRMP on whether they're going to assess that penalty or not."

Right now the Jerome County commissioners are working to put a fifth attempt at a jail bond on the May ballot. The estimated figure could be between $10 and 12 million.

Feb. 5, 2013.

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