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Modern Jails Aim At Treatment, Preventing Repeat Offenders


By Jay Michaels and Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The Twin Falls County Jail is just one of many nationwide operating under a new philosophy. Judges and law enforcement are working together to rehabilitate inmates in the hopes of preventing repeat offenders.

25 years ago, the basic jail philosophy was to keep people locked up. Now jailers are directly addressing some problems that inmates have wrestled with all along.

Twin Falls County Jail Administrator Capt. Doug Hughes says, "You have a lot of mental health issues that we're faced with in jail. That's a problem across the nation, it's not just here in Twin Falls."

Judges have been helping keep the number of inmates they send to jail down with their sentencing guidelines.

Twin Falls County Sheriff Tom Carter says, "As long as it keeps going as smoothly as it does now, sooner or later we're going to have to do something with our jail, expanding it. What I would really like is classrooms."

Right now video arraignments from the jail are done in the same space used for GED classes. Down the road, the county jail will need to build some additions, including classrooms. The goal is to provide more space to change inmates' way of thinking, and allow them to live effectively on the outside.

Hughes says, "To start shoring up our citizens in this county, making people better when they get back out, versus trying to handle the influx of new people."

Giving them the assistance they need to heal and the skills they need to thrive outside of jail.

Hughes explains it costs $76 a day to host inmates from outside Twin Falls County. But the state of Idaho only reimburses them $40 a day.

December 12, 2013.

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