Governor proposes funding for inmate re-entry center in Twin Falls

Governor proposes funding for inmate re-entry center in Twin Falls (Jake Manuel Brasil KMVT/KSVT)

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Gov. Brad Little has proposed $2.7 million in funds to help aid in the community reentry center that is under construction right now in Twin Falls.

The center was open years ago, but the program eventually had to shut down, and now it will be reopening in the same location, a place many drive by on a daily basis.

In the governor's State of the State address, he acknowledges the two-thirds of Idaho inmates who are in prison because of probation and parole violations.

"This is a taxpayer issue as well as a public safety issue. We must address our growing prison population in new ways," Little said.

Part of his address was a proposed $2.7 million given to the Idaho Department of Correction to hire staff and cover general expenses in the community reentry center located in southern Twin Falls on Washington Street, where the Victory Home used to be located.

Josh Tewalt, the director of the Idaho Department of Correction, told KMVT how he feels about the governor's proposal.

"I think the governor has shown great leadership by saying, look we either invest in things we know are going to help people be successful in our communities, or we just plan on writing a larger check next time," Tewalt said.

Capt. Doug Hughes, jail administrator for the Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office, also tells KMVT what he thinks about the governor's proposal.

"As far as money goes I think that's probably a good expenditure," said Hughes. "On the state's part, so that maybe they can open up beds for the people they have housed in county facilities, and get some of those people moved out of county facilities and moved up to the penitentiary."

The reentry center is expected to open in October. Center residents will be able to work at businesses in the community while living at the center. The next step of the reentry center, and if these extra funds will be available, comes down to whether or not the proposal is approved by lawmakers, which is expected in February.

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