Twin Falls County commissioners host public jail bond forum

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Twin Falls County is trying to pass a $25 million jail bond on the Nov. 5 election, and they hosted a public forum Wednesday to help educate the public about what they are trying to do.

Twin Falls County hosted a public forum to educate people about what they are trying to do if the $25 million jail bond passes. (Source: KMVT)

“There is an immediate need for additional space in the jail, it is overcrowded which is a safety concern for the deputies and the inmates,” said Amanda Wright, the chairwoman of the citizen’s committee.

After the study by the citizen’s committee, the county commissioners worked on a plan to update the current jail.

"We’re currently spending close to, we spent almost $1 million in out-of-county housing,” said county commissioner Jack Johnson. "What that means is we don’t have enough beds in our jail space, so we contract out beds in other counties, and have our inmates sleep over there."

If the bond passes, a new facility will be built adding 343 beds, and the current jail will become a female only facility.

"We want to protect our citizens," Johnson said. "We want to prepare the inmates that are in there to go back into the community as best we can, and we want to prevent further crimes."

A small change would come for citizens of Twin Falls County.

"For a $100,000 dollar home, if you have a $200,000 dollar home and you’ve got your exemption which gives you $100,000 off of that. You are going to be paying $29.95 annually, it’s once a year, not a month, it’s annually. That is 7 cents a day or $2.16 a month,” said county commissioner Brent Reinke.

They also hope to be able to offer more programming with the extra space in the facility.

"That way we can put in programs that will mitigate and will stop the cycle of committing crimes, I think we have an obligation to do that, and in our current jail we don't have the room,” said commissioner Don Hall.

Voting for Twin Falls County will take place on Nov. 5.

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