Keep behind bars or set free? Canyon County jail still crowded

Keep behind bars or set free? Canyon County jail still crowded

NAMPA, Idaho (AP) - Officials in southwestern Idaho's Canyon County say the local jail was built for a population half of its current size, and that has them struggling to find the best use of space.

The Canyon County jail opened in 1993, when the county population was 90,000. Now the population is about 200,000 and the jail still holds 400 inmates - with just 63 beds for women. Sheriff Kieran Donahue told the Idaho Press-Tribune the limited space means jailers, prosecuting attorneys and public defenders must meet every day to discuss who to keep behind bars and who to set free.

Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Taylor says there is an upside: The crowding has forced officials to re-evaluate the criminal justice process to find ways to speed the system.

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Information from: Idaho Press-Tribune