Canyon County Jail: Too Many Female Inmates Forces Early Releases

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The message from officials at the Canyon County Jail is simple: There are too many female inmates and not enough space to hold them.

But a solution is anything but simple.

This morning's Idaho Press Tribune reports that the each day the Canyon County Sheriff's Office has to huddle with county prosecutors and public defenders to decide which female inmates need to be kept behind bars and which can be set free.

"It's a dangerous game," Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue told the Press-Tribune. "We try to keep the most violent offenders inside. We're just not going to target them to have early release. What we do release is people committing burglaries, lower-level drug offenses, DUIs, things like that."

The Canyon County Jail, which can hold a total number of 400 inmates, only has 62 beds for female prisoners, even after jail officials say they increased the number of beds for women by 10 in the summer of 2013.

"It would be nice if the criminal justice system would move a little quicker with some functions," said Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Taylor. "It has forced us to re-evaluate the whole process."


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