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North Idaho County Plans Private Prison

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COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — Officials in northern Idaho’s Kootenai County are looking into hiring a private company to build a local jail.

The Spokesman-Review  reports the Kootenai County jail has faced overcrowding for years, and now county commissioners are looking into a deal with Facilities Management LLC/Rocky Mountain Corrections. Under the plan, the private company would build a 621-bed jail and the county would lease it for $5.4 million a year.

The county currently pays $800,000 a year to house offenders at other nearby jails when the county facility runs out of room. Sheriff Ben Wolfinger says the county would be able to offer extra space to other counties in the region under the plan, to help cover the cost of the lease.

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