(KLIX) – Some correctional facilities in Idaho will now issue ID cards to released prisoners.

The program is in an effort to ensure released inmates have identification so they can secure employment and obtain vital documents such as birth certificates or social security numbers.

To get the process started, Rep. Melissa Wintrow helped form a working group with officials from the Idaho Department of Corrections, Department of Motor Vehicle and the Idaho Transportation Department.

“Honestly, if you think for a minute about how many things we do in our everyday lives that require photo ID, it’s almost impossible to function without one,” Wintrow said in a prepared statement from her office on Monday. “This is a low-cost and logical step we can take to reduce recidivism, integrate people who have paid their debt back into society, and increase public safety.”

Jodi Peterson, executive director of the Interfaith Sanctuary in Boise, contacted Rep. Wintrow following a six-month-long odyssey to obtain a photo ID for a former inmate who was homeless, according to Wintrow's office. The former inmate was offered a job but lacked proper identification.

Wintrow said Boise, Pocatello, and Orofino have installed the new photo ID systems, but officials hope the remaining state prison facilities will be online by this fall.

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