Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter pointed to Idaho's prison population growth as one of the fastest growing in the nation as the foundation for creation today of something called "Justice Reinvestment," which Otter called a "comprehensive, data-driven approach to developing and implementing new policies to control spending and improve public safety."
The number of people incarcerated in Idaho prisons increased 28 percent from 2004 to 2012, and while more than half of the nation's states saw a decline in their prison populations between 2010 and 2011, Idaho's prison population grew 4 percent, one of the largest increases in the nation.
Otter's announcement follows the 2013 Idaho Legislature's creation of an interim committee to address the state's growing inmate population and rising corrections costs.
"In 2011, Idaho had the 11th-highest incarcerate rate in the entire country. We can and must do better," said House Speaker Rep. Scott Bedke. "With Justice Reinvestment, I a confident that we will."