Jail Standards and Inspections
Jail Standards Committee
The Jail Standards Committee consists of numerous sheriffs, jail commanders, six commissioners, a Department of Correction representative and POST representative.
The committee meets at least twice a year to discuss updates to the Jail Standards Manual and Jail Standards Inspection Form and any other pertinent issues regarding existing jail problems. Jail Standards were implemented in 1978 for the purpose of professionalizing Idaho jails and to potentially forestall litigation regarding constitutional conditions.
Categories included within the standards are: Administration, Organization and Management, Fiscal Management, Personnel, Training and Staff Development, Facility Information Systems, Fire Safety and Emergency Procedures, Security and Control, Special Management Inmates, Food Service, Sanitation and Hygiene, Health Care Services, Inmate Rights, Inmate Rules and Discipline, Communication, Mail and Visiting, Admission and Release, Classification, Inmate Services and Programs, Physical Plant, Health Services-Physical Facilities and Work Release.
Each of Idaho’s 37 jails are inspected annually for compliance to jail standards. The inspection process includes 328 inspection categories, either recommended or mandatory. The inspector will work with jail staff to develop a compliance plan if the jail fails inspection. Once a jail is in compliance they are issued an annual Certificate of Compliance. The inspection process is not mandated by the state, but is a voluntary program that has garnered 100% support by Idaho sheriffs since its inception.
The inspection process has been valuable in pointing out training needs, physical plant deficits and reducing litigation by maintaining a proactive stance in providing constitutional treatment of inmates.