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Kootenai County Jail

5500 North Government Way
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815-9259
(208) 446-1400

Interview with Trisha, Jared and Lucia

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Trisha: 2-5 years in prison.
Jared: A year and a half fixed and a year and a half indeterminate
Lucia: my sentencing was for approximately two months

JM: Did you spend time in a holding cell after your sentencing? If so, what was that like? If you didn't where did they they take you instead?
Trisha: Its usually really fast. I have waited in a holding cell usually for 1-2 hours. On a Friday or Saturday you can wait 72 hours or so. They will get you a mattress if you will be overnight. I've sat in there alone and with 10 or 15 people. At times it can get pretty stinky. There's no privacy and only one toilet.
Jared: Yes I had to sit alone and think about how this was gonna affect my daughter and her mother . How it affected my coworkers. I was just devastated how it was all handled
Lucia: i did not i was immediatly put back into the van, driven back to the jail, taken to my housing pod then brought out to the holding area to have my things returned and get booked out.

The Kootenai County Jail is the second largest jail facility in Idaho with an average inmate population of around 350 inmates. Find out what to expect if you or somebody you know is heading to KCJ.

Kootenai County is the second largest county in Idaho and home to Coeur d'Alene, the second largest city in the state. The sheriff's office has been trying to find ways to fund an expansion project that would allow the jail to house additional inmates. Right now the jail is projected to spend over $50m shipping inmates to other counties (though it isn't clear whether this $50m figure is per year or a rough estimate of what they will spend over a long period of time).

Life on the inside
Your main goal behind bars should be to pass the time quickly and without incident. Getting along with other inmates is probably the hardest part of jail life. The stakes are high - you can get as much as a week off for every month (assuming your judge grants you "good time") as long as you keep your nose clean. One fight can put all of your time off at risk.

One former inmate reports that fights frequently break out when inmates are playing cards. Usually cards lead to fights when inmates are gambling (they usually gamble meals or commissary). You should avoid gambling at all costs - it will eventually lead to problems.

Phone calls and visitors
One of the few bright spots in the day of an inmate is being able to call somebody on the outside. A 30 minute phone calls costs $3 - that might sound high but compared to other jails it is actually quite reasonable. Many jails in the US now charge $10 or more for a shorter call. All calls from the jail are recorded and may be used against you as evidence in court.

While the phone prices are reasonable the "visits" are much less so. You don't have face-to-face visits but you talk over a video connection. A past inmate reports that it is more like using Skype than having a visit. On the bright side you can receive visitors up to three times per week.

Follow the links on the left (from "Presentencing" down) to read transcripts from the inmate interviews.

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