The TJC Sites: Ada County, Idaho

Ada County is located in southwestern Idaho and is home to Boise, the state's capital and largest population hub in the state. Ada County residents account for approximately 25 percent of the state's population. The Ada County Jail has a total bed capacity of 1,217, with an average daily inmate population of 860 for calendar year 2012. The need for a jail expansion seemed eminent in 2010. By expanding inmate programming, alternative sentencing options, and the pretrial release program, the need for a larger jail facility has disappeared. Sheriff Gary Raney, a longtime supporter of inmate programming, reentry services and evidence-based decisionmaking, is committed to the Transition from Jail to Community initiative. "The TJC model gives a name and structure to the use of the 'what works' philosophy. Community safety is well served with a proactive strategy of using evidence-based assessments, programs, and interventions to continuously reduce and manage risk as offenders move through the criminal justice system."

The Ada County Sheriff's Office has incorporated these strategies by

  • adopting evidence-based, risk reduction programs,
  • using evidence-based screening and assessment tools,
  • introducing transition case management into the jail, 
  • introducing leadership-based efforts to build criminal justice system and community partnerships,
  • creating and overseeing a pretrial release program, 
  • overseeing misdemeanor probation,
  • using data and research to guide decisionmaking, and  
  • incorporating the TJC Initiative to provide both site assistance and an external audit of the county's ability to provide seamless offender reentry.

The Board of Ada County Commissioners has supported the jail's programming and reentry efforts for over a decade. Recognizing the effects of programming on offender recidivism will continue to create positive lifelong change within the offender population.

Ada County is part of the Phase II implementation of the TJC Initiative. Goals include developing a formalized reentry system utilizing the collaborative case management model, increasing connections with community providers, and implementing systems-level changes within the Ada County Sheriff's Office to foster successful offender reentry, all resulting in reduced offender recidivism and a decreased jail population. With expert assistance from the National Institute of Corrections and the Urban Institute, the Ada County Sheriff's Office will join past and present TJC sites by developing a successful offender reentry program.

For more information, contact Ada County TJC site coordinator and programs supervisor Christopher Saunders at csaunders@adaweb.net or 208-577-3454.