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IMSI Idaho Department of Corrections
Ada County - State Prison - Idaho
Idaho Maximum Security Institution

Address: 13400 S. Pleasant Valley Rd, Kuna, Idaho 83634

Mailing Address:     

Idaho Maximum Security Institution
P.O. Box 51
Boise, ID 83707

Distinguishing Feature:  The Idaho Maximum Security Institution is not a very large prison, but is well known because it houses some of the most dangerous offenders in the Idaho Department of Corrections prison system.  It is one of a cluster of prisons in the Boise, Idaho area known as the South Boise Prison Complex.  The Idaho Maximum Security Institution is the sight of Idaho’s death row for male inmates and contains the state’s execution chamber. 

The Idaho Maximum Security Institution is one of the most imposing prisons in Idaho.  Surrounded by a double perimeter fence that is patrolled by armed guards 24 hours a day, has an advanced electronic detection system, and is topped with razor wire, it is clear that the Idaho Maximum Security Institution is primarily concerned with keeping its inmates inside the premises.  This is not surprising, given that the institution was developed specifically to contain the most dangerous offenders in the Idaho Department of Corrections.  These offenders include those who committed particularly dangerous crimes and offenders who, once incarcerated, demonstrated an unwillingness to comply with prison rules and regulations, which placed their fellow inmates and guards at risk. 

The inmates at Idaho Maximum Security Institution are those considered the most dangerous by the State of Idaho.  As the sight of the state’s death row, the prison houses a number of offenders who have been convicted of murder.  However, not all of the offenders in the prison committed murders or other violent crimes to get there; instead, they may have demonstrated dangerousness once inside the prison system.  For example, a large part of the population has identified mental health problems.  In fact, some of the population in the prison is not criminal at all; in addition to housing some of the state’s most dangerous prisoners, the Idaho Maximum Security Institution also houses people who have been civilly committed because of mental health issues.  Thirty beds in the unit are reserved for people with acute mental illness.  In addition, the prison has beds dedicated to disciplinary detention and administrative segregation.  Aside from the death row inmates, the rest of the inmates in the facility are close-custody general population offenders who require greater supervision than the average offender. 

The living conditions at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution are as harsh as one would anticipate at a facility where security is the main focus.  Inmates are behind a double-perimeter fence in an extremely secure facility with cells rather than a dormitory-style living arrangement.  A 20th anniversary article in the Spokesman-Review about the facility features a number of photographs of the prison and helps highlight inmate living conditions.  The cells feature metal bunkbeds and house two prisoners per cell.  Most of the inmates are in some type of administrative segregation, which means that they do not have even the limited freedoms associated with some prisons.  Rather than being able to move freely around common areas during the daytime, these prisoners are handcuffed whenever they are out of their cells and are not transported without multiple guards watching over them.  Inmates in the general population have access to an outdoor track that they can use as an exercise yard.  Inmates who are in segregation are also given exercise opportunities, but they only get to be outside an hour a day, five days a week, and they do not go into the recreation yard, but into concrete-floored cages. 

Inmates at Idaho Maximum Security Institution have access to various treatment and rehabilitation programs.  The Robert Janss School services the Idaho prison system, where it offers basic education and general education diplomas.  The school also offers vocational and technical training to students, which is meant to be used to help them transition into either postsecondary programs, job training programs, or self-sustaining jobs at release.  The emphasis is on acquiring real-life job skills to help ensure that inmates are employable at the time of their release.  The curriculum is divided into 4 sections, with the final section connecting inmate students who have moved on to probation and parole with community resources including financial education, career advisement, and tutoring.

            Furthermore, because many of the inmates at Idaho Maximum Security Institution, including a number of civilian inmates who are there through the civil commitment process, are in need of mental health services, the prison focuses on providing mental health programming to those in need.  Treatment includes, but is not limited to: cognitive/behavioral therapy, mental health interventions, substance abuse treatment, family reunification therapy, and aftercare.  Inmates who are in need of psychiatric care and medication can receive that through the mental health interventions. 

Idaho Maximum Security Institution is relatively young and does not have a significant history, but cost-saving measures have caused the state to move inmates to other institutions, which may have an impact on overall prisoner safety.

The Idaho Maximum Security Institution does not have many inmates who are famous outside of the Idaho area.  However, it was home to the first inmate to be executed in Idaho after the 1976 moratorium on the death penalty.  Keith Eugene Wells was convicted of murdering two people with a baseball bat.  He did not want to appeal his death penalty, but it was automatically appealed.  He was executed less than two years after his original conviction and death sentence, which made him the first person executed after the death penalty was reinstated in Idaho. 

Inmate Mailing Address:

Inmate Name, Inmate Number
Idaho Maximum Security Institution
P.O. Box 51
Boise, ID 83707

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Visitation Hours:

Groups 3,5,6 - 10:45am - 12:45pm
Groups 1,2,7 - 1:45pm - 3:45pm
Groups 3,5,6 - 4:45pm - 6:45pm

Groups 1,2,7 - 10:45am - 12:45pm
Groups 3,5,6 - 1:45pm - 3:45pm
Groups 1,2,7 - 4:45pm - 6:45pm

Groups 1,2,4 - 10:45am - 12:45pm
Groups 3,5,7 - 1:45pm - 3:45pm
Groups 1,2,6 - 4:45pm - 6:45pm

Groups 3,5,7 - 10:45am - 12:45pm
Groups 1,2,4 - 1:45pm - 3:45pm
Groups 3,5,6 - 4:45pm - 6:45pm

Group #1  =  A-Block (Non-Contact)                       
Group #2  =  B-Block (Non-Contact)                                      
Group #3  =  C-Block (Cells 1-32) (Non-Contact)     
Group #4  =  C-Block (Cells 33-62)           
Group #5  =  J-Block (Non-Contact)                        
Group #6  =  E/G Block
Group #7  =  Close Custody GP (approved contact visits) A-Block Cells 1-16; J-Block Cells 63-78

*must be registered and in facility 15-minutes before visitation

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Year Built or Opened: 1989 Warden or Supervisor: Warden Al Ramirez Daily Inmate Count: 402 Total Capacity: 516 Security Level(s): maximum

P.O. Box 51
Boise, ID 83707

Phone Number(s): 208-338-1635

13400 S. Pleasant Valley Rd, Kuna, Idaho 83634

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