After more than 30 years the North Idaho Correctional Institution (NICI) celebrated a transfer of ownership Thursday, June 9, as the quitclaim deed expires and the Idaho Department of Correction receives full ownership of the facility.
NICI has an intriguing history. Located just north of Cottonwood, NICI is a former military radar station and as recently as 1984 housed both men and women. Today it is an all-male retained jurisdiction facility focused on intense substance abuse programming, cognitive based programs, education and vocational rehabilitation for offenders. Over the past several decades the facility has adapted to a growing inmate population and new methods for rehabilitating offenders. When NICI opened 30 years ago, there were less than 500 offenders incarcerated in all of Idaho, today there are often more than 6,400 on a given day.
Last year NICI celebrated its 30th anniversary and the staff was commended for implementing initiatives that added up to $1.6 million in potential cost savings for taxpayers.