Collapses Prison Gym Roof
Snow collapsed the roof of the gymnasium at North Idaho Correctional Institution in Cottonwood last Friday. The collapse happened about 12:30 p.m. Pacific. No one was hurt.
Heavy snow has been falling at the institution for about a week. NICI Warden Lynn Guyer ordered on Wednesday that operations at the facility be scaled back until conditions improve. Only security, medical, maintenance and food service workers have been reporting to work since then. All educational, support and treatment programs have been suspended.
“The inmates are in good spirits and NICI’s staff is doing an outstanding job making the best of a difficult situation,” Warden Guyer said.
A Sno-Cat was used Friday to transport NICI medical and food service staff to and from the institution after wind drifted the roads shut Thursday night. There is no assessment yet of the extent of damage to the gym or an estimate on how long repairs will take.
NICI is a former military radar station. There are 358 male inmates incarcerated there under the retained jurisdiction program. That program provides a sentencing alternative for the courts to target those offenders who might, after a period of programming and evaluation, be viable candidates for probation rather than incarceration.