The term “summer camp” means different things to different people. To kids it can be two weeks at the lake swimming, fishing and sitting around the campfire singing songs.
To members of the Idaho National Guard it can be two weeks in the desert south of Boise driving tanks and playing soldier with a rifle. Even the military calls it “war games.”
To a group of about 200 inmates at the Idaho Correctional Institution testing positive for COVID-19, it will mean staying in the National Guard barracks at Orchard, but no rides in the tanks or playing with rifles.
A number of low security-risk inmates have tested positive with the COVID virus, but are asymptomatic. Officials at the Idaho Department of Corrections (IDOC) working to isolate infected inmates decided to “send them to summer camp” at the Idaho National Guard facility.
The “Orchard Training Range” is a modern military base south of Boise (south of the Boise Stage Stop) with tank maintenance facilities and barracks capacity for around 880 part time soldiers. No word regarding whether the barracks have “rooms” or “cells.” With the COVID outbreak, the military facility has been on reduced duty status, so they have plenty of spare bunks.
The GUARDIAN would like to know how long the IDOC “deployment” will last, assuming the inmates will need at least 14 days of quarantine before “demobilizing.”
Repeated attempts to seek comment from both the Idaho National Guard and the Department of Corrections were unsuccessful Monday .
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