Idaho CAPP Helps Prepare Incarcerated Men for the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Idaho Correctional Alternative Placement Program (Idaho CAPP) Facility in Kuna, ID recently addressed a growing concern for men being released into the community.

“So, we were thinking that the gentlemen,” explained lead instructor Elizabeth Videen, “who have graduated and are preparing to release into the community are going into a community that does business very differently than when they entered our system.”

The men being released were incarcerated before the COVID-19 pandemic. Idaho CAPP staff wanted to prepare them.

Ms. Videen continues. “And so, we thought that it would be good to have a workshop that addressed some of the things that they would be seeing in the community that would be different. And some of the terms that they would be encountering, like ‘social distancing’, and ‘new normal’, and ‘flatten the curve’. Because our overall goal is for the gentlemen to have a smooth transition. And when their community looks different, and they can’t go places that they used to be able to go, and there’s new restrictions like face masks and social distancing, and things aren’t open in their normal hours, and they can’t access services the way they used to be able to. So, we thought a great way to do that is to invite them to a workshop and just talk it all out. And provide them with some examples on what they would be seeing, whether its plexiglass dividers in stores, to lines where they need to stand six feet apart from the next customer in front of them. Or, what is happening and what stage our state is in, and what they need to be expecting from probation, health, and welfare, as well as what jobs are open, and what’s happening in their community, so that they are as prepared as possible. Because we want them to be successful.”

One soon-to-be-released resident, Jose Rios, explained how he felt about the COVID-19 workshop.

“I got a lot of information, because I’ve been down since before the coronavirus hit. So, I learned about the community, how everything’s going to go. Because I’ve never been on felony probation before. So, it’s all new to me. I learned that everything is pretty much called in. And then to get in doctor’s appointments and things like that, you have to make an appointment, you have to wear a mask, the social distancing. I mean, how grocery stores are operating and things like that.”

“I think the workshop’s very informative, just because there’s a lot of people like myself that were already incarcerated before the coronavirus hit, so knowing more about it – I mean, there were a lot of unanswered questions I had.”

“Overall, my stay here at CAPP hasn’t been bad at all. I’ve been incarcerated in other facilities, and I feel like it was a good experience. The staff’s really knowledgeable about things, even though they got dealt the hand they did with the coronavirus and everything like that. Everyone’s really helping and willing to do their part in everything that goes on.”

About Idaho CAPP Facility

Idaho CAPP Facility is accredited by the American Correctional Association—achieving
over 99% compliance for both mandatory and non-mandatory standards in its most
recent audit. Other accreditations and certifications include the Correctional Education
Association, National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC), and the
Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).