- Associated Press - Thursday, May 5, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -

In a story May 5 about a teen moved to a juvenile detention center after he was sentenced to serve time in an adult prison, The Associated Press erroneously reported the nature of his sentence. The judge did not object to housing Eldon Samuel III in a juvenile facility until he turns 18, but did not change his sentence to a so-called blended sentence, which includes time in a juvenile facility and an adult prison.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Despite judge’s order, teen to do time in juvenile detention

Idaho prison officials have moved a teen from an adult prison to juvenile detention despite a judge’s order directing the boy to do his time in an adult facility


Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - State prison officials have moved a teen from an adult prison to juvenile detention despite a judge’s order directing the boy to do his time in an adult facility.

Idaho Department of Correction Deputy Prison Chief Ashley Dowell said the agency informed the judge of their plans to transfer Eldon Samuel III, and the judge said he wouldn’t take any action without a motion from the attorneys involved in the case.

Samuel was just 14 when he shot to death his drug-addicted, abusive father and then shot, stabbed and hacked to death his autistic younger brother in their northern Idaho home.

First District Judge Benjamin Simpson presided over the case, and sentenced Samuel to serve at least 20 years before he can be eligible for parole. The judge also ordered that the teen do all of his time in an adult facility, despite a federal law that requires that underage inmates be kept out of sight and sound from adult prisoners.

In Idaho’s prison system - where no other minors are serving time in adult prisons - those restrictions meant Samuel would have to stay in solitary confinement until he reached age 18.

Prison officials began looking for out-of-state prisons that could house the 16-year-old with other minors when they took custody of the teen in April. The search didn’t turn up many options.

“We of course wanted to find a facility that would allow him to be with people his own age, pursuing his high school degree,” Dowell said. “So we determined there was a section of Idaho code that allowed us to place individuals in the Department of Juvenile Correction by agreement.”

The judge told prison officials he respected the correction agency’s authority to place Samuel in the location they deemed appropriate, Dowell said.

“We didn’t hear any concerns from either the judge or the prosecutor,” Dowell said. Samuel’s attorney, who pushed for the teen to be placed in juvenile detention from the start of the case, was also pleased, Dowell said.

There are only about 1,200 youths held in adult prisons nationwide, according to a 2013 U.S. Department of Justice report.

Samuel’s transfer means he will remain in a juvenile facility until he turns 18 and is transferred to an adult prison.

The teen was transferred to a detention center Monday, Dowell said. He will be housed in the general population and given the opportunity to socialize with other teens and pursue his high school diploma.

For the past month, he’s been at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution, where he’s been held in a cell by himself in an effort to keep him out of sight and sound of adult inmates.

“He did really well,” Dowell said. But she said the department was glad to transfer the boy to detention.

“We’re pretty confident that’s really the best placement for him,” she said.

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