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CALDWELL -- Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue announced he will indefinitely suspend the Sheriff's Inmate Labor Detail (SILD) and the Work Release programs starting on Monday August 4.

Donahue says the decision comes because of under-staffing issues. He reports his office is down 23 employees, with 18 of those positions in the jail. He says he's lost employees to other nearby law enforcement agencies that pay more.

"I lost 7 employees last week alone, with one of them going to work for Parma Police Department for 25 cents more an hour," Donahue said.

The sheriff is calling on the Board of County Commissioners to consider raising sheriff's office employee wages to become more competitive.

Donahue says he doesn't have any idea when the programs may be reinstated, but says the loss of work in the community could impact those who are served by the program.

"This is a devastating blow to our community partners who up until now we have been able to assist with literally tens of thousands of man hours through the SILD program including the (Canyon) County Fair, service organizations, high schools, churches, etc," Donahue said.

Commissioner Craig Hanson responded to an email request for comment late Wednesday evening, saying he had only heard about the suspension a couple hours prior. He said as a result, he couldn't comment yet, and he will be looking into the program suspension tomorrow.

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