My big day in Boise went out with a bang as I ended up behind bars at the Old Idaho Penitentiary. This was another attraction that appeared in my Google searches and ranked pretty high on the list of things to do. Prior to my trip to the Old Idaho Pen, I’d never been to jail with the exception of a never-ending game of Monopoly. The minute me and my pal walked into the old cells which haven’t housed an inmate since 1973, the temperature dropped about 4 to 6 degrees cooler. It was like an icebox. We walked the halls of death row and read about those who once lived, breathed and eventually hung to their death in the prison. Old weapons and a variety of shanks were displayed. A tattoo gallery explained the meanings behind common tats on inmates and gang tattoos. The gallery was actually very pleasing and nicely done.
Then there was solitary confinement… Dark, cold, teeny-tiny boxes, no bed, no nothing – just enough space to pace ten steps, turn around and do it all over again. I imagined long days of misery and then I quickly stepped out. It gave me the heebie-jeebies being there for only two minutes. It was only as we were leaving that me and my friend decided to watch the 18 minute film on the history of the Old Idaho Penitentiary. For some reason it didn’t sound all that great in the beginning and come to find out it wasn’t really worth our 18 minutes on the way out. If you go, skip the film and read up on all the history in the actually prison buildings.
2445 Old Penitentiary Rd, Boise, ID 83712