REXBURG — It’s likely the Madison County Sheriff’s Office has never had an inmate as high-profile as Lori Vallow Daybell.
The 46-year-old mother waived extradition Wednesday afternoon in Hawaii on charges of desertion and nonsupport of children, resisting and/or obstructing an officer, solicitation and contempt. Daybell’s children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, have not been seen since September.
“It takes some planning and time logistically to accomplish this type of transport so it’s going to take a few days, at least, to get her back to Idaho,” says Sgt. Isaac Payne, the spokesman for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. “We are going to make sure routes are secured. We always travel with multiple offices and we utilize local and federal agencies to make sure every security measure is taken.”
Once Daybell arrives at the Madison County Jail, she will be housed with other women. Payne says she will be treated like any other inmate, although extra security measures may be taken for Daybell’s safety as it’s likely other inmates will know who she is when she arrives.
“They all have access to network television, they all watch TV for a great deal of their day so I have no doubt they know who she is,” Payne says. “That being said, we don’t segregate people merely based on who they are. We have to be fair and consistent across the board.”
The jail holds a standing headcount for all inmates every day at 7 a.m. Breakfast is served at 7:30 a.m. and lunch is ready at 11:30 a.m. Another headcount is held in the afternoon and evening with dinner being served at 5:30 p.m. Lockdown occurs at 11 p.m.
Inmates are offered an hour of recreational time every day where they can check out books from the jail library or exercise. On weekends, they are welcome to attend religious services held at the facility.
“Anyone who has been an inmate says that the hardest thing is the monotony of it but routine equals safety. If we do the same thing every day, there’s a consistency to it,” Payne says.
Lt. Jared Willmore shows EastIdahoNews.com what a typical Madison County Jail cell looks like in this Feb. 2019 file photo. | Nate Eaton EastIdahoNews.com
Every inmate has a cellmate, although there are some single cells that Payne says are usually used for those who have special needs. Different areas of the jail can be compartmentalized, so if Daybell needed to be separate from others, deputies could move her to a smaller section.
Inmates are only allowed face-to-face visits with attorneys and clergy. All other visits are done through a video chat system with each inmate receiving an hour of free calls each week. Extra visiting time can be purchased by those inside or outside the jail.
While she’s incarcerated, Daybell will eat “the best jail food in the state,” according to Payne. Every meal is handmade on-site and supervised by a licensed nutritionist.
“We don’t ship in meals, we ship in ingredients,” Payne says. “We have a full-service kitchen and all meals meet nutritional standards. We have homemade bread, fresh fruit and vegetables and even the staff eats the food.”
The Madison County Jail can hold approximately 100 people and often houses federal inmates. The facility has room for around 20 women but if more space is needed for females, the jail can be reconfigured.
As court proceedings begin for Daybell, the national media plans to be in Rexburg and many members of the public may want to observe hearings. Payne says the sheriff’s office is prepared and will work to make sure everyone is safe.
“Even though we have this high profile case going on, we still want to serve the public. If you have traffic tickets or court fees or need to get a driver’s license, we want to make sure we’re still serving the public that way,” he says.