NRS 209.281 – General Overview of Nevada’s Temporary Interstate Transportation Provision

Nevada law provides the process for transportation to or through states that are adjoining Nevada for the purposes of temporarily performing labor for forestry projects under the Nevada Division of Forestry or in the case that a part of Nevada is threatened by fire or other natural disaster emanating from an adjoining state.

The exact statutory language can be found in Nev. Rev. Stat. § 209.281, provided below:

An officer of the Department may transport an offender temporarily to or through any state which adjoins the State of Nevada if:

  1. The offender will perform general labor in connection with forestry projects and will be directly returned to the State of Nevada after completion of the general labor; or
  2. Some part of Nevada is threatened by fire or other natural disaster and the threat emanates from an adjoining state.

What are Forestry Projects?

The Nevada Division of Forestry, according to its website, “provides professional natural resource and fire services to Nevada citizens to enhance and protect forest, rangeland, and watershed values; conserve endangered plants and other native flora; and provide effective statewide fire protection and emergency management.”

The Nevada Division of Forestry provides several programs and projects to assist with its purpose, and utilizes labor of prisoners in many of its programs.  This is coordinated under the Conservation Camp Program, which allows the inmates of Nevada State Prisoner to perform activities, such as fire suppression, related to conservation, and to be housed at certain facilities in the camp.

One notable Conservation Camp listed in the Nevada Department of Corrections Glossary is the Wells Conservation Camp.  Wells Conservation Camp “houses minimum custody offenders and operates under a cooperative partnership with the Nevada Division of Forestry.”  The Wells Conservation Camp provides wildland firefighting support and works on other community projects.

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Other examples of camps under the Conservation Camp Program include the Jean Conservation Camp, which has the ability to employ 130–140 inmates in conservation projects and emergency response activities; the Pioche Conservation Camp, with the ability to employ 108 inmates; and the Three Lakes Valley Conservation Camp, which the ability to employ 110 inmates.  A list of articles related to forestry projects in which inmates can participate can be found on the Nevada Division of Forestry website, here.

Threat of Fire or Natural Disaster

The Nevada Department of Corrections Glossary includes fire or natural disaster under the definition of “emergency situation.”  Other emergency situations include any significant disruption of normal facility or agency procedure, policy, or activity such as a riot, escape, employee action or any other serious incident.  In these instances, the Department may transport offenders for a temporary time to or through an adjoining state to be housed there until the threat has been cleared.

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