Week ending Sept. 26, 2014


BYU football team gives back to communities — including at prison by Jeff Call, Deseret News

“An inmate at the Utah State Prison Promontory Facility stood up last Friday night in a crowded gymnasium, sincerely and desperately seeking help, answers and inspiration. The man, dressed in his prison-issued white clothing with “UDC Inmate” emblazoned on the back of his shirt, directed his earnest question at the army of young men in front of him, members of the BYU football team, dressed in blue-and-gray warmup garb.”


Administrative staff and division directors met for two days with the Prison Relocation Commission consultants to sketch out ideas for a new  prison complex. The discussion included an overview of the department’s mission, vision and values and how those will shape guiding principles for a new prison complex design. The group also came up with a starting list of components that will be needed at the new complex — from housing and security to programming, healthcare and support services. The Prison Relocation Commission is reviewing 25 possible sites for a new complex and is expected to make a  final recommendation on a site in December. Click here to read documents about the process.


Accused cannibal Joseph Oberhansley fell through legal cracks by Claire Galofaro and Baylee Pulliam, The Courier-Journal

“Joseph Oberhansley walked into a Utah prison 14 years ago, a bullet lodged in his brain, and chose two words to tattoo across his back: “murderous deeds.”


Inmate pleads case for parole from 5-year ‘road rage’ sentence by Pat Reavy, Deseret News/KSL TV

“John Oliver Watkins says he remembers the entire incident. ‘I never wanted this to happen to nobody. I wanted to let you know this was a mistake. This was just an accident. I had no interest in hurting nobody. I was just trying to get home, back to my family,’ a tearful Watkins told Utah Board of Pardons and Parole member Angela Micklos last week.”


Back to prison for parolee found with gun on Salt Lake City street by Bob Mims, The Salt Lake Tribune

“A convicted car thief [Zachary Elysha Wise] is back in prison after his parole-violating arrest on a Salt Lake City street for possessing a firearm and fleeing police.”


16 cops disciplined by Utah police watchdog agency by Ben Winslow, Fox13

“The agency that certifies and disciplines all police officers in Utah handed out warnings, suspensions and revocations to 16 officers for various misdeeds. But the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council is also looking at going after police chiefs who fail to report an officer’s bad behavior in a timely manner”


Opinion: Georgia has become a leader in criminal justice reform by Mike Klein, editor Georgia Public Policy Foundation, The Columbia County News-Times

“This philosophy worked great if you did not care about creating better citizens in people who had made a mistake but could be rehabilitated; if you did not want to think about the effect of mingling juveniles with hardened adult criminals; if you did not care about the spiraling cost to support the expansion of incarceration – just a few of many things you could avoid thinking about.”

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