Week ending Dec. 26, 2014

STORIES OF INTEREST

Oregon’s prison reform is working by Hannah Hoffman, Statesman Journal

“Oregon is receiving national attention for its 2013 prison reforms that reduced sentences for some property crimes, allowed some low-risk inmates to leave prison sooner and put more money into community corrections programs at the county level.”

Pet therapy sessions at model Italian prison keep recidivism low by Ella Ide, The China Post

“BOLLATE, Italy — With a bark of excitement, Titti, Tato and Carmela scamper down the corridors of the Bollate prison near Milan and are enveloped by prisoners who shower them with treats, pats and hugs.”

New sheriff ‘can’t wait to get in and get started’ by C.J. McManus, Sun Advocate

“When Jeff Wood joined the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office as a patrol deputy in 1992, he knew where he wanted that new career to take him.”

UHP: High-speed chase, crash end in arrest of shooting suspect by Bob Mims, The Salt Lake Tribune

“Up until he allegedly shot at a Utah Highway Patrol trooper, Damion Johon Williams had compiled a long, but relatively minor criminal record. But last Friday, troopers say Williams’ criminal career took a serious and potentially deadly turn.”

State senator discusses possibility of toll road to cut commutes between Salt Lake, Tooele counties by Fox 13 

“A Utah senator is among those who want to consider creating a toll road that could cut commute times between Utah and Tooele counties by more than half.”

OPINION

Utah’s prison relocation is like a Christmas fruitcake by John Florez, Deseret News

“The idea of prison relocation is like Christmas fruitcake: no one really wants it, but it keeps making the rounds every once in a while. And each time, relocation turns out to be unfeasible and too costly to the taxpayers.”

Time to make the best of prison move juggernaut, The Salt Lake Tribune

“The steamroller that is the Utah Prison Relocation Commission has yet to truly justify its existence. But, when you’ve got the governor, the incoming speaker of the House, most of the Legislature and — most important in Utah — the real estate developers on your side, no real justification is necessary.”

More questions in prison relocation scheme by Maryann Martindale, Alliance for a Better UTAH

“A few months ago, it looked as though the prison move was pretty much a done deal. But the last few weeks have made it look a little less of a sure thing.”

PRISON RELOCATION

Here is the Dec. 22 site report from the Prison Relocation Commission’s consultant.

Here is the Prison Relocation Commission’s public engagement plan.

Rural commissioners elected to executive board of UAC by Tracie Sullivan, The Spectrum

“Commissioners in Iron and Beaver counties are hopeful rural Utah will have a stronger voice this year with Mark Whitney and Dave Miller having been elected to the Utah Association of Counties executive board.”

List of potential prison sites cut to three by Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News

“There are now just three sites in contention for a new state prison, in Salt Lake City, Eagle Mountain and near Grantsville, but other possibilities will be considered through January, a legislative commission decided Monday.”

Moving the Utah State Prison isn’t a done deal by Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune

“It’s possible that the Utah State Prison isn’t going anywhere. Sure, the state Legislature has said it’s time to move the penitentiary out of Draper, and Gov. Gary Herbert put money in his budget to do just that. The state has even spent more than $1 million on consultants assigned to find a site for a new state-of-the-art prison, leading to weeks of protests from cities that have found themselves on the short list.”

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