Week ending Feb. 8, 2015

PRISON RELOCATION

Plans to move Utah’s state prison ignite controversy by Audrey Strasenburgh, Cache Valley Daily

“Utah State Prison is comprised of eight separate facilities located on a 700-mile property in Draper, UT. At least three of these buildings are over 50 years old, while the remaining five are relatively new. Given that contractors often say that homes older than 30 years often require new wiring, plumbing, better insulation and even new roofs, it therefore isn’t surprising that many reports describe the prison as dilapidated and run down.”

Eagle Mountain officials criticize consultants’ work by Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune

“Eagle Mountain city leaders are calling into question the work of state consultants in charge of finding a place to build a new state prison. The criticism headlines a 71-page technical report that Mayor Chris Pengra released on his blog Monday.”

Bill Would Keep State Prison in Draper by Bob Bernick, UtahPolicy.com

“Call it, perhaps, one last gasp. State Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville, has introduced a bill that would require the Prison Relocation Commission to go against its own name and consider the current Point-of-the-Mountain prison site as the place for the new prison’s construction.”

SENTENCING

Almost 3 years after fatal shooting, man sentenced for his role in the crime by Mark Green, Fox13 News

“A suspect connected to the fatal shooting of a man who worked as a cashier at a smoke shop in Salt Lake City was in court for sentencing Wednesday, where he was given credit for time already served and put on zero tolerance probation.”

UTAH BOARD OF PARDONS AND PAROLE

Utah Board of Pardons: Woman will serve maximum sentence in teen baby sitter’s death by Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune

“The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has decided that Dea Millerberg will serve the maximum sentence — five years in prison — for helping hide the body of her teenage baby sitter after the girl died from a drug overdose at the North Ogden woman’s home.”

RECIDIVISM

This is a timely report released by the Council of State Governments Justice Center highlights impact on recidivism of criminal justice reforms in eight states.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

One pill, 10 years: Ky. high court reviews vet’s sentence by Andrew Wolfson, USA Today

“To his lawyer, James Kidd is the epitome of the kind of person that Kentucky lawmakers don’t want sitting in prison.”

OPINION

Moving prison may be only way to get Utah to fix it by Kendall Robins of Sandy in The Salt Lake Tribune

“Moving the prison from its high-value, high-visibility site along I-15 in Draper is a colossally dumb idea. We’ve got a huge investment in infrastructure across the sprawling site. It’s a well-situated Wasatch Front location, close to all the necessary medical and legal amenities, convenient for visitors, staff and volunteers. Clearly, houses and businesses are still locating in that area. The prison doesn’t seem to be deterring economic growth. So who in their right mind would argue to relocate the prison?”

STORIES OF INTEREST

Literature Class Helps Young People On Probation Build New Relationships And Lives by Deborah Becker, WBUR (Massachusetts)

“Twice a year, in courtrooms across Massachusetts, regular proceedings are temporarily put on hold for graduation ceremonies. Recently in Dorchester District Court, Judge David Weingarten opened the ceremony.”

Report: Alternative Prison Punishment Program Reducing Recidivism, But It’s Still Underutilized by Deanna Garcia, WESA (Pennsylvania)

“The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ State Intermediate Punishment, or SIP, program aims to help non-violent offenders get needed treatment with the ultimate goal of ensuring they don’t become repeat offenders.”

EDITORIAL: Lawmakers must support community corrections this session by Kokomo Tribune (Washington)

“We know it’s been weighing on Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers’ mind. The community corrections program is now the single largest provider of mental health services in Howard County. And we’re not alone. Other county sheriffs are worried that criminal sentencing reform will put a strain on their already understaffed, overcrowded jails. Incarceration used to be the job of the state’s prisons. Rehabilitation and medication expenses were part of their budgets.”

Rand Paul revives mandatory sentencing reform bill by David McCabe, The Hill

“Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) revived legislation Wednesday designed to limit the use of mandatory minimum sentencing laws. The bill — the Justice Safety Valve Act — gives federal judges the authority to give sentences lower than the mandatory punishment in certain cases where the sentence violates standards for fair punishment laid out elsewhere in U.S. law.”

Prison Space Crunch Drives New Proposals For Drug Crime Sentencing by Andy Marso, Kansas Health Institute (Kansas)

“A prison space crunch amid a state budget crisis is lending urgency to legislative proposals aimed at steering drug offenders toward community treatment rather than prison time.”

Horizon Program Reduces Recidivism, Proponents say by Sam Hendren, WOSU (Ohio)

“The national recidivism rate – the number of ex-convicts who return to prison – is about 40 percent. Ohio’s rate is 27 percent. State officials credit Ohio’s relatively low recidivism on community programs that mentor inmates.”

Study: Brain of psychopath abnormal by Mike Bush, Albuquerque Journal

“Violent, psychopathic criminals have physical abnormalities in the parts of their brains related to learning from punishment, and imprisonment alone has little effect on remorse or rates of recidivism in such offenders, a study released this week has found.”

Bill on marijuana reform could reach Kansas House next week by Annette Lawless and The Associated Press, KAKE (Kansas)

“State lawmakers may move forward with softening penalties for those in possession of marijuana. State Rep. Gail Finney said a bill could make it to the house floor next week. The concept is similar to what’s before Wichita voters in April. However, Finney said it’s not as strong as what’s proposed in Wichita.”

ON FACEBOOK

AP&P

“We’re hiring! Adult Probation and Parole has opened a public recruitment for agents. We are looking for individuals with a minimum of 18 months law enforcement or correctional officer experience. We need agents throughout Utah, including Moab, Roosevelt, Hurricane, Logan, Ogden and Tooele.

As an AP&P agent, you’ll have numerous career advancement and assignment opportunities. We offer a flexible schedule and a great state benefits package. You’ll work with a team engaged in cutting-edge criminal justice practices aimed at transforming lives of offenders.

If needed, applicants will have the ability to earn a law enforcement officer certificate (cost covered by the Department). Preference will be given to those with college degrees. Out-of-state applicants with law enforcement/correctional officer experience are welcome to apply.

For more information, see job no. 3623 at statejobs.utah.gov
Applications will be accepted until Feb. 22 at midnight. The qualified list of candidates will be used to fill AP&P agent positions for approximately one year.

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