Week ending Feb. 15, 2015


Volunteers and staff worried prison may be built too far away by Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune

“As they seek a new home for the state prison, legislative leaders have long said they will try to find land close to where corrections officers and the institution’s many volunteers now live. That prospect appears to be waning as the Prison Relocation Commission takes a serious look at property farther away from the metro area.”


Treatment, breaks on drug crimes urged in Utah prison reforms by Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune

“Addicted to cocaine, methamphetamine and alcohol, Damian Trujillo received his first prison sentence in 1998 when he was 19. He spent the next decade in and out of the Corrections system, never being able to kick his habits.”

Criminal justice reform in Utah appears linked to a new state prison by Ben Winslow, Fox13

“The Utah Department of Corrections unveiled some bold new initiatives in its budget, tied to plans to alter the criminal justice system.”

Trib Talk: Treatment or incarceration? Policy makers look at criminal justice options by Jennifer Napier-Pearce

“How should courts and Corrections handle crimes that stem from drug addiction or mental illness? And how can the state reduce recidivism and inmate numbers?”


This link will take you to the handout outlining the budget requests the Department presented to the Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations subcommittee.


Pleasant Grove mother accused of killing 6 babies pleads guilty by Pat Reavy, Deseret News/KSL.com

“In a quiet voice, Megan Huntsman repeated “guilty” six times. The 39-year-old Pleasant Grove woman admitted Thursday that she choked or smothered six of her newborn babies to death and hid their bodies in her garage for years. She pleaded guilty in 4th District Court to six counts of murder, a first-degree felony.”


Wyoming man gets prison for Valentine’s Day rape by Amy Macavinta, The Herald Journal

“A Wyoming man was sentenced to the Utah State Prison Tuesday morning after a jury found him guilty of a brutal Valentine’s Day rape that took place in 2013. Trevor Van Oostendorp, 45, was charged with forcible sodomy in 1st District Court after an assault on a woman that prosecutors say was much more brutal than the charge itself implies. Judge Brian Cannell ordered him to serve five years to life in the prison, pay restitution for counseling costs and a $10,000 fine.”


Inmate charged with threatening member of board of pardons by Pat Reavy, Deseret News

“A prison inmate [Timothy Patrick Maez] who prosecutors say twice threatened a Utah Board of Pardons and Parole member now faces a criminal charge.”

Inmate dead after fight at Utah State Prison by ABC 4 Utah

“Utah Department of Corrections confirms an inmate was killed in a fight at the Utah State Prison Tuesday afternoon.”

Relative of prison slaying victim comes forward by Kevin Jenkins, The Spectrum

“Salt Lake Valley’s Unified Police Department has made contact with a relative of the man allegedly slain by a convicted St. George murderer at the Utah State Prison on Tuesday.”

Program to unclog Utah courts and reduce recidivism has fallen short, study says by Pamela Manson, The Salt Lake Tribune

“A program designed to unclog 3rd District Court in Salt Lake County and reduce recidivism has expedited case processing, but failed to decrease the rate of new offenses committed by participants, according to a new study.”

32 Civil Rights and Religious Groups Declare Shared Principles for Passing Criminal Justice Reform by The Leadership Conference (Washington, D.C.)

“This week, 32 civil rights groups released shared civil rights principles for congressional approval of criminal justice reform. In a letter sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, the groups highlight the possibility in the 114th Congress of bipartisan cooperation on broad-based reforms to our nation’s criminal justice system.”

Cornyn, Whitehouse introduce prison reform legislation in The Kingwood Observer (Texas)

“United States Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) announced their plans to introduce the Corrections Oversight, Recidivism Reduction, and Eliminating Costs for Taxpayers in Our National System (CORRECTIONS) Act.”

Criminal justice reform has momentum by Tom Kacich, The News-Gazette (Illinois)

“There seems to be momentum to reform Illinois’ bulky and expensive criminal justice system and the effect it has on prison and jail populations, county and state budgets, social service agencies and families and individuals.”

Countywide support system hopes to reduce prison recidivism by Nate Gartrell, San Jose Mercury News (California)

” As Roosevelt Terry finished giving his speech at the First Baptist Church, inspiring a standing ovation from a room packed full of law enforcement officials, church and business leaders, and politicians, the irony was probably a little much to bear.”



“A dozen women at the Orange Street Correctional Community Center came together Saturday as part of One Billion Rising to affirm — through speech, dance and song— their self-worth, beauty, individuality and determination to break free of domestic violence.”

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