Week ending May 17, 2015



New Utah Treatment Center Aims to Keep Women Out of Jail by Andrea Smardon, KUER

“The Utah Department of Corrections officially launched a new intervention program Thursday to keep female offenders out of jail.”

Intervention program offers treatment instead of jail by Lana Medina, KUTV

“A new intervention program is helping female offenders stay out of jail and get the help they need. Many people struggling with drug addiction wind up in jail and after being released, many end up back behind bars in a never-ending cycle. But officials say the Atherton Community Treatment Center is changing all that.”


Remoteness of potential prison sites highlighted in commission tour by Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News/KSL.com

“Within sight of Salt Lake City International Airport, a small herd of antelope roamed near a canal that cuts through one of the five proposed sites for a new state prison. The site, located off 7200 West, appeared to be even further away from existing development than the Tooele and Utah county sites identified earlier this year by the Legislature’s Prison Relocation Commission.”

Lawmakers do about-face, will attend public meetings about Utah prison move by Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune

“The leaders of the Prison Relocation Commission have changed their minds and will now attend three public meetings in the cities that could host a new state penitentiary.”

Prison meetings won’t take public comment, designed to sell Utah prison move by Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune

“If Erica Groneman could script upcoming public meetings about moving the Utah State Prison, she would include a scene where the government’s relocation team, confronted by community activists, would have an epiphany and reverse course. They would agree that building a lockup in fast-growing Utah County would depress property values and scare away potential businesses and, in the end, the prison would remain in Draper.”

Prison relocation figures cause audit demand from lawmaker by Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News/KSL.com

“A state lawmaker is calling for an audit of what he labeled an ‘exorbitant’ estimate of the economic benefits of moving the Utah State Prison from Draper.”

See the five sites where the Utah State Prison could go by Ben Winslow, Fox 13

“There are five sites under consideration for the new Utah State Prison. On Friday, state officials involved in the discussions about prison relocation took FOX 13 on a tour of the potential sites as they begin scrutinizing the sites ahead of public hearings and an August decision by the governor and legislature.”


Investigation: Utah prison inmate allegedly mailed razor blade to judge by Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune

“A Utah prisoner serving time for murder is under investigation after prosecutors say the inmate mailed a razor blade to a Utah County judge. Ramon Somoza, 35, was convicted in September 2011 of first-degree felony murder and other charges for the 2009 shooting death of 46-year-old Jesus Landin.”


We welcome an audit showing the true costs, benefits and projections for the Draper prison site by Deseret News Editorial Board

“The decision whether to relocate the current state prison in Draper may be the largest capital facility decision in Utah history. This is not only because of the massive size of the prison but because prisons, by their nature, are among the most important facilities a government can build and operate.”

Letter: Prison traffic

If not a prison, what should Draper site be? by The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board

“Why would we move the Utah State Prison? Logistics: The current prison sits on 700 acres. The Prison Relocation Commission estimates 500 acres are needed for a new prison that takes full advantage of modern thinking on incarceration. Building such a facility without having to accommodate a working prison would be easier, but it also seems at least possible to manage both in Draper.”

Prison Relocation Commission should consider humane rehab, not just monetary incentives by Ben Aldana, in the Deseret News

“Overall public conversation surrounding relocation of the Utah State Prison has lacked a critical component: What will be built in the final location?”

Don’t let unfounded neighborhood fears derail justice reform by Molly Prince, Adam Cohen and Anna Brower, in The Salt Lake Tribune

“Criminal justice reform has been in the news a lot lately. There was, appropriately, plenty of positive coverage when Gov. Gary Herbert signed a sweeping “Justice Reinvestment” bill on April 9. This legislation signals good things ahead for our state.  But there has also been negative attention – specifically, related to correctional facilities. Most of that negative attention is incorrect and undeserved.”


No parole until at least 2055 for mother of Utah boy who died after abuse by Pamela Manson, The Salt Lake Tribune

“Stephanie Sloop, a Layton woman who failed to protect her 4-year-old son from the severe abuse that killed him, will spend another 40 years in prison before she gets a parole hearing.”


DUI driver in triple-fatal crash sentenced to prison by McKenzie Romero, Deseret News

“A driver who pleaded guilty to a triple-fatal DUI crash as he fled from police has been sentenced to prison. Jonathan Ulises Analco-Cruz, 24, was sentenced to one to 15 years in the Utah State Prison for the deaths of his 18-year-old girlfriend, 17-year-old brother and a 14-year-old friend.”

West Point teen who murdered younger brothers sent to prison by Pat Reavy, KSL.com

“Showing little emotion, as he has throughout most his court proceedings, 17-year-old Aza Vidinhar was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years to life in prison for the murder of his 4-year-old brother.”


Course Correction: College Behind Bars Gets a Big Boost by L.S. Hall, Inside Philanthrophy

“Once upon a time, there was wide support for the obvious idea that we should do everything possible to educate prisoners, including helping them earn college degrees. That way, released inmates would be less likely to return to places called “correctional” institutions for a reason. But federal funding for college courses in prison was a notable casualty of the get-tough approach to crime in the 1990s, and modest efforts to reverse that mistake have lately struggled amid budget cuts.”

The Incredible, Bipartisan, Kumbaya Moment for Criminal Justice Reform by Emily Greenhouse, Bloomberg Politics

“When George W. Bush was governor of Texas, the state built 38 new prisons, and the state’s annual corrections expenditure jumped jumped by $1 billion to $2.4 billion, a 71 percent increase. That’s what it was to be tough on crime.”

After Baltimore and Ferguson, Major Momentum For Criminal Justice System Reform by Carrie Johnson, NPR

“Lawmakers working on fixes to the justice system say that unrest in places like Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore is pushing them to act.”

Mentor program guides Ind. man to better future by Katie Heinz, The Indy Channel

“An Indianapolis-based program is working to offer second chances while preventing homelessness and reducing return trips back to prison.”


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