Week ending June 14, 2015

UTAH STATE PRISON

graduation1  graduation

High school diplomas spell hope for Utah prison inmates by Shaheed M. Morris, The Salt Lake Tribune

“A mother and son, both serving time for assaulting people with knives, received high school diplomas on Wednesday during a graduation ceremony at the Utah State Prison. Genevieve Billie, 52, and her son, Zechariah Curley, 26, are behind bars for committing the same crime — aggravated assault — but on separate occasions.”

Prison inmates celebrate graduation, goals with loved ones by McKenzie Romero, Deseret News

“Alicia James’ smile is wide as she shakes hands down the receiving line, diploma in hand, the tassel from her yellow mortarboard hat tickling her face.”

PRISON RELOCATION

New prison ‘would be a question for sure’ unless facility moves, corrections officials says by Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News

“Sitting up in one of the narrow beds crammed against the walls in a nearly 50-year-old building that serves as a makeshift geriatric unit, inmate Francis McKay said he knows where the new prison should be built.”

What’s next in prison relocation? Utahns have their turn to speak by Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune

“At three sometimes-rowdy public meetings, the leaders and key advisers to the Prison Relocation Commission did all of the talking, trying without much demonstrable success to convince residents that moving the prison out of Draper is right for the state, the taxpayers and even for the inmates. Now it’s the commission’s turn to listen.”

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

New mental health area plan set to reduce recidivism by Kelly Cannon, Herald Journal

“Bear River Mental Health Services presented its mental health area plan on Tuesday to the Cache County Council, including a new effort to reduce recidivism in those convicted of crimes who have drug or mental health problems.”

OPINION

Prison is where the hear is by Robert Kirby, The Salt Lake Tribune

“Given how often the possibility of prison was factored into my childhood, I should be something of an expert on the matter. Maybe it’s time for me to weigh in on where the Utah State Prison should relocate from its current home in Draper.”

New location needed for new prison — and the two key reasons why by A. Scott Anderson, Deseret News

“The Utah State Prison is aging, inefficient and needs more than $250 million in improvements just to maintain the status quo and deal with expected growth in inmate numbers.”

Prison in Gunnison reveal’s a prison’s true nature — a taker that keeps on taking by Jewel Allen, Deseret News

“One of the things touted at the Prison Relocation Commission Q&A meeting was how the prison has been good for Gunnison.”

Letter: End the process

IN COURT

Two inmates charged in separate killings at the Utah State Prison by Ben Lockhart, Deseret News

“Two prison inmates were charged in unrelated murder cases this week, stemming from alleged killings in September and February.”

Convicted St. George killer charged with cellmate’s murder by Kevin Jenkins, The St. George Spectrum

“A 33-year-old man convicted of killing a man in St. George has been charged with first-degree murder in the strangulation of his cellmate in the Utah State Prison.”

No charges for prisoner who mailed razor blade to Utah judge by Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune

“No charges will be filed against a convicted murderer who sent a razor blade from prison to a Utah County judge. Mailing the razor blade was an accident, prosecuting attorney Chad Grunander said Thursday.”

Utah sex offender must pay victim for lost wages, appeals court says by Pamela Manson, The Salt Lake Tribune

“A man who sexually exploited a Utah teen will have to reimburse her for the pay she lost when depression caused by the abuse led to problems at work and a reduction in her hours.”

STORIES OF INTEREST

New Policy Lets Kids As Young As 16 Make Solo Visits To Parents, Siblings in SF Jail, CBSLocal.com

“Children as young as 16 with parents or siblings in jail will be able to make solo visits under policies enacted Monday by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department.”

New federal court in Alaska to cut back on recidivism by The Associated Press in the Times  Daily

“Federal officials in Alaska have established a “re-entry” court to reduce the likelihood of offenders ending back up in prison.”

Report: Save $250M a year with 10,000 fewer prisoners by Justin A. Hinkley, Lansing State Journal

“Michigan state government could save $250 million a year and house 10,000 fewer prisoners with reforms to sentencing, parole and the way convicts serve their time, according to a report out today.”

Study finds private prisons keep inmates longer, without reducing future crime by Peter Kerwin, University of Wisconsin-Madison News

“A new study finds that inmates in private prisons are likely to serve as many as two to three more months behind bars than those assigned to public prisons and are equally likely to commit more crimes after release, despite industry claims to lower recidivism rates through high-quality and innovative rehabilitation programs.”

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