Week ending June 21, 2015

UTAH DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

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Staffing shortages prompt action by Department of Corrections by Jeremy Harris, KUTV

“The Utah Department of Corrections says they are in need of more officers at the state prisons.”

Utah Corrections Dept. Launches Campaign to Fill Staff Vacancies by Andrea Smardon, KUER

“The Utah Department of Corrections currently has a staffing shortage, and officials say they are launching a huge hiring campaign to fill more than 160 vacant positions.”

PRISON RELOCATION

Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: Where Should the Prison Go?

“The Prison Relocation Commission is currently considering four locations for a new Utah State Prison. Our “Political Insiders” and readers are split on where they think the new facility should go.”

Herbert: Inmates, not economics, should drive prison site — even if it means rebuilding in Draper by Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune

“Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday that meeting Utah’s incarceration and rehabilitation needs, not economic benefits, should drive the decision on where to rebuild the state prison — and that includes the possibility of leaving it in Draper.”

Governor Herbert Mentions Possibility of Prison Staying in Draper by Rick Aaron, Good4Utah

“The debate over relocating the Utah State Prison has switched from “where” to “why” over the past few days.

Opponents of relocating Utah State Prison say there’s room to build on-site by Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News

“Opponents of relocating the Utah State Prison from Draper on Friday criticized a state consultant’s conclusion that it’s not feasible to rebuild on-site as an attempt to counter increasing pressure on lawmakers not to make the move.”

New study to determine if $1.8B economic impact for prison relocation is too low by Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News

“A new study is underway at the request of a Prison Relocation Commission co-chairman to determine if the estimated $1.8 billion economic impact of developing the Utah State Prison site in Draper is too low.”

Not enough undeveloped land to rebuild state prison in Draper, assessment shows by Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News

“There’s not enough undeveloped land at the Utah State Prison in Draper to build a new prison on-site without running into problems, according to the preliminary results of an assessment of the site quietly started in the past two weeks.”

They’re fighting the prison move — now they’re fighting for office by Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune

“Three prison-relocation opponents want to make the switch from political activist to politician in November. Jewel Allen is campaigning for City Council in Grantsville, while Stephanie Gricius and Colby Curtis are running for City Council in Eagle Mountain.”

Utahns tell prison relocation commission: ‘Keep it in Draper’ by Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News

“Eighty-two-year-old Alexandra Eframo shook her fists Tuesday while testifying before the Legislature’s Prison Relocation Commission to show how strongly she felt about keeping the Utah State Prison in Draper.”

At only public meeting, Utah residents decry prison commission’s methods and mission by  Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune

“As red numbers counted down from two minutes to one to zero, almost everyone who stood up to speak at the Prison Relocation Commission’s sole public hearing used every last second on the clock at the front of the room in the Utah Capitol.”

Prison Relocation Commissioners: Who are they? by Cathy Allred, Daily Herald

“Nine members of the Prison Relocation Commission have been tasked with deciding on a final site by Aug. 1 to recommend to Governor Gary Herbert and the state legislature for a new Utah State Prison.”

OPINION

Letter: PRC ignores the people of Utah

On Utah prison move, nobody is listening, The Salt Lake Tribune

“The question asked by many at Tuesday’s meeting — it is a stretch to call it, as organizers did, a “public hearing” — on the proposed relocation of the Utah State Prison was, “Are you even listening?”

Relocating Utah State Prison is long overdue by E.J. “Jake” Garn, The Salt Lake Tribune

“It is alarming to see some of the latest statistics regarding the criminal justice system. One in 104 American adults is behind bars, and one in 33 American adults is under correctional control (probation, parole, prison or jail). National recidivism rates remain stubbornly high, with more than four out of 10 adult offenders returning to prison within three years of their release.”

UTAH STATE PRISON

Prison inmate hospitalized following attack by Katie Larsen, KSL.com

“A Utah State Prison inmate is in the hospital after being attacked by another inmate.”

Utah Sued Over Fatal Mix-Up at Prison by The Associated Press in The New York Times

“The children of an inmate who died at Utah State Prison have sued corrections officials and health care providers, accusing them of violating his father’s civil rights by failing to give him dialysis for two days.”

STORIES OF INTEREST

What Kale and Arugula Have to Do With Reducing Recidivism by Chris Peak, NationSwell

“It’s mango season in Miami, and James Jiler’s kitchen counter keeps filling with bags and bags of the tropical fruit. The towering mound accumulates nearly faster than he can slice the mangos apart or blend them together in a summer daiquiri.”

New law aimed at reducing recidivism allows thousands of prison inmates to apply for Medicaid by The Associated Press in The Republic

“Inmates at New Mexico prisons will be able to apply for Medicaid under a new law that may reduce recidivism.”

Nebraska Department of Corrections to fix calculation of “enhanced good time” by Laurann Robinson, KLKN TV

“Nebraska Department of Correctional Services announced it’s plan to fix the current calculation of ‘enhanced good time.’ This comes after noticing the error under the previous administration… which lead to the early release of hundreds of inmates. With help from the Attorney General’s office, prison officials are reforming the way inmates can receive time off of their sentences with the so-called Enhanced Good Time Credit law.”

Good Question: How Often Do Former Prisoners Re-Offend? by Heather Brown, WCCO TV Minnesota

“For years, Minnesota has locked up sex offenders indefinitely after their prison time is complete.  But, on Wednesday, a judge ruled that program unconstitutional. The main reason these sex offenders stay behind bars is because people are afraid if they get out, they might hurt someone again. The same could also be said for killers, robbers and drunk drivers.”

Penn Study: Trying Kids as Adults Can Reduce Recidivism by Holly Otterbein, Philadelphia Magazine

“A number of academic studies have found that prosecuting juveniles as adults increases the likelihood that they’ll end up back in the criminal justice system, with recidivism going up as much as 20 percent to 30 percent in such cases. This has led some policymakers to try to raise the age that kids can be tried as adults. But a new study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania flips that narrative on its head.”

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