Week ending Sept. 13, 2015

FROM OUR FACEBOOK PAGE

“It was hard to tell who had the biggest smiles Saturday: the cadets and officers helping at the 2015 Utah Walk Now for Autism Speaks event or the kids picking out stuffed animals donated by UDC staff!”

Autism 2015

UTAH STATE PRISON

Running to rehabilitate by Becky Ginos, The Davis Clipper

“What’s a nice guy from North Salt Lake doing at the Utah State Prison? No, he’s not an inmate – but he willingly goes there to help those who are.”

Lockdown at two facilities at Utah State Prison lifted by Mark Green, FOX 13

“Two facilities at the Utah State Prison are on lockdown after officials said several inmates suffered minor injuries in a “gang-related fight” Wednesday morning, which means visitation at both facilities is currently suspended.”

PRISON RELOCATION

Prison construction to last until the end of 2019, at least by Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune

“It will take between four and six years before a new Utah State Prison is ready to house inmates, according to state building experts who will oversee the massive construction project. The variation in time depends on the type of construction process the state decides to use.”

New commission hits pause button on prison construction by Lisa Riley Roche, KSL.com

“Members of the new Prison Development Commission, charged with overseeing the construction of a new 4,000-bed state prison in Salt Lake City, hit the pause button at their first meeting Tuesday.”

Trib Talk: What will replace the prison in Draper by Jennifer Napier-Pearce

RECIDIVISM

Salt Lake County Reducing Recidivism by Rick Aaron, GOOD4Utah

“A new report praises Salt Lake County programs to reduce recidivism former Salt Lake County Jail inmates.”

Salt Lake County See Validation in Findings of Independent Report on Flaws Within Criminal Justice System by Utah Policy.com

“Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, Sheriff Jim Winder and District Attorney Sim Gill are endorsing the recommendations of a just-completed, independent study about the county’s ongoing efforts to reduce recidivism and appropriately divert those with mental illness and substance use disorders away from the county jail and into treatment.”

MENTAL HEALTH CARE

Number of Utah inmates with mental health issues a serious concern by Craig Bennett, The Independent

“Considerable controversy has surrounded the proposed relocation of the current Utah State Prison located at Point of the Mountain in Draper. Meeting in a special session on Wednesday, Aug. 19, the Utah State Legislature voted 62-12 to move the Utah State Prison from Draper to an area near I-80 and 7200 West in Salt Lake City. Gov. Gary Herbert signed the resolution. The new prison will be a 4,000 bed facility and will be built at a cost of $550 million dollars. However, the question of how many inmates with a history of mental illness issues make up the prison population in Utah is one that concerns many mental health advocates.”

Lawsuit alleges Utah agencies ‘unconstitutionally delay’ mentally ill inmates’ treatment by Marjorie Cortez, Deseret News

“A federal class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of mentally ill inmates in county jails alleges state agencies such as the Utah State Hospital “unconstitutionally delay” treatment intended to restore inmates’ mental competency, thereby violating their due process rights.”

UTAH DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Parole agent accused of having sexual contact with probationer by Geoff Liesik, KSL.com

“Investigators in Carbon County say they have arrested an Adult Probation and Parole agent for allegedly having sexual contact with a probationer. Samual Thomas Bowman, 34, was arrested Tuesday night by members of the Carbon Metro Drug Task Force, according to a statement issued Thursday by the Price Police Department.”

SENTENCING REFORM

Oklahoma Corrections Board approves sentencing reform by Rick Green and Graham Lee Brewer, The Oklahoman

“The Oklahoma Board of Corrections approved Thursday a governor’s recommendation for sentencing changes that will lead to the release of hundreds of serious offenders.”

Panel reviewing Ohio’s criminal code told to be creative with reforms by Jackie Borchardt, Cleveland.com

“Work to revise Ohio’s criminal code began in earnest Thursday with state lawmakers, judges, and activists from across the political spectrum calling for bipartisan and creative solutions to the state’s growing and changing prison population.”

In test for Biden, frustrated cops line up against prison reform by Julia Edwards, Reuters

“President Barack Obama’s push for sentencing reforms that would decrease the number of Americans imprisoned – a key focus of his remaining time in office – has won support from an unlikely coalition of liberals and conservatives that includes civil rights groups, tea party Republicans and Koch Industries.”

OPINION

All Utahns share in Draper site’s future, The Salt Lake Tribune

“With the bruising battle over relocating the Utah State Prison apparently behind us, we can now look forward to the free-for-all over what do with the old site in Draper. Early indications are that this fight is shaping up to be longer than the last one. The chance to build out 680 acres at Point of the Mountain has politicians crawling over each other to realize their ambitions.”

Reform Criminal Justice for Justice, Not Political Expediency by William G. Otis and William J. Haun, Forbes

“It’s good to see President Obama and members of Congress take an interest in criminal justice reform, but their emphasis is wide of the mark. Rather than focus on building on our success in decreasing crime rates, advocates of “sentencing reform” seem to think that massively decreasing incarceration will rebuild trust in the justice system.”

 

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