Week ending Nov. 1, 2015

UTAH DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

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Inmates take 110 laps around track during Utah State Prison marathon by Mary Richards, KSL Radio/TV

“A 10K, half-marathon and marathon took place in Draper Tuesday. There were 26 participants — all inmates at the Utah State Prison. Those inmates ran together on the same skinny dirt track within the high prison fences and walls, while 13 other inmates volunteered to keep time and count laps. It took 110 laps around that track for the marathoners.”

Free to Run: Weber State coach helps stage a prison yard marathon by Christopher Chavez, Sports Illustrated

“Inmate Brian Taylor finished running 110 laps in the Oquirrh prison facility yard on Tuesday afternoon in three hours, 30 minutes and 53 seconds. It was not a punishment. It was a victory in the Wasatch Facility Marathon in Draper, Utah.”

PRISON RELOCATION

Salt Lake City envisions environmentally friendly industry around new prison by Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune

“Salt Lake City is preparing a response to the new state prison slated to be constructed west of the international airport. It isn’t a lawsuit or some other delaying tactic. Rather, it’s an ambitious “eco-industrial park,” unlike anything in the United States.”

Consultants hired to help decide prison construction process by Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News

“The state’s Prison Development Commission has hired two consultants for help making the initial decision about how to proceed with construction of a new 4,000-bed prison in Salt Lake City.”

SLC family farm, generations old, in danger after prison decision by Chris Jones, KUTV

“The debate regarding where the new Utah state prison will be built is over, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be people and families affected by the decision. The Cross E Ranch has been located at about 3300 North 2200 West for nearly 160 years. The Hinckley family has been ranching on the land since the Mormon pioneers came to Utah. The family owns 300 head of cattle on about 200 acres, but leases several thousand other acres for all their animals to graze.”

IN COURT

Man sentenced to prison for kidnapping 5-year-old from her Utah home by Jennifer Dobner, The Salt Lake Tribune

“A judge on Monday sentenced a Roy man to prison for kidnapping a 5-year-old disabled girl from her Sandy bedroom last year. Abiding by a plea agreement fashioned by attorneys in the case, Judge Charlene Barlow ordered Troy Mitchell Morley to spend a term of six years to life in the Utah State Prison.”

Utah prison inmate pleads guilty to killing cellmate by The Salt Lake Tribune

“A Utah State Prison inmate who was already serving time for a homicide has pleaded guilty to killing his cellmate.”

UTAH BOARD OF PARDONS & PAROLE

Meagan Grunwald won’t get parole hearing until 2042 by Jennifer Dobner, The Salt Lake Tribune

“A Utah teen serving a life sentence for her role in a 2014 crime spree that killed one police officer and wounded another will have to wait 27 years — until 2042 — before she will get a chance at parole.”

STORIES OF INTEREST

Why do so many prisoners end up back in prison? A new study says maybe they don’t by Leon Neyfakh, Slate

“But what if the BJS’s findings have been fundamentally misunderstood? That’s the provocative contention of a recent paper published in the journal Crime & Delinquency, the title of which is “Following Incarceration, Most Released Offenders Never Return to Prison.”

Why Can’t We End Mass Incarceration by Nick Pinto, Rolling Stone

“On October 6th, news reports heralded a historic development: The world’s largest incarcerator, the United States of America, was about to make the largest one-time release of prisoners in its history. The U.S. Justice Department announced that it would be releasing some 6,000 inmates from federal prisons before the end of their original sentences.”

Amid calls for reform, a look at stats — and stories — from the US prison system by Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency

“Saul Green wanted to turn his life around. Green was caught stealing out of a subway station vending machine and charged with larceny 24 years ago. After the judge tossed out the case, he was later sentenced to prison on a crack cocaine conviction.”

OPINION: Safety and Justice Complement Each Other by Glenn E. Martin, The New York Times

“America’s most successful form of prison diversion has been white skin. With that qualification, members of an elite club, especially the wealthiest, avoid the catastrophes that land our most vulnerable citizens in prison. For others, institutions of punishment have long served as substitutes for community-based mental health and drug treatment, job training and placement, quality education, and affordable health care.”

This political scientist spent a year in prison. Here’s what he learned by Jeff Smith, The Washington Post

“I have looked at this subject from more angles than most. I’ve been a state senator. I’ve been a federal prisoner. I’m now a public policy professor with a new book on the subject.”

OPINION: Mass Incarceration is a Horrible Failure by Allegra M. McLeod, The New York Times

“We are not moving nearly fast enough to reduce incarceration. Over 2 million Americans live caged behind bars, a 550 percent increase in the last 40 years. One in 35 American adults is under criminal supervision of some form and one in nine African-American children has a parent in prison or jail.”

OPINION: Release of 6,000 prisoners could mean new additions to the workforce, not a return to crime by Peter Cove, Fox News

“As a private employment firm America Works has helped thousands of ex-offenders find and keep jobs in the span of 30-years. This led us to team up with the Manhattan Institute, a policy think tank, to address the issue of fighting recidivism, which is more important now than ever.”

OPINION: Prop. 47 sentencing reform is working as promised by Jeff Rosen, San Jose Mercury News

“A new report from Stanford Law School details some of Proposition 47’s known and estimated impacts. It finds that the law has indeed reduced prison and jail populations, including helping California meet a federal mandate to reduce prison crowding a year before the deadline.”

Improving writing, reducing recidivism by Allison M. Roberts, Herald-Journal of Spartanburg

“Spartanburg County Detention Center is trying a different, more creative way of tackling recidivism. Every week, four creative writing classes are offered to the inmates. Two of the classes focus on the mechanics of writing, and two are designed to be more therapeutic, said Melissa Kucemba, an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer working in the jail.”

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