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The Utah Department of Corrections and its sworn officers and agents recently bestowed honorary warden titles on three lawmakers and the executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Utah Sen. Lyle Hillyard, Sen. Daniel Thatcher, Rep. Eric Hutchings and Kelly Atkinson were recognized for their efforts on behalf of these UDC employees.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
“In the aftermath of the deadly shooting of Officer Doug Barney, by a parolee released from the Utah State Prison, House Speaker Greg Hughes stood behind criminal justice reform passed by the legislature last session.”
“Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew Durrant has it right: “Putting offenders who previously would have gone to jail or prison into the community, without treatment, will almost certainly increase crime. … The reform initiative not only makes substantive changes to criminal law, but requires a significant cultural change, which might be the bigger challenge.”
“A new death penalty bill is making its way through the Utah Legislature. Rep. Paul Ray, who made waves last year with his successful bill reinstating the firing squad, is sponsoring House Bill 136. It would make aggravated human trafficking a capital offense if a child dies in the process of being trafficked for forced labor or sex.”
UTAH BOARD OF PARDONS AND PAROLE
“The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has decided Douglas Alan Yoakam, who killed a man and critically wounded a woman in Mill Creek Canyon in 1977, will spend the rest of his life in prison.”
STORIES OF INTEREST
“A study funded by the National Science Foundation will explore if prison visitation can help reduce recidivism rates and whether there are gender, racial, and ethnic differences in these patterns.”
“The Congressionally mandated task force studying the nation’s overcrowded and costly federal prison system Tuesday called for major changes that could reduce the federal prison population by 60,000.”
“Mississippi’s attorney general said Wednesday that he will ask lawmakers to approve the firing squad, electrocution or nitrogen gas as alternate methods of execution in case the state is prevented from giving lethal injections.”
“A local prosecutor is optimistic about many elements of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed criminal justice reforms, and a local educator sees potential in some education reforms, though he’d like more details — especially on where the money is going to come from to pay for them.”
“A year ago, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley condemned a sentencing reform bill backed by Ted Cruz as “lenient” and “dangerous.” Eight months later, it was Cruz’s turn. Explaining his opposition to a sentencing reform bill backed by Grassley, Cruz described it as dangerously lenient.”
“Gov. Andrew Cuomo is once again this year making a push for reforming how juvenile offenders are treated in the criminal justice system. He wants to raise the age of adult prosecution to 18.”