Week ending March 13, 2016


Men at our Promontory Facility are participating in “Mustache March,” a way to raise awareness about addiction and to honor their loved ones who died from this disease. Here’s what they are up to: https://youtu.be/3LCGg5BgsIA


Opinion: Creating the prison land commission is a good start for resolving land use after the prison moves by the Deseret News

“The process of determining what will happen to the land left when the Utah State Prison departs from the Point of the Mountain should be thorough, transparent and open to ideas from any and all stakeholders, who include virtually every citizen.”


Parole granted to Utah man who tried to kill 3 Arby’s workers by Pamela Manson, The Salt Lake Tribune

“A Utah man who tried to kill three employees at a Salt Lake City Arby’s two decades ago will be released from prison on parole in the fall but his father, who also participated in the brutal attack, will remain behind bars for life.”

7-time felony DUI convict to parole yet again in January 2017 by Mark Shenefelt, Standard-Examiner 

“A South Weber man with seven felony DUI convictions over 16 years will get yet another chance at freedom 10 months from now.”


Fire at Salt Lake City halfway house displaces 26 residents by Erin Alberty, The Salt Lake Tribune

“A fire damaged a halfway house Wednesday in Salt Lake City, forcing 26 women to relocate. The fire began about 6:30 p.m. in a bedroom, according to a statement from the Utah Department of Corrections. An officer used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire at the correctional facility, 80 Orange St.”

Ex-inmate settles suit over prison’s failure to accommodate his disability by Marjorie Cortez, Deseret News

“Sentenced to five years to life for a first-degree felony sex offense in 1996, Richard Ramirez’s parole hinged on successful completion of the Utah State Prison’s sex offender treatment program.”


‘Smart Justice’ Leads to Lower Recidivism Rates in Michigan, 6 Other States by Joe Watson, Prison Legal News

“Several states appear to be advancing effective policies to foster successful reentry and reduce recidivism, according to a report from the New York-based Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center. Based on data tracking prisoners released in 2005 and 2007, three-year recidivism rates in Texas and Ohio fell by 11%, while Kansas’ rate decreased 15% and Michigan’s rate dropped by 18%. Mississippi, Oregon and Vermont reduced their rates by 9%, 8% and 6%, respectively.”

Prison Uniforms Make It Harder to ‘Go Straight’ by Susie Neilson, Newsweek

“In 2006, the Utah Department of Corrections (DOC) decided it had to do something about the female inmates in its facilities. The women were unruly and anxious, often refusing to comply with regulations and occasionally acting violently. The guards took a rare step back, thought for a second and came up with a theory. The female inmates might be feeling dehumanized—and acting accordingly—because of their clothes.”

Seven Things to Know About Repeat Offenders by Bill Keller, The Marshall Project

“Of all the mind-numbing statistics thrown about in the criminal justice system, perhaps none is more important than the recidivism rate – the likelihood that someone who broke the law once will do it again after being set free.”

Recidivism Among Federal Offenders: A Comprehensive Overview, report from the United States Sentencing Commission

“This report provides a broad overview of key findings from the United States Sentencing Commission’s study of recidivism of federal offenders. The Commission studied offenders who were either released from federal prison after serving a sentence of imprisonment or placed on a term of probation in 2005. Nearly half (49.3%) of such offenders were rearrested within eight years for either a new crime or for some other violation of the condition of their probation or release conditions.”

The Gaping Hole in Clinton’s and Sanders’s Plans for Criminal Justice Reform by Zoe Carpenter, The Nation

There’s a constitutional crisis in Louisiana. Although the Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a defense lawyer to anyone accused of a crime, public defenders in New Orleans and several other parishes recently started to refuse serious felony cases.”

Costs for criminal justice, sentencing reforms could fall on counties by Gloria Casas, The Chicago Tribune

“State recommendations for criminal justice and sentencing reforms make sense and are based on solid research, according to officials, but what worries Kane County leaders is the financial burden those reforms could have on local governments.”

Edovo, Maker of Tablet-Based Education For Inmates, Aims to Reduce Recidivism And Continues Grow by Anne Field, Forbes

“A lot has happened to Edovo since we wrote about them last year. The startup, which has a wireless, tablet-based education platform for  incarcerated inmates, changed its name from Jail Education Solutions, deployed its system in several states and, tomorrow,  is participating in a SXSW pitch competition for civic tech startups.”

Opinion: Alabama must build on prison reforms; new facilities offer meaningful improvement by Al.com (Alabama)

“It’s a reflection of the dire conditions in Alabama’s prisons that our governor, legislature and prison commissioner agree the only truly viable solution is to spend $800 million building four new “super prisons.”

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