Week ending June 5, 2016



The Wasatch Music Education Program at the Utah State Prison began in 2006. At the end of 2008, Ken Green took over direction of the program; he was joined in 2011 by David Aguirre.


New training for police on sex assault, domestic violence and LGBT issues by Ben Winslow, Fox 13

“The agency that certifies and disciplines all police officers in Utah plans to implement new training protocols on rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence. Corrections officers will be given specific training on inmates who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex.”


‘More than the condemned’: 110 Utah prison inmates earn adult high school diplomas by Morgan Jacobsen, Deseret News

“Lance Rylander was a sophomore in high school when he became a father. In an instant, his responsibilities expanded beyond those of his peers, beyond going to class and getting homework done. So in an effort to take care of his new family, Rylander started attending night school and working during the day.”

Draper Historic Commission wants to preserve prison history by Kayla Goodson, The Salt Lake Tribune

“The city Historic Preservation Commission wants to preserve a piece of the history of the Utah State Prison. A new prison is planned west of Salt Lake City International Airport and is expected to be finished sometime in 2020, at which point inmates will be moved and the prison in Draper will be torn down. The commission wants a reminder of the lockup in its current location. This is proving difficult, however, because the prison is owned by the state and not the city.”

Utah Dept. of Corrections  gets in sticky situation with bee swarm on Fox 13

“The Utah Department of Corrections had a bit of a sticky situation with some unexpected visitors.”

Utah prison inmate dies of apparent suicide by The Salt Lake Tribune

“An inmate died early Friday morning after an apparent suicide at the Utah State Prison. Officers conducting a count of prisoners found Matthew Lynn Johnston, 36, hanging and unresponsive in his cell in the Olympus Facility at approximately 4 a.m., officials said.”


Layton man sent to prison after $14M investment scam by Mark Shenefelt, Standard-Examiner

“A state judge has sentenced a Layton man to six prison terms arising out of a $14 million investment and real estate loan scheme that included a pitch for money to fund a reality TV show.”

Judge: No hard time for defendant convicted of attempted murder by Tracie Sullivan, St. George News

“A Cedar City man won’t be doing any hard time in the Utah State Prison for his role in an attempted murder three years ago – he’s going home, a 5th District Judge ruled Friday.”


OPINION: Utah prison site brings another headache by The Salt Lake Tribune

“Hold the wrecking ball. The Utah State Prison in Draper will need to serve us just a bit longer, maybe years longer, now that state officials have determined their preferred site for a replacement — near the Great Salt Lake — may not only be marshy, unstable and a preferred home for migratory birds and other wildlife.”


Why some California inmates are turning to Shakespeare by Story Hinckley, Christian Science Monitor

“To prepare themselves for the outside world, some California inmates are performing Shakespeare plays. The Arts in Corrections (AIC) program is made possible by a $3.5 million state grant, which is distributed through contracts with 10 different arts organizations to teach at 19 state prisons.”

How Uncle Sam Became Uncle Tyrant by Steve Forbes, Forbes

“OUR FOUNDING FATHERS understood that tyranny wasn’t likely to come from a foreign invasion but from the step-by-step erosion of our freedoms by an expanding government. This is what we are facing today. Most people have no conception of the slippery slope we’re on.”

Democratic Leadership Is Missing in Action on Mass Incarceration by Inimai M. Chattier and Ames Grawert, The Nation

“Even though it now looks like Americans will be deprived the drama of a contested Republican convention, the gathering in Cleveland could hold at least one surprise.”

Breaking the cycle: New Legacy aims to help ex-cons reintegrate and fight the pattern of recidivism by Michael L. Jones, LEO Weekly

“When he was 12 years old, Kenny Tilley used drugs for the first time with an older family member. In 2005, he served his first stint in prison for a robbery committed to support his habit. Over the next decade, he would be incarcerated several more times for drug-related offenses. Each time he was released, he tried to change his life, but it was hard to do when he kept returning to the same place where he started using drugs.”

Closing Indiana prison will save $2.25M, officials say by Madeline Buckley, IndyStar

“The state will close a minimum-security prison, a move that could generate funds to help communities handle an influx of offenders that are diverted from state prisons to county jails after sentencing reforms passed by the legislature in 2014.”

Prison trying to build on  trend of fewer reoffending inmates by Jeremy Blackman, Concord Monitor

“In 2005, New Hampshire reached a new low in a mounting recidivism crisis. More than half of all offenders were coming back behind bars, many within just months of finding freedom. The rate of inmates returning to state prison within three years of release spiked to nearly 50 percent for men and close to 60 percent for women.”

Obama commutes 42 more federal sentences by Nicole Duran, Washington Examiner

“President Obama on Friday continued his press to overhaul the nation’s sentencing laws for drug-related crimes by commuting the prisons terms of another 42 federal felons.”

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