Week ending August 7, 2016



August 1: High school students from across Utah visited the Utah State Prison today as part of the Utah National Guard’s Freedom Academy. The students interacted with staff and listened as four inmates shared their life stories. The Freedom Academy is designed to teach youth leaders about freedom from all aspects — especially the role they have to play in protecting it. Learn more about the program at freedomacademyutah.org


State Chooses Western-Most Parcel For Prison Site by Whittney Evans, KUER

“State officials have narrowed down the specific parcel of land where Utah’s new state prison will be built. But some environmentalists say they need more information to feel comfortable with that decision.”


Layton man dead after standoff with SWAT by Bob Mims and Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune

“Layton man was killed during an exchange of gunfire with police early Wednesday morning in Clearfield. Clearfield Police Lt. Kelly Bennett confirmed that 31-year-old Benjamin William Heaton was shot and killed by members of the Davis County Multi-Agency SWAT team during a gunbattle that erupted after a standoff that lasted several hours.”


Incorrect home measurements lead to a new trial for Utah man convicted of fatally shooting his wife by Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune

“A two-foot error made by investigators at the scene of a fatal 2012 shooting is enough to warrant a new trial for an Orem man convicted in his wife’s death, a judge ruled Wednesday.”


Ogden family raises concerns, plans legal action over prison murder by Andrew Adams, KSL

“Members of an Ogden family said Tuesday they are planning legal action over a loved one’s murder at the Utah State Prison, which they maintain could have been prevented with closer supervision and swifter intervention.”

OPINION: Dianna Maestas’ son was stabbed 30 times, but no one at the Utah DOC told her by the Standard Examiner

“In the Utah state prison system, some stabbings matter more than others.If you’re dying from stab wounds, your family gets a phone call. Prison officials also call your family if you die.”

Family sues state, corrections department over 2015 beating death of Utah prison inmate by Jennifer Dobner, The Salt Lake Tribune

“The family of a slain inmate has sued the Utah Department of Corrections in federal court, claiming the agency was negligent when it housed Julio Guerrero with a known killer in a cell with a broken security button.”


As Boot-Camp Prisons Face, New York Inmates March On by Corinne Ramey, Wall Street Journal

“At 5:30 on a misty morning in the Adirondacks, 180 prisoners leapt out of bed when a bugle call blasted over a loudspeaker. Fifteen minutes later, they were performing synchronized exercises while a drill instructor barked orders.”

Illinois Summer Camp Program Unites Jailed Moms And Their Children by Nancy Harty, CBS Chicago

“Some children are getting ready to leave for a summer camp that’s unlike most others. Forty-seven youngsters are getting ready to visit their moms in prison. The “Mom and Me Summer Camp” began 15 years ago at the Lincoln Correctional Center.”

Nashville pizza joint helps give women in crisis a second chance by Stephanie Langston, WKRN

“A popular pizza spot in Nashville has partnered with a program to give those that have traveled down the wrong path a second chance.”

Preparing for life after prison: Programs teach inmates job skills, help reduce recidivism rate by Paul Hammel, Omaha World-Herald

“You might want to check your preconceptions at the door when you enter one of the state’s newest programs to help inmates transition from prison to society.”

OPINION: Mercy Is Far Too Slow at the Justice Department, The New York Times

“President Obama last week commuted the prison terms of 214 federal inmates who were sent to prison under draconian, ’80s-era laws that have since been revised. Among them were 67 people serving life sentences, nearly all of them for nonviolent drug offenses.”

Ex-offenders work hard, reward restaurants that hire them by Eric Lagatta, The Columbus Dispatch

“It took five stints in prison for Jameel Hasan to realize he needed to make a change. The first time he was locked up at age 19 for a theft charge, “it seemed like somewhat of a joke,” Hasan said. But a 12-month sentence in 2009 for forgery? Not so much.”

Florida Gateway College, Florida Department of Corrections selection for recidivism reduction program by Suwannee Democrat

“Florida Gateway College and the Florida Department of Corrections have been selected by the United States Department of Education as one of 67 experimental sites for the Department’s Second Chance Pell Grant initiative.”

Reducing Recidivism by Reuniting Families: One Day With God at NECX by Tennessee Department of Corrections


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