The PRC and the legislature agreed that those savings would, in a manner of a just a few years, make up for the higher upfront costs of the Salt Lake City site. Additionally, the Commission determined that the Salt Lake City site was best for correctional facility employees, friends and family members of the incarcerated, and the hundreds of volunteers who visit the prison. The site is close to the state’s major transportation networks and population centers, providing each of these groups with convenient access to the site.
- Keeping the prison in Draper would have cost the state an estimated $239 million in repairs and upgrades over the next 20 years just to keep it operating at its current capacity.
- A new correctional facility allows the state to expand treatment and evidence-based programming that helps make the public safer by reducing the chance that people will commit new crimes after release. This, coupled with the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, is part of an overall strategy to slow the growth in the number of offenders being incarcerated and reduce recidivism, both of which will help limit the number of new prison beds, and the costs to provide them.
- The state would have to spend an additional $150 million to add program space at the prison.
- Modern design can make prisons safer for both the staff and the incarcerated. It also saves money and leads to better outcomes for offenders by making better use of our corrections staff time. For example, state-of-the-art surveillance technologies will eliminate the need for staffing watchtowers and corrections officers can be redeployed from remote observation points at the end of the long rows of cells to provide more-effective direct supervision and increased pro-social interaction which prepares inmates for their return to our communities.
- Slow the growth in the number of people being sentenced to prison.
- Focus prison beds on those convicted of serious and violent crimes.
- Strengthen probation and parole supervision.
- Increase treatment and rehabilitation services for offenders.
- Provide more support to local corrections systems.
- Increase oversight and accountability to ensure a fair, secure and affordable criminal justice system.
A modern state correctional facility is needed to fully implement criminal justice reform by:
- Replacing a facility that lacks adequate, flexible space for treatment, rehabilitation, education and job-training programs that prepare inmates for a successful, safe and lasting re-entry into society.
- Using technological innovation and advancements in security systems that allow for more efficient management of the offender population.
- Changing the way corrections officers interact with incarcerated individuals through direct supervision, which allows officers to directly interact with inmates to address issues before they escalate. These modern supervision improvements have been shown to reduce violence in prisons, enhance programming and decrease sexual assaults.