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(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) A record-high 360 men and women inmates line up for their high school graduation procession at the Draper prison in June 2013 to celebrate an important milestone on their paths toward returning to the community as law-abiding citizens.
Utah lawmaker introduces resolutions on prison move
First Published Feb 15 2014 12:02 pm • Last Updated Feb 16 2014 09:24 pm

Two resolutions introduced Friday are aimed at getting a show of support from lawmakers for moving the Utah State Prison.

Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, is sponsoring concurrent and joint resolutions that say lawmakers conclude moving the prison from its nearly 700-acre site in Draper to one or more new locations is in the state’s best interest. The resolutions urge "careful, serious and deliberate consideration" of several factors as the process moves forward. Those factors include:

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• Whether to locate the new prison on land already owned by the state or land that it may purchase or lease

• Reform efforts aimed at reducing incarceration

• Future programming needs

• Maintaining volunteer and staff support

• Access to medical and court facilities

• Compatability of new facilities with surrounding land uses

• State funding

• Ensuring taxpayers get maximum value out of the current prison site

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• Phased construction of a new facility

A preliminary report presented to the Prison Relocation and Development Authority recently concluded moving the prison was justified based on the age and condition of the existing facility; projected inmate growth; and an opportunity to provide innovative rehabilitation programs at a new prison.

The study by MGT of America said Utah will need to add 3,000 new beds to house the anticipated 10,000 inmates who will be incarcerated in the state by 2033. It pegged the cost of adding those beds and keeping existing facilities maintained at $783 million over the next two decades.

MGT estimates the state will need to spend $1 billion over that same period to build and maintain a new facility.


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