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A bit more money for prisons, new troopers

Published March 9, 2012 12:36 am

Public Safety and Corrections • Cash a little looser this year.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Department of Corrections will have to use leftover money from previous years to fund its Parole Violator Center, but lawmakers provided $2 million a year to pay for operational costs and $1 million in new funding to county jails to house more state prisoners. Leftover funds will pay for rising medical costs for prisoners.

Juvenile Justice Services took a funding hit. Four youth-receiving centers — in Salt Lake City, Provo, Ogden and Farmington — will face reduced operating hours.

The Department of Public Safety will see additional Utah Highway Patrol troopers and be able to give some senior officers pay raises. The state crime lab will get funding to hire a new forensic investigator and increase the salary of its firearms expert. State courts received funding for its only request this year: a legal self-help center for residents in the most populated parts of the state.

Two bills aimed at sex offenders are awaiting the governor's signature. HB13 would allow certain sex offenders to petition a judge for removal from the registry after five years instead of 10. HB18 would remove kidnapping as a crime worthy of the list.

Mentally ill sex offenders could be forcibly committed to the state hospital under HB14, introduced in response to the case of a sex offender who had to be released because he was not physically violent enough to be committed.

A compromise measure, HB307, would limit the types of evidence judges could hear when convicted criminals claimed factual innocence. HB52 would ensure criminals could not profit from their crimes through book or movie deals.