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Inside Utah State Prison: Should it stay or should it go?

Most facilities have years of use left

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  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    Feb. 24, 2013 6:11 p.m.

    The promoter claim a $20 Billion economic benefit to Utah by developing the 600 acres
    prison site. Kennecott Copper mine is a $1 Billion dollar company. It is impossible for 600 acres to be equal to 20 Kennecott's.

    There are plenty of other 600 acre sites in Salt Lake and Utah County to develop without moving the prison.

    We don't want to become congested like Denver. Spread the development around. The Point of the Mountain is already congested.

    Leave the prison where it is. Give the developers some other 600 acres with the same tax perks. Development is good. There are other good locations to develop.

  • Chase Saint George, UT
    Feb. 24, 2013 8:41 p.m.

    The prison should be moved further away from hospitals and courthouses (Places prisoners rarely need to go). This way they will require more transportation and fuel costs - creating jobs. Shovel ready jobs. Brilliant.

    I'm glad we've elected good politicians who spend their days dreaming up ways to spend our money and take care of their buddies. There is nothing better than a solution in search of a problem.

    If anyone needs to be furloughed, it's politicians.

    Tax money is sacred. It should be treated that way. Politicians should be finding ways to save the tax payers money, create value, and enforce the laws on the books - not the opposite.

    When CEO's don't perform, they get canned - as they should. When politicians don't perform, they get re-elected.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 2:19 a.m.

    I suspect the "move the prison" idea was generated by just a few big shots, who either are, or have been, state legislators, (or their golfing buddies.)

    Most of us understand that the RINO's on Utah's capital hill couldn't care less about their constituents. They sheeple seem to re-elect them no matter what they do.

    Problem is; the "move the prison" idea will turn out to be a much more expensive debacle than they have ever saddled the state taxpayers with!

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 3:20 a.m.

    Spot on comments so far, there is no economic benefit or security risk for the relocation of our prison. Some say its overcrowded, but changing some blue laws and deportations we could unload half the prison population to MEXICO and S America where they come from. Especially in drug related victimless crimes. Sending them back to country of origin is worse penalty than putting them in the luxurious accommodations of Hotel Utah Prison.

    With the threat of state funding losses it would not be wise to put the public at more financial tax risk and development risk on land deemed not safe for development or homes or commercial use by the USGS. Government greed allowed development on vulnerable beach property in West Jordan and South Jordan expansion and the home owners are now finding out why the USGS had also condemned the unstable land from homes and commercial development.

    Its very unlikely any developers will foot the bill to relocate the prison so the state must use caution and common sense financial consideration before any more major spending commitments.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 6:22 a.m.

    If the money supply were infinite, or at least not so tight, then move it to whereever. Given the situation as it is, let land developers pay for the move if they feel its worth it.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Feb. 25, 2013 6:43 a.m.

    Politicians just lining there pockets with these deals.

  • mightyhunterhaha Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 7:03 a.m.

    Stop reporting the Draper Mayor. He is only serving his interests not the interests of the State. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. The problem of moving prison is when we go to find the two birds or even one they will be gone. They claim high tech wants to come to Utah. Then why hasn't the land around Adobe been sold? Because it's a wish and dream not a truth.

  • mdp Bountiful, utah
    Feb. 25, 2013 7:32 a.m.

    A stupid, unnecessary, and expensive plan borne of self interests and likely bribes.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    Only if the developers who covet that land agree to pay the full cost of moving the prison.

    Otherwise it's just more Republican Socialism.

    Socialize expenses, Privatize profits.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 8:05 a.m.

    The government of the United States of America has been closing military bases and selling the land for approximately 40 years and the government hasn't made a fortune out of those sales and benefits. Some developers have made money. Some of those bases were on pristine land in great or fabulous locations. It has not changed the economy of those places but the rich got richer in the process, either those that procured the land or the developers that took over. Some of those bases, since they were military bases were not perfect locations. Places like the Presidio and San Diego may have been perfect places due to weather or location but they were few and far between.

    The Point of the Mountain prison has advantages for prisoners and their families to be closer to each other. We have county jails that are newer and even though small benefit the rural areas with jobs and supplemental jobs. It provides separation for those offenders that need separation from other prisoners. The Gunnison prison is a prime central area for an expanded prison, separate from county jails. Tooele is close to Nevada to help relieve Nevada's prisons, money.

  • cns St George, Utah
    Feb. 25, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    If the estimate of $600 million to move the prison, a $20 million annual savings in maintenance and $140 million for the land is accurate then it would take 23 years for the taxpayer to break even. It would take longer if the land is sold for less than $140 million.
    Will there will be additional costs if more prison personnel are needed to replace volunteers unwilling to travel to the new site?
    40,000 jobs -- are those jobs that would be created only if they were in Draper or are they jobs that would be created somewhere else in Utah? How many of those 40,000 are already somewhere else in Utah but would just be moved to Draper?
    Red Smith has a point -- I am very skeptical about the $20 billion in economic benefit.
    Finally, I am concerned that this proposal to move the prison is being railroaded through the legislature. Will the legislature make a thoughtful and in-depth review of the proposal or will they just hand-off the decision to a commission largely composed of representatives of those who will benefit from the move -- and I don't mean the taxpayer.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    The last paragraph said it all. Draper wants more money.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    Land developers and county commissioners of the past have their process in order for money and dollars. If high ranking officers want to have money for everything they do for their constituents, "Where is the Money, if you want me to help you?" Money may not be the root of all evil, but it is the route of the evil for some of elected officials that want gain for their efforts. When we lived in Illinois for 9 years, a state that has been rampant with the effects of bribes and offers to public officials and many of those high ranking people spending time in jails and out of office, it seems as if people would learn. However, they fall into the same process as they are smarter than those other guys that got caught. I believe there are plenty that can talk around in circles and appear to be doing the right thing.

    You can choose to be happy without being rich. I have lived in plenty of poor countries where the people were happy and glad to be alive, each day. They may have lived in a place that didn't have freedoms as we do nor prosper.

  • goodnight-goodluck S.L.C., UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    There is no reason aside from the greed of a few to move the prison, true the main building from 1950 needs to be replaced. The rest of the campus has 25-35 years of useful life left. All of the studies have suggested the ground under it will not cover the costs to rebuild it elsewhere. Hence the sham Independant Commission with authority to tax issued bonds and enter contracts with little or no oversight. And the incentives to a "for profit" prison corporation to bid on it.

    Ahh a shred of truth, the Prison will be sold, Private Providers will build new facilities with the guarantee the state will keep them filled and everyone will be happy, except the taxpayer who is on the hook for it all.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    This idea doesn't pass the "smell test".

    If the legislators want to even consider this goofy idea they may want to put off any sort of ethics reform - until AFTER they've lined their pockets.

    That way they can be "innocent of any wrongdoing". (snicker, snicker)

  • Peter Coyotl West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    The deal has been done. The pockets have been lined. The prison is going to be moved to open up the land for the backroom dealers.The heck with the employees who wil have to relocate or lose their jobs. The heck with the families who cannot travel far to visit and encourage their loved ones. The heck with the tax payer stuck with footing the bill. This is what happens when a state has, what is in essence,a one-party system.

    The elected folks in power can do whatever they want to do. They know that they will get away with it-unless they leave an e-mail trail and/or meet with dubious characters in doughnut shops. If things get too hot they clamor for reform until the heat dissipates and everything goes back to their version of normal.

    Our state motto should be "Where is my slice?"

  • D-Ruck Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    My2Cents: I generally agree with you. BUT it would be irresponsible for our state to send a bulk of illegal alien prison inmates back to their home nations. While you view this as a punishment, in reality they would be back in our neighborhoods within a week. You'd have murderers and rapists never serving any time or punishment for their horrendous acts. How many people do you think are serving time for drug-related crimes (alone) at the prison? I'll give you a hint, the prison reports 4%. That'd make some room, but it's negligible. Doesn't seem like space constraints are driving this conversation anyway.

    JWB: The county jail program is not a solution. Do you really think there are 7,000 beds available in the counties? And do you really think the counties, which have proven inadequate during various escapes (Daggett, Uintah, Garfield, Weber, the list goes on)...are capable of housing actual dangerous criminals? As a taxpayer and resident, I'm good with the counties taking petty criminals. But don't toss a massive dump of state inmates and felons in there. The counties (and all of us) would be the losers.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    I am concerned about the lack of air conditioning. Those poor inmates shouldn't be subjected to such cruel and unusual punishment.
    Wait a minute. I don't have A/C. I've got a swamp cooler that I can't afford to run all summer.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 25, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    The rush to pass the prison relocation legislation makes the financial projections suspect. If the projections were legitimate, the legislature would make them available for public comment and analysis. Experience teaches us this is just another scam to fleece the taxpayers for the benefit of a few greedy cronies.

  • Aunt Sue SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
    Five years ago, the economics of moving the jail were found to be wanting. They are still wanting.
    There are plenty of areas available now for new job creation, both vacant land and vacant buildings.
    Private jails are rampant with scandals. How can you pull out money for profit without cutting services,endangering the inmates and the public, eliminating employee health and retirement? (then these employees look to the government for help)
    Longer commutes equals more air pollution, which is just what we don't need in this valley.
    The loss of highly qualified volunteers would be huge in terms of money and expertise. Their help prepares inmates to enter the workforce after their release, not return to crime and prison.
    Family needs access to support inmates before and after their release.
    Stop wasting money and time, get the legislature back to doing their job, and let the private sector do theirs.
    Draper Mayor - GIVE IT UP!

  • Swiss Price, Utah
    Feb. 25, 2013 10:56 a.m.

    A question that I havent seen asked is how much pollution does the prison add or subtract from the pollution problem in the bowl.
    Could the prisioners be trained to work in the hi tech industries that would have to build around it if not allowed to build through it.

  • Spiff Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    If the prison is moved too far away, I guarantee you over 2/3 of the current guards will quit or retire. I know, I am one. The many people who volunteer will no longer, since the prison will be too far away. Where are these money projections coming from? Are they from some Privately run prison company that wants to take over the prison system here in Utah by saying how much money can be saved? Look at the prison escapes in other states. Privately run prisons, do we what this here in Utah?

  • mightyhunterhaha Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    Put it to the people of the State for a Vote. If it passes then assign realors from St. george, Delta and Tremonton to have the sales. That would help the smaller communites and and fairness to the process. No one from Salt Lake or Utah conunt should be invloved with the sale or profit in any form. No business associate or family member of any Gov. official, past committees or Draper should be allowed to participate with any sales or profit.

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    It is all about money and who gets most of it into his pocket. The relocation of the old territorial prison brought speculators from all quarters wanting to develop it for themselves.

    The site was saved by a Sugar House Merchant who rallied support to preserve the site as a park and school site. A look back at history and what can be done by a few forward looking citizens willing to fight the big money establishment.

  • Utah Dem Ogden, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 12:17 p.m.

    Okay let's see if I understand this - it would cost $600 mil to move the prison, and a new prison would save $20 mil to maintain (over how many years?), then we could sell the current 690 acres for $202,898 per acre (in Draper, really?). Then POM site would create 40,000 jobs (from whom?), and bring in $20 bil (over how long?). Sorry I did not see a cost for a new prison
    Fortunately I don't know about the prison system, do the inmates pay any costs to be there?
    Then we also have many schools In our state older than 62 years and with a much better purpose yet the legislature doesn't even want to spend money to find out their structural needs.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    With all the hype about crime being at record lows maybe we don't need it. Just let the current batch of inmates attrition out.
    What? The data does not track with the reality? Hmmm.

  • CynicJim Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 2:43 p.m.

    My house is the same age as the prison and therefore needs replacing, how do I get my property on such a replacement list. If I gotta live in my 'out of date' ol' place, the prison does too! I could also use a new sofa.

  • Harley Rider Small Town, CT
    Feb. 25, 2013 3:57 p.m.

    And who benefits with moving the Prison ? Not the Tax Payer, however the Fat Cats - Politicians , Developers , Bankers , Public Officials certainly will.

    By the Way - All Prisons and County Jails - Need to be turned into farms , factories , labor support services etc , as Tax Payers can no longer afford to pay for the feeding , clothing , health care , dental care , shoes , cable tv , and the basic running of day to day operations of prisons and jails - So let these criminals start learning that do a stupid criminal offense and guess what - Ya Gotta Pay Your Way - and that's the way it should be

  • slpa1 West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 4:02 p.m.

    @1conservative

    You're right on the mark. I'll even name names. His name is Al Mansell, as in Mansell Reality, also as in former Senate President Al Mansell. When this idea came up a couple of years ago, Mansell tried to get the legislature to sneak a bill through that would eliminate some of the bidding processes. I think the press got on it, and it disappeared.

    The idea of having the prison be in some remote area is naturally appealing, as we feel somehow safer if the inmates are far away. It is important to remember, that a prison requires a huge support system of transportation, medical, prison programs, guards and other employees, and so on. The infrastructure has to be in place, and there has to be a community for the employees to live. That means schools, churches, stores, gas stations, and so on.

    Building a prison in a remote area is a huge and expensive undertaking. Creating all the necessary infrastructure can create a lot of jobs. However, there are still the transportation and medical expenses that will be ongoing, and that do not create jobs or generate revenue.

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 5:57 p.m.

    This article clearly indicated that the useful life of the prison in most areas
    is 25-30 years. Those areas that need to be replaced could be razed and replaced.
    Moving the prison is possibly the worst idea elected leaders have concocted in decades.
    If this select committee is able to bond Utah Taxpayers there needs to be a way to
    legally demand total accountabliltiy and stop the process. The comments are spot on it is something that needs to be stopped. Citizen input needs to happen, The claim of 40,000 jobs and $40 billion benefit really borders on fantasy and deceit. Citizens of Utah are being taken
    for complete fools and a taxpayer rebellion would certainly be in order.

  • mightyhunterhaha Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 26, 2013 6:37 a.m.

    Get ready for the new Sincrete fiasco. The State tried Sincrete o fix he freeways and had to pay over double what they planned as Sincrete was a huge failure. The prison move will be the same. It will make some people rich but cost us he citizens millions of dollars. And yes we will have to pay for it.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Feb. 26, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    There are ways to move the prison closer to where the criminals are in the state, and build in an area currently not being used for much other than criminal activity. Move the prison to downtown Ogden. The city's main strip is full of empty office buildings. There are abandoned warehouses, parking garages, factories, all prime locations for a new place. And the majority of prisoners come either from there, or West Valley.

    Think "Win-Win"... It's time the prison moved... it's way too close to Provo, which we all know does not produce criminals.