Comments about ‘In our opinion: Rehabilitation, volunteerism and prison relocation’

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Published: Saturday, Oct. 20 2012 1:00 p.m. MDT

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Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

Real estate developers run the state, so I have few illusions that the state will do the wise and responsible thing, which is to leave the prison where it is.

The _only_ reason this subject is even being discussed is because developers and the politicians they own are drooling at the thought of how much money the stand to make with sweetheart real estate deals between them and the state - all at our expense.

Noodlekaboodle
Salt Lake City, UT

@Blue
Ya, you got it. The land isn't worth what it costs to move the prison, let alone the added expense just to taxpayers. Lawyers, prison employee's, family members of prisoners are all harmed by moving the prison to a remote location. The prison is safe, the state does their job keeping the prisoners in the prison. The only reason to move the prison is so a couple of well connected developers can build 400 homes with just 3 colors and 3 floor plans and a couple of strip malls. We shouldn't let it happen.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Socialize the expenses and privatize the profits. That's the Utah GOP's way of doing it.

Steve Cottrell
Centerville, UT

Is it a conflict of interest when the leading proponents of moving the prison happen to be land developers and bankers?

utahprincipal801
Sandy, UT

Ask why Al Mansell, real estate developer, has his fingers in this project. It's not because he and his cronies have Christ-like desires for the inmates. Families, clergy and volunteers are available here to support these individuals now, and there is absolutely no reason to move the prison for anyone except those wanting to make money. Our stake president made weekly visits to a neighbor's son who had made a tragic mistake. If the prison gets moved, this kind of support will be difficult for many.

stevo123
slc, ut

Enriching their cronies at the expense of the tax payer.Welcome to Utah.

Homer1
MIDVALE, UT

We have already been down this road. The developers and banking cabal in the state Legislature doesn't have to win every time--only the last time. They will keep this up until they get their way, with votes, with their cronies in the right offices, and by wearing down the public. Several years ago they put together the committee to review this. Result: about 500 million dollars to move prison with a potential real estate value to sale the land to developers of 93 million dollars. A financially devastating proposal from the point of view of the state. So, are these legislators defending or advocating for the best interests of the state? No, they drool about getting land from the sate and making their big deals as they build their subdivisions and strip malls.

The proposal was reviewed, debated, analyzed and denined. Let's move on to other problems facing our state.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I suppose moving the prison out of the middle of nowhere sounds great. No one wants to look at a prison or have it close to where they live. But bottom line it's not just the prisoners and these other factors. You have many employees that have to run a prison. Most of them make $15-20 an hour and probably can't afford $500 in gas to commute to work. You also have to have attorneys and judges nearby as I understand things as well as doctors, nurses, psychologists and other support personnel. Yes, we have a facility near Gunnison, but Gunnison is a town and other nearby towns exists to house these workers. I think any new prison shouldn't be too much of a burden for the potential workers and others that have to service the prison as it is unlikely that the state will pony up to pay these people higher wages or compensation for their efforts and these expenses.

Ken Hollen
South Jordan, UT

It is true that if we give the land to a developer for nothing, there will be no money to build a new prison. If we subordinate the State interest in the land for development, share the profits and provide for a minimum return on the land, there is enough money. We would also improve the community as a whole and we do not need to find a remote area to build. We have a vast space that is currently of minimal use between SLC and the Great Salt Lake. Buy moving to this area we can use a land that will never be used, free up prime real estate, build a more efficent facility that provides better security for the the immate as well as the employee with close proximity to courts and the airport.

John Jackson
Sandy, UT

This is a wonderful package from the DesNews today, the two stories and editorial. You have persuaded me the prison should not be moved. Perhaps it will be that no matter how much value that land will ever have, the best use of the property will remain as being site of the prison. Only if we were to find another site close to those who serve the prisoners should it be moved. I wondered, as I read the articles, how volunteerism at the Draper prison compares to that at other prisons nationwide. Anybody there at the Deseret News know? I would guess some, maybe many, prisons do not have programs where volunteers come in just to share time with the prisoners.

Love is the most important thing in changing people. What is the old phrase? "I don't care how much you know until I know how much you care." Well, in this case, the prisoners don't care that we want them to change unless they first knows we care about them. Love is not a stock part of our rehabilitation system, though, and, along with family visits, these volunteers are perhaps the biggest way prisoners get love.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

.. or else do away with prisons. The Old Testament law employed no prisons). Instead they had a system of restitution to the victims of crime - funded by the criminal. There were also floggings and capital punishment for perpetrators of the most serious crimes.

The ancient Anglo-Saxon laws, so admired by Thomas Jefferson, employed a system of fines, hopefully heavier fines for heavier crimes.

For Book of Mormons believers the good king Benjamin did not suffer his people to be "cast into dungeons".

Our system is an expensive one, as the article states, relying heavily upon prisons at the public expense, punishing the peaceable and honest part of the popuylation a second time, and with no guarantee of success. Penitentiaries do not usually make penitent, nor corrective institutions correct anything, nor reformatories reform. Fines and restitution can compensate the victims of crime. An indigent offender could compensate through production of public services and be freed from that obligation immediately the required compensation be produced, with no minimum term, learning to work and endure and to repay all at once.

If none of this is acceptable to you, consider that "home confinement" is an option today and might be extended.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Re GIldas

You've got something really interesting there.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Would relandscaping the prison so it wouldn't be an eyesore be a better cheaper alternative?

Brahmabull
sandy, ut

Yeah this is the answer... move the prison so we can develop the last square inch of land in the salt lake valley. That would create more traffic, more pollution, and more big city problems. Not only that, but the amount the land is worth is nothing compared to what it would cost to move the prison. Why aren't more people in real estate if it is this easy to get your state to bow down to you so you stand to make millions?? This is rediculous.

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