Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News archives
The Utah State Prison and surrounding area in Salt Lake County.

It is interesting to watch the political evolution of ideas. Recently, the idea has been thrown out to relocate the Utah State Prison. It seems like a reasonable idea; an old facility in need of renovation that is being encroached upon by expanding development should be relocated away from population centers.

Having moved from Sugar House to the unpopulated point-of-the-mountain, logic would suggest that the new prison would be moved to Tooele County, or perhaps expand the facility at Gunnison. But the list of potential sites has the new prison right in the path of future developments in Salt Lake County, or on our doorstep at the Davis County line. Apparently prisoner advocates are concerned that a distant prison would inconvenience families wanting to visit inmates. The solution is no better than the problem.

My concern is two-fold. The location north of the airport will negatively affect development in southern Davis County and stigmatize existing property values. My other concern is for the taxpayers of Utah. I can foresee an arrangement where developers of the current prison property receive a sweetheart deal on the land while taxpayers pay to move the prison. If the solution is to relocate the prison from one populated area to another, let’s leave it where it is.

Brian Horrocks

North Salt Lake