Prison program aims to keep inmates clean after they're released

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  • The Judge Kaysville, UT
    July 1, 2011 12:48 p.m.

    RE: Let's be real

    Think about it--what costs society more? Paying for a drug program to reduce recidivism or having a person return to prison time and time again? The individual who "gave 140 months to the state" in prison cost taxpayers $330,000. Had the CON-QUEST program existed the first time he was incarcerated, chances are at least 80 percent of those 140 months would not have occurred. (Stats from USDOJ on recidivism of criminals in UT, based on average 22 month first time drug sentence.) That's a savings of more than $255,000 on just one inmate. Figuring the average inmate drug program cost of around $50k, (again, DOJ stats), the state would've pocketed $205,750. That's for ONE INMATE. Do the math. These programs work and they save the taxpayer loads of cash.

  • Manny Saint George, UT
    July 1, 2011 8:20 a.m.

    This is a very good program for the prisoners for many reasons. The most important being, that they are probably "in prison" because of alcohol or drugs. I don't know the stats for sure, but I'd say 75% of all prisoners committed their crime while under the influence or becuase of possession or selling of drugs.

    Hopefully this program can help them realize their situation and how to recognize their own addiction or abuse to drugs and alcohol. If this program can help them return to society more productive, then great.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    July 1, 2011 4:53 a.m.

    RE: lets be real

    Sure sounds like fun, spend time in PRISON to get an education. I am sure young kids are lining up for that, to avoid student loans.
    Even with a college degree it is still an uphill battle for those coming out of prison. It is extremely difficult to get any kind of job.
    The men in this story were suffering from drug addiction, which for whatever reason our society has decided is best treated by locking its citizens up.
    One third of those in prison are there for drug related crimes.

  • braandtje OREM, UT
    June 30, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    Re: let's be real

    They graduated from a substance-abuse treatment program; not Harvard.

  • Let's be real Salt Lake City, UT
    June 30, 2011 8:05 p.m.

    Thats a cool program. That is absolutely awesome that they can have the opportunity to get educated and to be a better force for good. I have just one suggestion. Why would we as taxpayers want to make sure that a prisoner has a free education before they get out? Does it mean that I can go there for a few years, grab an education and not have all those nasty student loans hanging over my head like I do now? Is there a way that the State can make it so that the prisoners pay back their tuition (maybe low interest, longer term etc)? I do not think it is fair for the majority to have years of payments while cons can commit a crime and get their education for free. I do not want to sound ungrateful but I think that there should be some equity here.

  • BirdmanKen Fishers, IN
    June 30, 2011 7:29 p.m.

    Best of luck to all of the graduates.

  • lsteinbentley South Jordan, UT
    June 30, 2011 6:12 p.m.

    This is a good article, thank you for sharing this story of hope. Con-Quest sounds like a great program. I am so happy to see that we are trying to help people get off drugs, so that they can have a better life and not end up in prison again. I think that people who are willing to clean up their lives should be given a chance. But on the flip side of the coin, people who are not willing to change should just stay in prison, the trick is being able to tell the two apart.