You who oppose the prison move are all wasting your breath. The property tycoons
who own the state legislature have spoken. They want that land and they will
have it and the voting citizenry can go pound sand.
I will say, my problems with moving the prison have to do with the inmates. The
opposition, primarily the Keep It In Draper group, does not take the position
that the prison doesn't need to be upgraded and updated, but that it can be
done at the current site where the state owns 600 acres and will cost less in
the long run. Also, while a new building would help, the article talks about
the human capital that is needed to make a difference. All of that takes a hit
if you move the site (volunteers, prison guards, mental health resources, drug
rehabilitation, etc.), especially if its outside of Salt Lake County. And the
people make the big difference, not a new building. It's harder to recruit
qualified people to these other areas, not to mention that they don't have
the same population access to create the necessary volunteer population (because
Utah is too cheap of a state in general for social services, volunteers make up
the difference in many areas). RENOVATE, DON'T RELOCATE!!!!!
Drive past the Draper facility or check Google maps - there are huge undeveloped
fields in virtually every direction around the current prison, with more than
enough space to build a new facility even if it were doubled or tripled in size.
The real reason for moving the prison is only to benefit Draper city
developers, at the expense of all of the rest of us.If
rehabilitation of prisoners is truly our goal, how does it make sense to move
the prison away from where all of its current employees, therapists, and
personnel already live? How many drug therapists or mental health counselors
live in Eagle Mountain, or are willing to drive clear out there? Draper is
right near I-15 and other transportation hubs, helping employees, therapists,
and families to actually be able to work and visit the facility. Not to mention
the already-established religious support community, LDS and other chaplains,
that would have to be re-invented from scratch if moving to a new location.
What medical facilities exist near Eagle Mountain that could handle all of the
inmates' injuries and health conditions? Draper has plenty of
land and personnel nearby to support any new facility.
As most will be released and the taxpayers are responsible for paying for their
incarceration, health care that needs to be easily accessible, and their
rehabilitation and monitoring back in the community they need to be close to
resources. Another reason to leave it in Draper.
Wonderful thoughts from Mike Richards. Wish he would write a guest editorial and
that you would print it. Neat that he visited and befriended a prisoner. If we
are to rehabilitate the prisoners, we will need to show them love -- like Mike
has. If they are to be reformed, they will need to have friends both while they
are in there and when they get out. If we don't provide good friends (like
Mike), they will have only their fellow inmates as role models. It is said that
you are no better than the company you keep, so do we really want our prison to
remain stuck in this gear? It is time we changed our prisons to provide good
influences for the prisoners, good people for them to rub shoulders with. If we
are ever to do this, being located near the population base will be important.
Bless Mike Richards for his comment and for what he has done to help one
prisoner. Bless him for showing love. Inserting love into the reform model is
one of the best things we could do.
What is YOUR goal to help inmates? Most of us know or know off someone who has
been in prison. I often visited someone in a half-way house as he went through a
period of counselling. Each time those steel doors clanged shut behind me, I
wanted to just turn around and get out of there; but, the man that I visited
needed a friend. He needed to know that someone cared. He needed to know that
when he got out, that at least one person would invite him to visit and to eat
dinner. His self-esteem was non-existent. I probably did very little to help,
but spending an hour with him every week helped both of us. I learned that
prisoners are people and that they need our help. He learned that doing
something wrong has great consequences.Prisoners are people.
Locking them up and throwing away the key is not an option. The prison needs to
be easily accessible. Business can go elsewhere. Prisoners are more important
than a fistful of dollars.
Yes! So much. If the prison can be rebuilt in a solid manner in Draper it should
be.If not SLC is the only option that is socially responsible simply
because removing it to far away locations will diminish the amount of help these
people can receive from law firms, non-profits, civil activists, social workers,
families, church groups. It will be a real struggle to drive all the way out to
Eagle Mountain or wherever for many organizations that are based in SLC and
already have a limited budget.
If rehabilitation is the goal, why does the state legislature keep cutting the
funding for programs at the prison? It's the programs, not the building
that make the difference. Move the prison further away from Draper and you will
lose many of the volunteers and staff, and even frequency of visitors due to
commuting distance. Rather than build a shiny new prison in one fell swoop, why
not build in phases, on the extra land in Draper and use the remainder of the
money that would need to be spent on additional infrastructure costs (for the
potential sites in SLC, Eagle Mountain, Grantsville, or Fairfield) funding
programs that are desperately needed instead? Of course, if they did that, the
developers and their "friends" wouldn't be making any money off the
The article is right. It should be about which location serves best for
rehabilitating the prisoners. The legislators are charged with providing the
best governance, not with turning a real estate dollar. If Draper is better than
any of the four sites under consideration, legislators should feel obligated to
leave the prison where it is. Of the four sites, only the one near the
airport is nearly as favorable. That site, however, comes with a large price in
terms of sacrificing what it could be used for instead of prison property.
Convenience has always been a key in successful sales, so make tourism
convenient as possible to the tourist. The land near the airport should be
developed as a welcoming zone for those arriving in Utah. Place entertainment
and tourist venues right next to the airport. You only have one international
airport in all of Utah, so you only have one opportunity to do this. The prison
is being moved on the premise that the Draper land has a higher use. But, in
truth, high-tech development can go elsewhere. It is not Draper, but rather the
land near the airport that has a value like none other.
This is not just an issue for those who live near the proposed locations. This
is more about getting the best prison for the Money. Parts do need to be
rebuilt. That is a given. An all new modern facility built as a single project
is even fairly reasonable. But no site other than Draper can be built on nearly
as efficiently. The Costs for any of the other locations will be well over a
Billion tax payers dollars. Money that may be eventually recovered if the land
sells reasonable quick and is developed in a timely manner. Something that is
not guaranteed as there are thousands of acres of available land already open
for sale or lease in Draper let alone what is found on the south side of the
Point.This is not about NIMBY it is about money. We don't need
to spend a Billion extra dollars when we already own the land, all the utilities
are already in place. The staff and volunteer pool (critical for
rehabilitation) are already in place and established. Fred Cox an
Architect has made it clear that there is room to rebuild in Draper. Keep it in
Think this through.When America can treat their military Veterans with
good health care and decency, then the nation can discuss making better digs for
criminals living in prisons.Minimal and clean should be the prison
Not all of the existinng buildings look like the ones the prison picks to show
off for visitors or the legislature. Can we tour that building? No, it is too
new. It is only 15 or 20 years old. Yes, the infirmary, Wasatch cells, Oquirrh 5
Annex, Uinta 5 reception and oriantation should have been replaced already. If
we decide we do want a new prison, besides those, build it in Draper. There are
hundreds of acres just waiting there. It can be easily phased. Keep it in
If the writer will actually talk to those that work at the prison, live at the
prison, visit with inmates, taxpayers, and the volunteers, the majority would
say keep it in Draper. The cost of getting any of the 4 sites as ready as Draper
is for a new prison is approx $100 Million. That doesn't take into account
the $ Millions of additional transportation costs for all of those if it moves.
If the goal is actually rehabilitating people, then the prison should be
geographically close to population centers, so families can visit more easily.
But is the goal really rehabilitation? The prison
industrial complex makes BIG money . . . But only if it has a steady inflow of
inmates. That means high recidivism is in the best interests of all who profit
from the PIC.Just think of all the people in Utah employed in its
criminal justice system, and the billions of dollars siphoned off over the
years from useful projects to fund lawyers, Assistant Attorneys Generals,
prosecutors, police officers, the court system, and prison personnel.Haven't you wondered why the emphasis was taken away from rehabilitation?
That's why.Now it's all about incarceration and
punishment. Incarceration provides knowledge of criminal techniques. Punishment
begets revenge. And that equates to more crimes, and more people going back to
prison, and more MONEY for stakeholders.Are you sure you really want
to promote rehabilitation?
MGT of America, the consultants who are issuing the constant stream of reports
advocating prison relocation, appear to have a vested interest in the
relocation. Their own literature contains the following statement:"With a national reputation and impressive track record of business from
repeat clients"Maybe we need consultants who have no future
stake in the outcome of their reports.