Will the Utah State Prison Ever Move?

This year, a few select legislators are trying to get some action on moving the Utah State Prison complex out of Draper Utah. The main state prison has long sat at the lucrative Draper site near the point of the mountain. As south Salt Lake County and North Utah County have expanded over recent years it no longer makes sense to have the prison located right of I-15 in the center of the ever growing Wasatch Front. Every year it seems some law makers try to get a bill before the state legislature to finally make the move. At this point, it doesn’t seem anyone on capitol disagrees the prison needs to be moved, they just can’t seem to come up with a consensus on where to move the prison and how to pay for it. A board which recently looked at the net costs for moving the prison determined the total net costs of the move would be approximately $102 million. This is after deducting the costs of upkeep on the old prison, the sell or leasing of the land to private industry, and other factors.

Efforts this Legislative Session

One Utah lawmaker this year proposed the state adopt a resolution to move the prison even though there is no planned site or plan for covering the costs. This was an attempt to at least get a bill giving a deadline on when the prison complex would be moved by. It was a valiant effort but ultimately failed to garner enough support. There are still several days left in this year’s legislative session so some are still keeping up hope another bill may come up. However, as the last several years have proven, a resolution on this issue is slow moving so I wouldn’t put your money on seeing this prison move anytime soon, at least not in the next couple years.

Conditions at the State Prison

Many inmates and families have been complaining for several years about the ever worsening conditions at the State Prison. Recently there have been talks about charging inmates for communications with their family members and also possibly for meals and other services provided at the state complex. These discussions have brought a lot of criticism from inmates families and outside advocacy groups. Many are hoping a new updated prison complex will bring much better conditions including much needed medical services.

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