HOPE is housed in the Fir unit at the Central Utah Correctional Facility. The dormitory-style unit is capable of housing up to 288 inmates, with 48 inmates in each of the six sections. HOPE is organized as a therapeutic community aimed at helping inmates live clean, sober, positive and productive lives and typically takes 12 months to 13 months to complete. The program's therapeutic design intentionally uses a positive peer culture and environment, where high standards, morals of "right living" and pro-social core values are reinforced with privileges, rewards and recognition. The HOPE clinical staff and Fir security staff, as well as HOPE graduates, serve as role models to the program’s residents. Ideally, inmates leave the program with tools necessary to avoid re-engaging in problem behaviors. HOPE includes a thorough relapse prevention component that enables recovering addicts to live cautiously, knowing their next relapse could be around the corner. A companion goal in HOPE's behavior modification program is the recognition and elimination or reduction of criminal thinking and anti-social behavior after a return to the outside community....

Excell is based on a residential, therapeutic community model and is designed to help women overcome substance abuse issues and resolve trauma (physical and emotional abuse) that often underlie criminal behaviors. An analysis of the 11-month program found that women who complete the Excell program are nearly 30 percent less likely to return to prison than inmates who do not....

The Con-Quest program is housed in the Promontory Facility at the Utah State Prison and can accommodate 400 inmates. Inmates with substance dependence or abuse issues who have treatment listed among their top priorities in a Case Action Plan are eligible to participate in the program. Con-Quest is based on a therapeutic community model and is focused on teaching responsible living habits to enable inmates to successfully re-entry society. Inmates, called residents while in the program, practice and live those principles on a daily basis, with daily responsibilities they are expected to perform. A key aspect of the program is accountability, and residents are taught to hold each other accountable to their actions, behaviors and attitudes. While in Con-Quest, residents engage in individual and group therapy with licensed clinicians. They also participate in behavioral modification classes and are able to participate in educational and vocational training programs designed to enhance employment skills. Residents are expected to be productively engaged 40 hours per week in jobs, classes or programs. Residents spend a minimum of 12 months in the program....

The Department works with several applied technology colleges to certify inmates in vocational trades. Those colleges are: Davis Technical College, Uintah Basin Technical College, and Snow College. At the Utah State Prison, male inmates may earn certificates in seven areas: Automotive Technology; Machinist Technician; Maintenance Technician; Welding Technology; Business Technology; and Culinary Arts. Female inmates may earn certificates in two programs (Culinary Arts and Business Technology). At the Central Utah Correctional Facility, certificates are offered in Culinary Arts and Building Trades. The prison's telephone surcharge fees — paid by inmate families and friends who accept their collect calls — help support this program. However, offenders often take out student loans in order to enroll in vocational trades. Due to the fact the offender does not have a significant source of income while incarcerated, he or she is given adequate time post-release to repay any debt incurred. After an offender is "off paper" (no longer under the department's purview in either the prison or on parole status), that individual has three years to repay the student loans, meaning the State and its taxpayers are not shouldering the costs of post-secondary education....

There are more than two dozen religious practices represented among Utah's prison population. To meet the spiritual needs of inmates, Corrections works with volunteers who oversee activities, programs and religious services. The Department employs part-time chaplains to provide ecclesiastical counseling and non-denominational services. Arrange a marriage ceremony Marriages are run through our Religious/Volunteer Services Office. Offenders are required to send a written request to Religious/Volunteer Services. Once the written request is received the offender will receive documents to start the process. For more information contact Religious/Volunteer Services: Salt Lake City office at 801-576-7817. Gunnison office at 435-528-6220....

This program, launched in 1988, employs offenders at a modest wage to make audio recordings of books for the visually impaired. Reading for the Blind is part of a broader organization — the Program for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Utah State Library Division, which serves patrons both locally and nationally. The program is housed in a donated facility that has reading rooms and editing stations equipped with tape duplication machines. Reading for the Blind employees read hundreds of books each year, which are then added to the State Library's collection. Some offenders continue volunteering to read books for this program at the Utah State Library even after they are released from prison....

In addition to formal education, there are other tools offenders often need in order to change their lifestyles and adopt an outlook more conducive to long-term success. Life skills courses include Thinking for a Change, Communication, Computer Literacy, Relationships, Relapse Prevention, Career Power, Financial Literacy, Anger Management, Parenting, Impact of Crime on Victims, Domestic Violence, Victim Empathy, and Thinking Errors. Initial assessments may identify course s an inmate needs to overcome specific challenges. Inmates also may seek to enroll in non-required courses, provided space is available....

Most offenders who are sent to prison have less than a high-school education. The Utah Department of Corrections offers high school education through partnerships with local school districts. The Canyons School District operates the South Park Academy at the Utah State Prison, while the South Sanpete School District operates the Central Academy at the Central Utah Correctional Facility. The Department offers vocational training through partnerships with the Davis Technical College; Snow College; and the Uintah Basin Technical College. Inmates also may take advantage of numerous life-skills and literacy classes taught by volunteers and community organizations. Inmates also may enroll in distance-learning programs, receiving coursework materials through the U.S. Mail. Such programs provide an opportunity for inmates to earn advanced degrees. These programs are not funded by the State, but several non-profit organizations and private entities offer tuition help....

While in Receiving and Orientation, inmates are monitored and take various assessments to determine their specific needs. That information is used to develop a Case Action Plan that outlines the inmate's educational, program and treatment needs and to set goals for the inmate during his or her incarceration. Progress and accomplishments are noted in the inmate's file, which is reviewed by the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole....

There are gingerbread houses. Then there are gingerbread stories. These are the latter. Two massive gingerbread houses were created by inmates in the Timpanogos Womens Facility’s culinary program. Each reflected a story – one of toys and one of the season. The theme for the first house was based on the quartet of “Toy Story” movies. It featured characters from the films, including Woody, Buzz and Jessie. The characters were disbursed around an exquisitely detailed carnival-like setting similar to one featured in “Toy Story 4.” The second was a gingerbread creche. It highlighted a manger surrounded by wise men and animals, detailed down to small pots and jars. The creations were shown to the public at the Festival of Trees....