Laundry detergent has been removed from Commissary to help reinforce a rule that laundry cannot be washed at the housing unit. This rule is in place for several security reasons. Conflicts arise because a person or group takes possession of laundry buckets not allowing access to other offenders. Water temperatures are not hot enough to sanitize the laundry and 5-gallon buckets are often unsanitary. 5-gallon buckets intended for laundry are often used to produce homemade alcohol, hide contraband, and have at times been used to flood sections and block security devices.  Laundry is available to each incarcerated individual for clothing on a weekly basis with two bags provided, both labeled with the individual’s name and number. Laundry is picked up in the morning and delivered on the same day in the afternoon. Because of the increased capacity of the USCF laundry, we are increasing the frequency of sheets and blanket laundry from monthly to weekly. Sheets and blankets will also be picked up in the morning and returned in the afternoon.  Bags that have not been tied properly can come open spilling the laundry. This has been happening more frequently since moving to USCF because the washing machines spin faster. Open laundry bags are documented, inventoried, and returned with the rest of the laundry. Clothing that comes up missing is most likely being taken from these open bags on the housing units. Laundry workers are always searched before leaving the laundry area and are not allowed to wear personal clothing while at work. They do not have the opportunity to move clothing from the laundry facility to the housing unit.  Bags that are tied in an overhand knot on the bag (knot in the mesh bag), then secured with the string tied above the knot will not open up. This system of securing a pin bag has proven to work at Draper and at USCF. Our Operations Team is working to create a video and training sheet to distribute to housing unit leadership, so they can help offenders secure their laundry bags properly. Laundry will continue to document each item of loose clothing that was returned to the housing unit....

Mosquitoes are bad this year in Utah. That headline may not come as a surprise to those who have been outside this summer. According to a recent Fox 13 News story, the number of mosquitoes in Salt Lake County is close to twice the five-year average for the region. It certainly isn’t a shock to those at the new Utah State Correctional Facility that opened in July. The overall increase in the bugs came just as the Utah Department of Corrections moved more than 3,000 incarcerated offenders, plus hundreds of staff and volunteers, to the location. Apparently, the critters are attracted to carbon dioxide. Humans call it exhaling. Since move-in day, the insects have been a constant source of irritation. Yet the surge was unexpected at the new prison, since workers – topping more than 2,000 at some points – have been at the site for several years. During that time, there were no reports of mosquitoes being an issue. Regardless of the cause, the goal for UDC officials is to manage the mosquito population with the help of the Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District. “We have been working with SLCMAD since August to provide abatement measures, including spraying and traps,” said Kaitlin Felsted, Director of Communications for the Utah Department of Corrections. She added that the district was providing abatement services to USCF during some of the construction phase. One big challenge has been the use of repellant. A number of such products are flammable, making them unsafe for a correctional facility. “Prior to approving a repellant, our team reviewed potential safety concerns,” noted Felsted, who said a suitable product was found. “Bug repellant will be offered to the incarcerated through commissary in the coming weeks.” She added that no staff or offenders at any state-operated correctional site have contracted a mosquito-borne illness. In the future, Felsted said the UDC plans to have staff certified to use larvicide in the storm drains or where stagnant water is found on USCF property. These treatments would start in spring 2023....