Utah Department of Corrections

JRIPressConference

 

The most sweeping changes in the history of Utah’s criminal justice system take effect on October 1.

HB 348 — the Justice Reinvestment Initiative — was passed by lawmakers in the 2015 session and requires comprehensive changes at every step of the criminal justice process, from sentencing of offenders to their return to our communities as law-abiding citizens.

The Justice Reinvestment Initiative is intended to slow prison growth and reduce recidivism rates, resulting in savings for taxpayers, while maintaining public safety.

The initiative also ensures more offenders will be diverted to community-based treatment, allowing them to stay connected to their families and support networks.

 

This is part of a national movement that is already working in 23 other states and 17 local jurisdictions. Some states have slowed their prison inmate growth, while others have reversed the growth trend and are seeing prison populations decline. We're excited to get to work and see if we can achieve the same success in Utah.

We've created a page called "Justice Reinvestment Initiative" under the "Family and Friends" tab to provide you with all the information you need about this major change in the way we operate at the Utah Department of Corrections. Please visit it to learn more about how we're changing and what you can expect to see happening with Justice Reinvestment.

UTAH DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS 

INSTITUTIONAL PROGRAMMING DIVISION

Earned Time Credit Programs

October 1, 2015

Programs listed below in red are approved for Earned Time Credit

An inmate is entitled to at least four months of earned time credit for completing a program associated with the highest-ranked priority in his or her Case Action Plan and at least four months of earned time credit for completing a program associated with one of the other recommended programs in his or her Case Action Plan.

These programs do not need to be completed sequentially (an offender can receive earned time credit for successful completion of a lower priority program before completing his or her highest-ranked priority program). The Utah Board of Pardons & Parole may grant additional time cuts for completion of other programs, but the Board is not compelled to do so.

If an inmate completes a program before he or she is given a release date, the Board will keep record of the program completion and take it into account during the inmate's next hearing. Inmates sentenced to life without parole by the Courts, or those with an “expire life” decision from the Board are not eligible for time cuts.

TREATMENT PROGRAMS

Sex Offender Therapy

Treatment Program Location Type of Program Program Duration Potential Treatment slots
Sex Offender Treatment Program Utah State Prison Residential – Intensive sex offender treatment program – group therapy

18 months

200 male and female offenders
Sex Offender Treatment Program San Juan County Jail Residential – Intensive sex offender treatment program – group therapy 18 months 64 male offenders
Sex Offender Treatment Program Sanpete County Jail Residential – Intensive sex offender treatment program – group therapy 18 months 32 Male offenders

Substance Abuse Therapy

Treatment Program Location Type of Program Program Duration Potential Treatment slots

CON-QUEST

Utah State Prison Residential Therapeutic Community – group and individual therapy

12 to 18 months

400 males

EXCELL

Utah State Prison Residential Therapeutic Community – group and individual therapy

9 to 12 months

144 females

HOPE

Central Utah Correctional Facility Residential Therapeutic Community – group and individual therapy

12 to 18 months

288 males

Beaver Residential Treatment Beaver County Jail Behavioral Modification – Phase 1 – group and individual therapy 4 to 6 months 122 males

FOCUS

Kane County Jail Residential Therapeutic Community – group and individual therapy – for male sex offenders

12 to 18 months

66 males

JSAT

Davis County Jail Behavioral Modification – Phase 1 – group and individual therapy

9 to 12 months

2 to 4 females or males

Dare to Soar

Garfield County Jail Residential Therapeutic Community – group and individual therapy

12 to 18 months

24 males

R-HOPE

Millard County Jail Residential Therapeutic Community – group and individual therapy

12 to 18 months

16 males

SOAR to New Heights

Weber County Jail Residential Therapeutic Community – group and individual therapy

9 to 12 months

50 females

EDUCATION:

GED, High School Diploma, and Literacy

South Park Academy (Canyons School District), Utah State Prison, male and female inmates

Central Utah Academy (South Sanpete School District), Central Utah Correctional Facility, male inmates

County Jails/Contracted — Local school district provides educational support for male/female inmates

POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION (vocational certifications):

Vocational certifications may be added to an inmate's CAP, if he or she has a high school diploma or GED certificate, is willing to sign a promissory note and has enough time to complete the training certification.

Partners: Davis Applied Technology College (DATC) at the Utah State Prison, Snow College at Central Utah Correctional Facility, Uintah Basin Applied Technology College (UBATC), Duchesne County Jail.

Vocational Certificate courses, depending on the location, currently include: Culinary Arts (male and female); Office Technologies (male and female); Residential Construction; Building Construction; Machining; Industrial Maintenance; Welding; and Automotive and Related Technologies. Credits/certificates are transferable to any Applied Technology College in the State.

COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL/LIFE SKILLS:  Examples of some courses offered at the Utah State Prison and Central Utah Correctional Facility currently taught by UDC Correctional Specialists or contract partners:

Moral Reconation Therapy: This course is not “therapy” and all instructors must have a minimum of a high school diploma and complete MRT Instructor Training. This course is offered at the Central Utah Correctional Facility and AP&P Treatment Resource Centers.

Thinking for a Change: This is a cognitive behavioral course offered through the National Institute of Corrections.

Domestic Violence: This is provided by contract with trained domestic violence treatment staff.

Anger Management: This course helps inmates learn to deal with anger issues.

Parenting:This course helps inmates learn and improve parenting skills.

Employment skills: This course is taught by Correctional Specialists who have received Offender Employment Specialist instructor training provided through the “Train the Trainer” program offered by the National Institute of Corrections. 

On March 31, 2015, Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert signed House Bill 348S01 "Criminal Justice Programs and Amendments" into law. The changes affecting individuals in the custody of the Utah Department of Corrections and under the jurisdiction of the Utah Board of Pardons & Parole took effect on October 1, 2015.

The new law seeks to address the fact that while our State has maintained one of the lowest incarceration rates (number of people confined per 100,000 adults) in the nation, our rate has been climbing while the rate in other states has generally shrunk.

The Utah Legislature worked with the Governor’s Office of Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) and the Pew Charitable Trusts last year to bring identify and recommend changes in our criminal justice system. The intent is basically to continue holding offenders accountable and securing our communities — but in a way that takes into account individual risks and treatment needs. JRI is driven by data and outcomes, meaning all the efforts are being measured for effectiveness.

The expectation is that JRI will reduce our incarceration and recidivism rates, resulting in savings for taxpayers. The criminal justice system as a whole is expected to move toward a system that incarcerates people who pose a risk or a threat to the community and treats those who struggle with addictions but otherwise pose little or no danger to our neighborhoods.

This is part of a national movement that is already working in 23 other states and 17 local jurisdictions. Some states have slowed their prison inmate growth, while others have even reversed the trend and are seeing prison populations decline. JRI is an all-encompassing effort to make the Courts and Board of Pardons and Parole selective about who they send to prison. It also aims to help us work with probationers to ensure they never come to prison, and to work with inmates and parolees to ensure they never come back to prison. 

Utah Board of Pardons and Parole and the Utah Department of Corrections have prepared the information on this page to help the public understand the changes the bill makes in sentencing, credit for time served, parole violations and credit for program completion. See the links on the right for more information. 

SENTENCING

The bill reduces penalties for certain drug crimes. The reduced sentences will shorten the expiration date (or maximum potential time in prison). In addition, the changes will shorten the Sentencing Guideline. The changes are not retroactive, so they will only apply to new sentences entered after the effective date.

CREDIT FOR TIME SERVED

The bill expands the definition of jail time that can be credited as time served against a prison sentence. Jail time served as a condition of probation or for a violation of probation may be counted as time served. This change is not retroactive and applies to new prison sentences after the effective date. (Note: The Board does not grant credit for time in jail served for other convictions or for probation violations not related to the offense that resulted in the prison commitment or when time is tolled.)

SENTENCING GUIDELINES AND PAROLE VIOLATIONS

The Sentencing Commission will update the Sentencing Guidelines and establish guidelines for parole violations. The guidelines will suggest how long an individual should serve in prison for the original offense and subsequent parole violations. The Board may use aggravating or mitigating factors to deviate from the guidelines.

CREDIT FOR PROGRAM COMPLETION

The bill establishes a reduction of incarceration time (time cut) of at least four months for successfully completing the top Case Action Plan priority. An additional four-month time cut will be  granted for completing a second Case Action Plan priority.

EARNED-TIME CREDIT

The Board and Department of Corrections will establish an earned-time credit program for individuals on parole. Each month of successful parole will reduce the maximum term of parole for eligible parolees.