We broke ground on Monday for West One, a new 192-bed housing unit at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison.
The $30-million expansion is being built by Layton Construction and will be completed by August 2016. With the new beds, the facility will have a capacity for approximately 1,800 inmates.
Many local officials from Gunnison and surrounding communities participated in the groundbreaking and in a press conference afterward. We appreciate their support!
The Department will hire an additional 76 people, including 61 corrections officers, to staff and manage the new unit.
The facility currently employs approximately 350 people — the vast majority of whom live in the Six-County region (Juab, Millard, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier and Wayne counties). To put the economic impact in perspective, the base payroll at the Central Utah Correctional Facility is approximately $26 million.
UDC Executive Director Rollin Cook took the opportunity to thank the local communities for their support and to praise the employees who perform a "challenging and often thankless public service" helping offenders transform their lives.
"This is an exciting time for Corrections as we take the lead in the historic overhaul of our criminal justice system," Cook said. "I have proudly served as a Correctional Officer for over 25 years and can testify that Corrections has never experienced anything like the support we are now getting. We are exceptionally grateful for these opportunities."
"This is our moment to really shine and show what we can do to help individuals who struggle — 97 percent of whom return home after serving their sentences — while at the same time maintaining safety in our neighborhoods and communities," Cook told the audience. "Thank you for being there for them — and for us."