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....

Well, there’s the slobber. It’s just everywhere. “There’s no getting away from it,” said Brian Asay, a K-9 sergeant with the Utah Department of Corrections. “You just have to accept it.” For Asay (pronounced A-see), that completes the list of drawbacks to working with Anubis, his super sniffing, four-legged bundle of energy. Anubis is one of a number of canines working for the UDC at the state’s two prison sites. The two make a good team. A very good team. They were named to the top pair for narcotic searches at a recent K-9 trials competition in Las Vegas. Their success, and that of fellow UDC canine teams, does more than provide bragging rights for Corrections. Such events offer challenges that law enforcement agencies have previously faced. The framework offers training for the teams that can be applied on the job. “All scenarios are based on real deployments,” said Asay. “They expose the dogs to different situations. It’s a competition, but it’s real.” And the better UDC teams do in these trials, the better they become in stemming the flow of contraband into Utah’s prisons. Asay’s and Anubis’ finish marks the third time in the last three competitions that a UDC team has finished on top in the narcotics category. In 2018, Dustin Adams and Legion were tops in Las Vegas, while Jacob Waters and Ronnie lead the way at the Utah Peace Officers Association event. “It has put us on the map,” Asay said of the UDC’s growing reputation. “We get calls from other agencies to assist.” While a powerful tool in the corrections industry, the dogs are, well, dogs. And that’s a good thing. “It’s hard to be depressed or down when you’re around a dog,” said Dustin Adams. “The dogs are fun,” said Kyler Adams, Dustin’s older brother and also a K-9 officer. “They usually make people feel better anyway.” In addition to Draper, the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison also has dog handling teams....

Students with special needs at Jordan Valley and Kauri Sue Hamilton schools were treated to their own private pumpkin patches this month, provided by the Utah Department of Corrections’ Correctional Industries. The pumpkins were grown by inmates at the Utah State Prison as part of the Green Thumb Nursery Program. “The kids come down, and you can see the joy on their faces,” said Kauri Sue Hamilton Principal Courtney Titus as she watched students pick out pumpkins with the help of UDC staff members. UCI Nursery Shop Supervisor Todd Barszcz said the inmates grew over 7,000 pumpkins this year, but the Sugar Pie and Autumn Gold varieties are not sold. “They are grown specifically for the kids,” he said. “They are the perfect size.” In addition to the schools, the program also donates pumpkins to area hospitals that treat children. Besides the fruit donated to the schools – yes, a pumpkin is a fruit – the inmates grow a number of varieties, including exotics like Cinderella and Goblin, that are sold by UCI. The sales allow the program to be self-sustaining. Barszcz said the program shows the public that the Department of Corrections provides opportunities for offenders to rehabilitate. But there is a bigger reason. “There are very few programs where inmates can start giving back while still serving their time,” he said. It’s a statement echoed by those who spend months taking seeds and turning them into gifts at Utah State Prison. “That’s the whole reason we grow them,” said Cody Nielsen, an inmate who works as the lead of the program. “It gives us a chance to give back. It’s not much, but it means a lot.” It means a lot to the students as well. Titus said students will take the pumpkins back to class for painting. Some teachers will also cut a pumpkin open to allow students to feel the insides. For many, she said, their challenges limit opportunities to go to a public pumpkin patch. So bringing one to them allows the students to participate. “It makes them feel special,” she added.   Public Information Office, Oct. 31, 2019...

Denise Druce leads inmates in a Yoga class in the Wasatch gym at Utah State Prison.   As the two dozen or so men put their bodies into positions that for some may feel awkward or unnatural, Denise Druse reminds them – constantly – to forget what many learned as young athletes. “Don’t push through the pain!” she calls out, repeating the mantra over and over. (She concedes later that the sentiment is “very prevalent in this gym.”) Her voice easily carries in the vaulted, antiquated building, lit primarily by pale winter light streaming through a bank of windows raised high above the floor. They are surrounded by the usual accessories found in such places: weights, exercise machines – and correctional officers standing watch. This is yoga, prison style. “Power yoga,” says Druce, who began the program just five weeks ago in the Wasatch section of the Utah State Prison. “At first, I started to bust their tails to get their attention. Now, I’m dialing it back. But they bring that same intensity to soft yoga.” Druce operates Yoga Assets, which trains yoga instructors. She is also president of YogaForward.org, a non-profit that is sponsoring 10 inmates at the facility to become class leaders. The program follows a similar one she has been teaching for several years at the Timpanogos Womens Facility located less than a mile down the road. But while the programs are similar, Druse says the students are not. Once the class starts at Wasatch, there is no chatter among the attendees. No easy smiles. While following Druce’s admonition to listen to their bodies, the participants are laser focused on their tasks. The room is nearly silent, a shift from the usual squeak of sneakers during basketball or the clanging of weights on the floor. When Druce rings two tiny chimes at the end of the session, they fill the room with sound. And yet, many say that it is a positive environment and at the end of the class, they feel a change. “Someone invited me (to the class), and afterwards, I felt different the rest of the day,” says Erik Harding. “So, I kept coming back.” For Rodney Liti, it was a chance to expand his workout routine – at first. “I wanted to find an alternative way to exercise and get stretched out,” he says. And now? “I feel more in tune, more balanced spiritually, emotionally and physically. I love this class.”   Public Information Office, Jan. 30, 2020 ...

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.                                   Public Information Office, Dec. 27, 2019...

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LARPDG8hpYg&feature=youtu.be"][vc_column_text]With a career in Law Enforcement as a Correctional Officer, you can earn a total possible compensation package valued up to $70,646 in the first year. The Utah Department of Corrections is seeking individuals who can balance compassion with 11/15/2019 Job Bulletin agency.governmentjobs.com/utah/default.cfm?action=jobbulletin&JobID=2630820 2/5 accountability while supervising offenders in our care and custody at various correctional centers in Weber, Sanpete, and Salt Lake Counties. With a two year commitment as a Correctional Officer at UDC you will receive a $6000 Signing Bonus - (Draper and AP&P locations ONLY). The first $3,000, after completion of the academy; the second $3,000 after one year of service. Paid training through POST certification. An amazing benefits package including health, dental, vision, tuition reimbursement, and retirement plans. Maintain safety and security of facilities as well as opportunities in various areas like training, transportation, programming, CIRT, investigations, etc. Initial testing consists of a physical fitness test, NPOST, and interview. These tests will be held on December 5, 2019 Qualifications: Meet SFO Standards Meet POST Standards Preference may be given to those who are currently in Public Safety. One year of pay credit for every two years of Law Enforcement or Correctional Officer experience. Academy Start Date: February 10, 2020[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]...