Utah: Prison Crunch Has Sentencing Commission Considering Alternative Sentences for Drug Offenders 4/13/01

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items


recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed


Violent crime has been going down in Utah for the last three years, but the prison population -- and the prison budget -- just keeps going up. The state legislature grudgingly appropriated $184 million for prisons this year, $11 million less than the Correction Department requested, and the big bill is causing the state's Sentencing Commission to look at ways to reduce the number of state prisoners.

Drug offenders are the fastest growing segment of the state prison population. They make up 1,280 of the state's 5,777 prisoners as of January 1, according to the Corrections Department. In 1990, 88 defendants went to prison for felony drug violations in Utah; last year, Utah sent 654, including 37 sentenced to terms of up to life for first degree drug felonies.

As the commission convened at the state capitol last week, its members indicated that they would investigate methods of diverting drug offenders from prison. "We will look closely at whether they can safely be diverted," commission director Ed McConkie told the Salt Lake Tribune.

The state spends about $23,000 per year to house inmates. According to McConkie, the commission will examine more inexpensive options for drug offenders, including day reporting centers, drug courts or electronic monitoring.

With state prisons on the verge of overcrowding -- this year's projected increase of 324 prisoners will wipe out all remaining unoccupied beds -- Utah lawmakers are having to think twice about paying the drug war piper.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #181, 4/13/01 Editorial: Connecting the Dots, Filling in the Background | DEA Settles Case to Keep Supersnitch Cover-Up Alive, DRCNet Files Freedom of Information Act Request for Suppressed DEA Report | Cancer Professionals Release New Pain Treatment Guidelines as NIDA Warns of Prescription Drug Addiction Danger, Patients Caught in Crossfire | Canada: Government Eases Medical Marijuana Rules | Bush's First Drug Budget: More of the Same | Higher Education Act Campaign Continues to Pick Up New Schools, Student Movement Grows | DRCNet Reaches 20,000 Subscriber Mark, Advice Sought on Possible Week Online Name Change | Movie Review: Does Blow Blow? The Banality of Dealing | Involuntary Commitment Bill Targeting Drunks and Junkies Clears Washington Legislature, Awaits Governor's Signature, "Gravely Disabled" Could Be Committed | Utah: Prison Crunch Has Sentencing Commission Considering Alternative Sentences for Drug Offenders | Australia: Kings Cross Injecting Room Passes Legal Hurdle, Opening Soon, Cannabis Cafes to Follow? | Norway: Proposed New Regulations Will Restrict Access to Methadone and Other Opiate Maintenance Programs | Media Scan: Rolling Stone, MotherJones.com, Boston Phoenix, FeedMag.com | The Reformer's Calendar
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en Espa�ol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em Portugu�s Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]