TCS - Criminal Justice Programs and Amendments HB348 - Reinvesting in Criminal Justice System in Utah

March 1, 2015
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The war on drugs has been waging on for some 30 years, and while it may have helped some of the problems relating to drugs in America, a new problem has developed. Prison populations have increased 800% since the 1980's. That increase has little to do with more "criminals" than it is related to the stricter punishments for drug related crime.

As a result there is a nationwide conversation about how to reform criminal justice in the United States. That conversation is also taking place here in Utah. Recent discussions about moving the prison at Draper have sparked a discussion about how do we help keep people from being incarcerated in the first place.

This week on the County Seat we will discuss HB 348. A bill in the Utah House of Representatives that aims to reinvest dollars that are being spent to house people in the prison or the jails into treatment programs that would cut down on recidivism.

The issue for County Attorneys and Sheriffs across the state is where do the dollars come from?

Our panel this week includes:

Sheriff James Tracy, Utah County
Sheriff Jim Winder, Utah County
Mark Thomas, Uintah County Attorney

They will touch on some of the opportunities presented by HB348 along with some of the challenges related to some of the finer details of the bill that need to be worked out.