Utah Department of Corrections is Moving to a New Location


The front gate of the Utah State Prison in Draper. (Photo by J. Prather | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Kelsey Earl, News Writer


The Utah Department of Corrections is moving to a new facility in 2022.

“I’m really excited but there’s a lot of logistics and a lot of policy that has to get written before we can make that move,” said Anndrea Parrish, director of programming at UDC.

Steve Turley, special project director at UDC, said part of the goal of the new facility is to give inmates a sense of normal.

“We tried to, in many cases, get what was normal,” Turley said. “Normal for you, like go to a table and eat dinner. Not all inmates will do that but most will now go to dining halls.”

According to the Utah Division of Facilities Construction and Management, the new facility will save state taxpayers a large amount of money in the long run.

“The operation will be much more smoother because we’ve been able to plan,” Turley said. “We just didn’t think about the offenders when building this, we also [thought about] the staff that have to work here each day and so with everybody in mind, we came up with this design.”

Additionally, Turley said prison cells at the new location will meet all of the American Correctional Facility standards.

Inmates will be transferred to the new location in many different ways.

“We will have all kinds of different scenarios. Some buses, cars, some vans, but we will transfer those inmates safely and securely to the new institution with a lot of staff, [and] a lot of law enforcement will be involved,” Turley said.

Prior to transferring the inmates, the facility will undergo a call to a “commissioning” to ensure all pieces are working properly.

“We go through every scenario possible commissioning the building. We have to make sure that all security systems work, we have to make sure that all doors work, all plumbing works. Every inch of the facility will be combed over,” Turley said. 

The facility will operate with one security tower.

“Security will be enhanced tremendously. We only have one tower out here. We’ve got rid of all towers, except for the one that will be at the vehicle sallyport in this prison [which] is built from the inside out, rather than the outside,” Turley said.

Changing facilities will also mean inmates will no longer have to walk across campus to access programs and activities. They will now be located within the building range. Turley also said they will no longer have to leave their housing complex to go to a high school class. The new facility is going to offer more classroom space and will be more technologically friendly. 

“We’re excited to have more tools at our disposal and the new facility is going to have amazing classroom space, which is something we’re short on right now,” Parrish said. “What will change and what’s really exciting is that we’re going to have a lot more technology and a lot more access.”

The new facility will offer daycare for staff and a space for incarcerated mothers to keep their babies. 

“One of the things that’s really exciting is that we have a space for moms to keep their infants with them,” Parrish said. “We’ve never done that before, so that’s a big deal.”

The facility is expected to be complete in May of 2022.


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