Category Archives: State Prison

Prison Relocation Decision

The Prison Relocation Commission voted unanimously on August 11 that a new state prison be built near the Salt Lake International Airport, at about 7200 West north of I-80.

Salt Lake City Councilman James Rogers, District 1, joined Mayor Ralph Becker in a press conference just after the decision was announced, on the proposed site for the new prison. (source: Salt Lake City Council website)

We are troubled to learn that the Prison Relocation Commission has chosen Salt Lake City as their recommended location for a new Utah State Prison. Despite the vocal and constant opposition from our community and information Salt Lake City has provided that this site is unsuitable for this use, the Commission has recommended moving the prison to our City.

By moving the prison out by the Kennecott tailings in west Salt Lake City, the State will have ignored the opposition by our residents and elected leaders.

Salt Lake City will continue to fight today’s decision, and we look forward to working together with Salt Lake City’s legislators to pursue all options to prevent the prison being built. This State prison would be a new, additional burden, removing taxable property and potentially adding costs.

The Salt Lake City Council hand delivered a letter to Governor Herbert, stating the city’s continued opposition to the relocation of the state prison.

The Salt Lake City Council remains opposed to relocating the Utah State Prison from Draper to Salt Lake City. Simply put, there is at best, a questionable use of public funds based on the poor analysis done by the PRC’s consultants. The economics of that information led to the decision to locate in Salt Lake City, which is therefore inherently flawed.

The challenges addressed in the letter included

  • building a foundation in an area with a high water table and on unstable soil that runs 125 feet deep in places.
  • the need to address the Boo-acre landfill at 7200 West.
  • the cost burden to citizens with the $559 million to build a new prison,building the prison’s foundation which will cost more than $6o million, an estimated cost of between $31 million and $64 million to run utilities to the prison site; $30 million to buy the land; and between $6 million and $8 million to: build temporary roads accessing the prison from 1·80 to s6oo West and North Temple

Finally, questions were posed to the Governor with a request for acknowledgement of the magnitude of the investment it will require to build a new prison.

What company relies on so-year financial projections to make decisions? What company in Utah accurately predicted its financial position today in 1965? Wouldn’t a better calculation of cost effectiveness measure cost savings over the time it takes to pay off the construction bonds?

The Mayor and City Council will continue to actively oppose this measure in the hopes that the decision will be reversed.

Prison Relocation Meeting – Recap

prison relocation meeting 1The Prison Relocation Commission (PRC) held the first of three open houses on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 to share information, and answer questions from the public. The event was moderated, with audience members submitting questions for screening. The open house featured informational displays with question-and-answer sessions during the final two hours. About 200 people showed up to the event, including State Representatives and Senators.

There are currently five potential sites in the running for the new facility: two near Eagle Mountain in northwest Utah County, two near Grantsville in Tooele County and one west of the Salt Lake International Airport at Interstate 80 and 7200 West in Salt Lake County.

Easily over 50 questions were asked and answered by the panel of guests, and the session was both informative and civil. Continue reading

Salt Lake Residents Say “NO!” to the State Prison Moving to SLC

no prison1

Salt Lake residents attend the press conference at the Utah State Fairpark, called my Mayor Ralph Becker. (Photos by Tom King)

Salt Lake City residents said “No!” to moving the State Prison to the city.  Read more in the linked articles below.




Salt Lake Tribune

Deseret News

Daily Herald

Press Conference – Opposition of Proposed State Prison Relocation in Salt Lake City

Tuesday, December 16
10:30 am  Utah State Fairpark
Join the Salt Lake City Council for a press conference in opposition to the proposed Utah State Prison relocation within Salt Lake City.
The press conference is 10:30 a.m. at the Utah State Fairpark.   We may be outdoors. Brings your signs and rallying cry!

On Tuesday evening, Mayor Becker’s Office will hold a meeting for anyone who is interested in joining Salt Lake City’s efforts. The Mayor will explain to State leaders why the two Salt Lake City options should be taken off the list. The meeting will be held Tuesday, December 16 at 5:30 p.m., City & County Building, Room 326.

The next meeting of the State Prison Relocation Commission is December 22 at 2:00 p.m. in Room 210 of the Senate Building at the Utah State Capitol. Please note, public comment is not scheduled to be taken during this meeting but the public is welcome to attend. Opportunity for public comment will be outlined during the meeting.

You can start voicing your concerns now by emailing or calling commission members. Tell State leaders why the Salt Lake City options should be taken off the table!

Prison Relocation Commission Members:

Sen. Jerry W. Stevenson (R), Chair 
Rep. Brad R. Wilson (R), Chair 
Sen. Karen Mayne (D)
Sen. Evan J. Vickers (R)
Rep. Gregory H. Hughes (R) 
Rep. Eric K. Hutchings (R)
Rep. Mark A. Wheatley (D)
Rollin Cook, Executive Director, Utah Department of Corrections
Ron Gordon, Agency Head, Bureau of Justice Agencies
Bryant R. Howe, Assistant Director
Robert H. Rees, Associate General Counsel
Brian J. Bean, Policy Analyst
Sara J. Thomas, Legislative Secretary

View the Administration’s detailed analysis of the proposed Salt Lake City sites and why the City has concluded the State Prison NOT move to Salt Lake City.

View the Prison Relocation Commission’s reports on the prison site selection criteria and status on the Utah Department of Corrections website.

Sign up here to receive an update with details or prison updates.
Read more, including the Mayor’s Office’s detailed analysis on the two sites selected by the relocation committee.
Utah State Fairpark
155 N 1000 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84116

UPDATE: SLC’s Response on Proposed Sites for Prison Relocation: Public Meeting December 3

The public meeting event is reported in the Salt Lake Tribune here.
Breaking News – from the OFFICE of the MAYOR
Dear Community Partner,
The State Prison Relocation Commission consultant has informed Salt Lake City the Commission is looking at two sites within the City for the relocation of the State Prison. Mayor Ralph Becker met with representatives from the Commission yesterday. He informed them Salt Lake City does not believe either site is viable.
The City has many concerns regarding the two sites selected within Salt Lake City, including geological and environmental concerns, public utility costs and the possible restriction of airport expansion. To access the report Mayor Becker gave to the Commission, click here.
The Commission will hold a public meeting this Wednesday, December 3, at the Utah State Capitol Complex in the Senate Office Building, Room 210, at 2 p.m. We understand a recommendation on the final sites to be evaluated will be made at this time and that a community process will be planned.
If you would like to comment on the prison relocation, please go to the Prison Relocation Commission web page and click on the Members tab.
Please feel free to circulate this email to your respective communities. If you have additional questions about the City’s position regarding prison relocation within Salt Lake City, please email us at
Thank you,
~ Office of Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker
Community Liaison