Fiscal Highlights - June 2014

Pew Findings - Utah Prison Cost Drivers - Gary R. Syphus ( PDF)

In February of 2014, state leaders requested that the Pew Charitable Trusts' Public Safety Performance Project "conduct research and analysis of Utah's sentencing and corrections system, develop inmate population impact statements for use in our state's forthcoming decisions regarding the potential relocation of the Utah State Prison in Draper, and explore policy options that would hold offenders accountable, improve public safety, and contain corrections costs."

The Pew Charitable Trusts' responded by sending a team of people that are analyzing Utah data to help accommodate the request. There is an ongoing series of presentations of their findings that shed light on Utah's prison cost drivers, and thus may help provide information to make decisions to help the state realize the "best bang for your buck" when it comes to an effective sentencing and corrections' policy, budget, administrative and other matters.

With the annual cost of a prisoner estimated at about $28,400 and trending upward, decisions regarding sentence length, proper allocation of resources, proper community re-entry programs and others become increasingly important.

In the May meeting of the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ), the Pew reported on prison cost drivers. Some key takeaways are:

1.  Admissions to prison are in decline even though prison population increased.


2.  Prison growth is not driven by state population growth or crime rates.

   a. Almost half (46%) of prison population made up of offenders revoked from supervision;

   b. Probation technical revocations are taking up 67% more prison bed space over last decade; and

   c. Technical violations make up a greater share (67% in 2013 versus 56% in 2004) of Utah's prison admissions.

3.  Nonviolent 2nd and 3rd degree offenders have both more admissions and longer time served, leading to significant growth in prison bed use.

4  The number of sex offenders in prison grew 42%, likely due to change in time served.

5.  Finally, the length of stay for offenders has increased over time.

As policy, administrative, and budget decisions are made, this information is valuable to determine balance between public safety, rehabilitation, and resources. 

June 2014 Content ( PDF)

A New Era Begins At USTAR - Zackery N. King
On May 21, 2014, during Extraordinary Session #6, the Senate confirmed Governor Herbert's appointme...
Autism Pilot in the Department of Health: Past and Future - Russell T. Frandsen
After two years of two pilot programs providing autism services, the Department of Health received ...
Capital Improvement Funding - Mark Bleazard
The Legislature annually appropriates funds to the capital improvements line item in the capital bu...
Drug Courts - Stephen C. Jardine
Total FY 2015 state funding for drug courts is $4,972,900. Drug court funding is distributed by a m...
FY 2015 Custom Fit Allocations - Angela J. Oh
The Custom Fit program administered by the Utah College of Applied Technology (UCAT) supports econo...
Getting Closer on PED Property Tax Estimates - Thomas E. Young
Every year leading up to the General Session staff presents you with public education estimates tha...
Leasing of SAGE Online Adaptive Test Questions - Ben Leishman
The State of Florida has requested to use Utah's SAGE (Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence)...
PEHP Autism Treatment Pilot - Brian D. Fay
In the 2012 General Session, the Legislature passed H.B. 272, Pilot Program for Autism Spectrum Dis...
Pew Findings - Utah Prison Cost Drivers - Gary R. Syphus
In February of 2014, state leaders requested that the Pew Charitable Trusts' Public Safety Performa...
Revenue Surplus Anticipated - Andrea Wilko
Consensus estimates indicate that General Fund/Education Fund collections will end FY 2014 between ...
This Is The Place Heritage Park - Ivan D. Djambov
This Is The Place Heritage Park was established in 1957, and it was managed by the Division of Park...
USHE Joins Multi-State Collaboration to Improve Education - Spencer C. Pratt
The Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) is joining 12 other higher education systems from across...
What is the Judicial Conduct Commission and Where Can I Find Its Budget? - Gary K. Ricks
The Judicial Conduct Commission is established by the State Constitution, Article VIII, Section 13....

Reports/Archive | Budget Process | Office Background | Who's Who | Organization Chart

Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst
House Building, Suite W310
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Phone (801) 538-1034 Fax (801) 538-1692