Utah lawmakers on Aug. 19 officially selected a new location for the Utah State Prison. The state’s House and Senate confirmed that the new facility will be built on a site near Interstate 80 just west of the Salt Lake City International Airport by 62-12 and 21-7 votes respectively. Gov. Gary Herbert has also signed off on the plan, which will unfold over the next several years as the state proceeds with purchasing the site and completing the design process.
A new jail nearing completion in Cork will be a distinct departure from the one it is replacing. Designed to accommodate family visitation and provide a healthier, more comfortable environment for inmates and staff, the new Cork Prison will offer improved sanitation, more modern facilities and opportunities for inmates to improve their both physical and mental well being.
Construction on Flagler County’s new inmate housing facility, located in Bunnell, reached a significant milestone earlier this month as crews began the installation of 86 new prefabricated cells. The installation marks the jail expansion’s halfway point and the end of the first of two phases of construction.
More than 500 Iowa inmates were relocated to the state’s $132 million penitentiary in Fort Madison on Aug. 1. The maximum-security facility was completed more than two years ago, however ongoing operational and maintenance issues had delayed the inmate transfer.
In recent years, the line between correctional facilities and mental health facilities has blurred. Jails and prisons are now some of the largest de facto mental health providers in the country, and many county jails in dense metro areas are seeing more inmates in need of mental health services. However, as inmate populations age, providing both basic and more advanced medical care is also becoming a major concern.
Utah lawmakers and correctional leaders held a hearing on June 16 to discuss four potential sites for the state’s new correctional facility.
This latest hearing follows three informational meetings held over May and early June in Salt Lake City, Grantsville and the Eagle Mountain/Fairfield area, all of which are potential sites for the soon-to-be-relocated state prison.
The Wisconsin State Building Commission earlier this month approved $6.47 million for the construction of a new and improved health care facility at the Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI) in Portage.
The Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services announced on May 5 that work to expand the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre in New London is now underway. Work will include the addition of a new 112-bed, 25,000-square-foot regional intermittent care facility for males that will address capacity issues, reduce contraband and improve safety for both correctional staff and inmates, according to a statement by the ministry.
Work on the new $100.5 million Kern County Justice Facility in Bakersfield is on track to begin in August 2015. This first phase of construction is scheduled to wrap up by June 2017, and is being built with the aid of the state’s AB 900 funding allocation.