State Buys Land for New Correctional Facility

After careful evaluation and study, the Division of Facilities Construction and Management announced that it purchased 323 acres for construction of the state’s new correctional facility.

The acreage, which includes land for facilities and infrastructure, is in a portion of the west parcel of the Salt Lake City site selected by the Prison Relocation Committee last summer.

The site was purchased for $12.4 million, far lower than previous estimates that had pegged potential land costs as high as $30 million.

“Since the first studies on a new correctional facility began more than 10 years ago, our priority has been to ensure the best use and return on every dollar spent,” Gov. Gary Herbert said. “The new facility will provide for the most modern, effective and efficient criminal justice system in the country; a prudent system that will keep our communities safe, reduce recidivism and respect the taxpayer.”

The land purchased has been thoroughly studied for potential environmental constraints, construction and infrastructure costs and compatibility with adjacent land uses, and was found to be the best specific area in the Salt Lake City site. These site assessments and careful study on how to protect wetlands and other environmentally-sensitive areas on the site resulted in the state being able to purchase far less land than anticipated.

“This specific site best meets the needs of the Department of Corrections staff, volunteers and inmates, while at the same time addressing the interests of the community and environmental stakeholders we have worked with,” said Eric Tholen, DFCM division director. “The purchase is a significant milestone in the relocation process and we are looking forward to beginning work on site in the coming months.”

With the land now purchased, construction is scheduled to begin later this year and will require approximately four years to complete.

The new correctional facility will allow the state to expand treatment and educational programs that will make the public safer by reducing the chance that people will commit new crimes after release.

“This new correctional facility is part of an overall strategy to improve our criminal justice outcomes, enhance the safety and security of our corrections system, improve operations, and reduce recidivism,” said Rollin Cook, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Corrections. “This strategy will help slow the growth in the number of offenders being incarcerated and the costs to provide additional prison beds.”

Information about the new Utah State Correctional facility can be found at Updates are also available by following the project on Twitter at @NewUtahPrison.