My third of four articles on prison relocation in Utah:
DRAPER, Utah, August 9, 2015 — Utah's economy is growing rapidly, and so is its population. These facts influence the emerging common-sense viewpoint that it's time to relocate the state prison from its current home here.
As I’ve approached the subject from many vantage points, including the perspectives of former inmates andprison volunteers, I’ve come away impressed with the state’s fair-minded and comprehensive approach to relocation. Of the four sites under consideration, the industrial-zoned site west of the Salt Lake City Airport stands out as a superior alternative on which to build.
Utah is a unique state in significant ways. Our strong economy, second only to North Dakota's natural gas boomlet, is driven by high-tech entrepreneurship, by population growth and by a healthy birth rate. The state can seem rural, but is the sixth-most urban statebecause population is centered along the benches and valleys of the Wasatch Front.
Given the near-doubling of population, from 2.9 million today to an expected 5.4 million in 2050, we need to be conscious and not cavalier about social and land-use decisions like the location of our largest prison. [...]