My second of four articles on prison relocation in Utah:
DRAPER, Utah, August 2, 2015 — Utah's rate of voluntarism is the highest in the nation, and that apparently extends to the number of individuals that serve as mentors, trainers or religious volunteers within the walls of the Utah State Prison.
The 1,200 volunteers that serve in the Draper facility are a key reason — and the most persuasive one — for doing everything possible to keep a new prison as close as possible to the current one.
"You just don't see numbers anywhere near what you see in Utah," said Brad Sassatelli, a former warden at three different prisons in Illinois and now a corrections consultant working for Utah's Prison Relocation Commission.
The federal government's National Institute for Corrections doesn't appear to have any state-by-state comparisons of volunteers. But Sassatelli said that a typical facility outside of Utah might have 100 to 200 volunteers. Of those, maybe 30 will regularly come to the prison, while the rest might visit once or twice a year.
Even accounting for the large size of the Draper prison — with 4,000 inmates, it is more than twice the size of an average state prison — the number of volunteers is exceptional. Consider further than many of those 1,200 volunteers visit the facility on a biweekly basis.[...]