Possible Relocation of Draper Prison Put On Hold

Source: corrections.utah.gov.

Source: corrections.utah.gov.

(KCPW News) The Governor’s Prison Relocation and Develop Authority board, or PRADA, decided on Wednesday to delay any recommendations to the state Legislature regarding the relocation of Utah’s State Prison.

Citing a need for more information on the issue, board chairman Lane Summerhays says PRADA won’t make a recommendation to the Legislature before 2015. The board previously was expected to make a recommendation by January 2014.

The current state prison is located in Draper on a plot of land measuring 700 acres. Developers had been invited to make proposals for how to redevelop the site, but on Wednesday PRADA put those proposals on hold as they take time to explore the issue.

Alliance for a Better UTAH is an advocacy organization that has cautioned against a rush to judgment when it comes to relocating the state prison. Executive Director Maryann Martindale was pleased with PRADA’s decision to hold off on a recommendation.

“There’s just so much to it that, to expect them to be able to turn around a truly thorough report in this amount of time, it wasn’t reasonable,” she says. “So it’s great news. I think it shows that at least the powers that be on the PRADA board really are understanding the task at hand and taking the responsibility seriously.”

Even though a recommendation won’t be coming anytime soon, Martindale says the real work of vetting the possibilities has only begun.

“Just because they’re extending their deadline doesn’t mean they’re gonna stop meeting or stop working on it. It actually means that they’ll be able to really break into some of these elements that they’ve done sort of a cursory look at,” says Martindale.

According to the Utah Department of Corrections website, the state prison in Draper has a 4,500 prisoner capacity. It has been in use since 1951.