Sex offenders driving up Utah’s prison population, September 15, 2014
By Marissa Lang
Prison populations around the country have been in steady decline for the past 10 years.
, it’s a different
The number of men and women in the state’s prison system has continued to rise, with the highest drivers being nonviolent criminals and sex offenders, who are staying in longer and taking up more beds than ever before, according to data collected by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Sex offenders now take up 42 percent more beds than they did 10 years ago, making them the largest group inside the Utah State Prison.
It’s a fact that is coming under scrutiny as state lawmakers and public safety officials search for ways to improve the system, get the prison population under control and stop the "revolving door" in which so many offenders seem to get caught.
Sex offenses and how the state deals with them, in particular, have raised tough question about how
handles these crimes, whether offenders are getting adequate treatment and at
what point they are being released back into the community. Utah
A third of all prisoners in the state prison system are in for sex crimes, according to Pew data. And that number’s going up, Board of Pardons and Parole member Clark Harms said recently.