Utah sees growth in prison population despite reform

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The prison population in Utah is growing despite reform efforts in recent years aimed at curbing the number of inmates.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported Tuesday the state averaged 6,781 prison inmates each day last month, about 300 more than it had a year earlier.

Utah Department of Corrections Executive Director Mike Haddon told lawmakers earlier this year that the prison population is “growing faster than it has in the last decade.”

State lawmakers in 2015 reduced the penalties for many drug offenses and cut back the amount of prison time for parole violations for nonviolent offenders.

According to Utah State Courts figures, prosecutors filed 14% fewer felony cases the year after the reforms, but filings increased slightly in each following year.

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