Top 3 prison sites picked, residents vow to fight it

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The state's prison relocation commission narrowed its list of top sites for a new prison to three, dropping three others from consideration.

The sites are:

  • I-80 and 7200 West, in Salt Lake City;
  • Near Eagle Mountain;
  • In Tooele County, near the Miller Motor Sports Park.

The sites were announced by a state consultant as he recommended three others be dropped from consideration because of a number of problems. Those sites included near Saratoga Springs, near the Salt Lake City International Airport and in West Jordan.

Read the presentation to the Prison Relocation Commission here:

The meeting began with lawmakers receiving a map of 26 potential sites considered for a new Utah State Prison. Through a number of factors, it was reduced to the three.

Prison relocation

Prison Relocation Commission co-chair Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, said they were open to other sites as they began engaging with the communities in their top tier. However, they had to meet a list of criteria that included easy access and infrastructure.

The meeting was packed with residents from all the communities under consideration, protesting the prison moving anywhere. They prefer it stay in Draper. However, that clashed with lawmakers' views, who believe it would be economically more beneficial to the state to develop the Draper site as a "tech hub" and would allow them to replace the aging prison.

"That's my opinion, that it would be a big mistake to leave it in Draper," Rep. Wilson told FOX 13. "There's compelling interests for the state that are just too overwhelming to move it somewhere else."

Residents vowed to fight on.

"We're very disappointed. We honestly feel like we shouldn't be on the list to begin with," said Katrina Hill, who lives in Tooele County. "We don't have the water, we don't have the resources. There are so many things we cannot provide for a prison and so we will continue to fight."



  • bob

    Taxpayers, the only reason to move it is so that millionaire real estate developers can grab the present site.

    When the developers provide 100% of the funding to move the prison then we’ll talk. At that point, western Tooele County makes sense. Far from anyone, but still accessible to the freeway. Talk to the Goshutes. They were willing to put high-level nuclear waste on their “sacred land.” Surely a prison would be acceptable. Skull Valley would work nicely.

    • Gina

      Western Tooele County sounds good, but they said no because it is too costly so they are trying to put it next to Tooele and Grantsville. In fact, they want to put it in the middle of the valley which would destroy the economy for all the towns in Tooele. This presents a huge problem to the residents and the county that is trying to bring in biotech firms.

  • Vicki Standing

    I find it interesting that none of the locations are near where the people on the relocation committee live….In my estimation, this issue should go before the voters.

    • Scott Danskeren

      There’s been too much residential growth around the prison. It needs to have the Max. Security moved elsewhere. If you look at Box Elder #1, This is where the prison should go.

  • Kris Hansen

    Honestly if the legislature really wanted to do something good for the prison community they would increase the education budget. We need to get to the kids in middle school and high school where a lot of the drugs and behaviors really start. Teachers having 6 – 8 classes with 30 – 40 students in them and really want them to be able to connect and be good examples and make a difference in kids lives really isn’t possible. If we could get to even a few of the kids at that age some of them wouldn’t end up in the prison population in the first place. Just one or two examples can and will change lives good teachers can do that for their students. Getting them help before they end up in prison would be much more cost effective. We could also spend the money in mental health to decrease the prison population and get them help before they end up there. These are real solutions to helping our prison population. ‪#‎educationiskey

    The only people I can see benefiting from the move now is the legislature and real estate developers. #keepitinDraper

    • CindyB

      I awoke this morning with thoughts of the move that the some people in this state seem determined to make for the prison in Draper. I wonder what the great purpose is? Is it to help reform people in there or to get them off prime real estate. Will it save money or cost us more?
      Where it is now is the best choice. It is where we can see it and remind us of the reality that there are some people in our society that need help. Not a housing unit to store them away from us, but a place to rehabilitate the members of our society.
      The prison wants to have family visitors as much as they can because it helps prevent recidivism of the inmate. Right now it is easily gotten to right off the freeway. There is public transportation to the prison. Moving it will put it out and away from all that.
      If it is an eyesore to some of the people in Utah, than that is a good thing. That means you are thinking about it. It means it reminds us that we need to take the responsibility to help these men and women to change for the better. Let’s put our money there. To the help and education of these people.
      There are some very great volunteers who can come because of it’s easier access. It will make it difficult for them to come and share their talents and mentoring abilities.
      We need to make the Draper prison and all the prisons places of building people back up to help them be able to come back into society. This will be better done with them right in our midst where we can be reminded of them every time we go by that place on the hill.
      I have my best quotes or words of wisdom on my bathroom wall so my children can read them everyday, because I know they are a captive audience. Like, “ What you are is God’s gift to you, what you make of yourself is your gift to God.” We have a captive audience in the prison, we can use that to help and teach them to be better people. Having it right here in our midst is the most convenient, most cost effective, and best choice. Put the state of Utah’s money to good use by building it here on the same ground, it is bought and paid for already. Let’s build up these men and women where we live and work and visit.

  • Anomyous

    The proposed sites are residential and wetlands. They need to look elsewhere or KEEP IT WHERE IT IS! I’m tired of Tooele being a dumping ground. Have you been out here? The place has exploded with residents.

  • arealpatriot

    The prison should have been moved years ago. Draper is the worst place for it to be. You people that are crying to leave it there are clueless and fortunately you have no influence on that aspect. Tooele or north of I-80 are ideal places to relocate the prison to and it must be moved.

  • Hyrum_Justice

    It does NOT have to be moved. The building is already there and has served and will continue to serve us well. So when everything is fine we should change it? NO! Keep it where it is and cry for years about the property tax you are loosing. There are more important things in life like caring enough about us taxpayers to give US a break on our taxes rather than to find new and unneeded ways to spend more.

  • rjb

    The prison relocation committee is an axis of evil that is ruling utah with a reign of terror. Put representatives on the committee from each of the proposed areas, remove the developers and special interests, then let the people of Utah have the final vote.

  • Gary Yates

    Our shifty-eyed politicians must move the prison, there is no way to get graft from leaving it where it is. There can be kickbacks from selling the present site, and from the demolition contract. There can be further kickbacks from purchasing the new site, and of course from the construction contracts. If they wish to silence me I am open to bribery, LOL.

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