In 2015, Utah legislators passed and Governor Gary Hulburt signed into law a package, HB 348, to reform its state criminal justice system. This package included new concepts such as prioritizing prison space for people with serious and violent offenses as well as strengthening community supervision, both of which have yielded substantial public safety returns.
Since passing the law, Utah has reaped the benefits of common sense criminal justice legislation. The state’s prison population has declined by nine percent. Crime rates have fallen as well. As the overall incarcerated population fell, the share of the population convicted of harming the public’s safety rose from 60 to 68 percent, indicating that limited resources are being used more properly.
Prisoners convicted of simple drug possession are now only two percent of Utah’s prison population, down from 5 percent . New programs have diverted more low-level drug offenders to community based treatments, keeping them connected