County officials and sheriffs in Utah have made a good case against the state closing the prison at Point of the Mountain and replacing it with a huge new lockup somewhere else. From all across the state, they joined together to argue that putting more prisoners into county jails makes more sense.
The Utah Association of Counties and the Utah Sheriff's Association told the Prison Relocation Authority Committee that counties can handle more state inmates in a "decentralized" system at a lower cost and with less recidivism. Legislators and members of the committee should pay attention.
Their suggestion makes a lot of sense: The state could build a new smaller maximum-security prison for the most serious offenders and put most of the less-dangerous offenders in or near the counties they'll return to once they are released back into society. Such "home-town prisons" could make it easier for inmates to re-enter the community after release.