County jails

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah counties are clamoring for a seat at the planning table, vying to be the home of a new state prison, all in the hope of drawing economic relief for their citizens. ("Counties make play for piece of new Utah prison project," Tribune, April 9).

This approach to economic viability might actually produce a few jobs for those counties. It is certainly a popular trend in our country to find profit in housing those who have run afoul of the law.

Recently, in an interview with Bill Moyers on PBS, author and economist Richard Wolff described an innovative program used in Italy to secure and promote economic growth. Grants are provided to groups of seven individuals who have come together to create small businesses.

I wonder how much more profitable and sustainable this idea might be in counties attempting to procure economic growth? It seems like a more tangible way to actually create a positive and lasting economic force within a community than housing inmates.

Brent Larsen

Salt Lake City