This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Posted: 6:45 AM- ST. GEORGE - Gary DeLand, the controversial former state Corrections chief hired to review Purgatory Correctional Facility policies that he helped draft 10 years ago, says sexual misconduct is one of the two most common reasons for suspending a peace officer's license.
DeLand is conducting an audit of the jail in the wake of a sex scandal in which five Washington County sheriff's deputies have resigned and two have pleaded guilty to custodial sexual relations.
"All I ask is that you let all the facts come in, be it about Purgatory or anything else you hear about, because it's too easy to grab onto a tag line or a sound bite and assume the worst," DeLand told a St. George Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
"The problem is that we take the miscreants from all over the state of Utah - the manipulators who challenge society, steal and lie - and then we put them all together in one location and then we have an underpaid group of people come and watch them," said DeLand, executive director of the Utah Sheriffs Association and a prison consultant.
"Nothing that happened at Purgatory was that much different from what happened in corrections and in law enforcement in general," he said, adding that "In business, sexual harassment is one of the biggest sources of litigation in the United States."
He said that the two most common reasons for suspending a peace officer's license are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and sexual misconduct.
He added that training must be consistent and relative. "Supervisors need to be trained on how to be supervisors," he said. "Supervising is an entirely different set of skills."
He also said, "I believe that if we find something wrong, and we probably will, it'll get fixed."
DeLand was executive director of the Utah Department of Corrections from 1985 to 1992. His tenure was marked by questions about his management style and accusations that he violated prisoner rights by limiting access to medical and mental health.