Canyon Lands Multi-Use Home – transferred to Youth Correction
The Leavitt administration took office in 1993 from his election. One of the first decisions that came about as a result of Governor Leavitt being online was whether to transfer all youth serving facilities in the state of Utah to the division of Youth Corrections. The majority were already under the auspices of youth corrections. However, in Blanding, Utah, the Canyon Lands Multi Use Youth Home was run under the direction of Mel Laws who was a Youth Correction’s employee, but the facility was being funded by The Division of Children and Family Services. It was determined that the facility would be transferred to Youth Corrections.
Governor CCJJ Cammille Anthony Work option
Some months later, in the beginning of 1994, discussions were being held because of the increase in gang activity and gang affiliations throughout the Salt Lake County area and in some smaller areas in the State of Utah. And it was determined by the Governor’s judicial staff, Camille Anthony at CCJJ and Gary Dalton and others that a work program would be important so that kids could be sentenced to an option of a community alternative other than a secure facility.
Layne McCotter – Lone Peak location – Genesis Work Program
In negotiations with The Department of Corrections, Layne McCotter being the director, it was determined that the facility called the Loan Peak Facility out at the prison site could be used for a work camp. That program came to be known as the Genesis Work Program. It was named that way because it was the beginning. It was the start.
It was a community alternative program with approximately seventy beds. The male young people would be housed there and during the day would go out and work in the community. The restitution that they earned in that experience would go to pay off their fees, their fines, and other obligations they had in the community.
Grand opening of a premier work camp program
This was a much greater option and opportunity for the courts that they never expected and to this day it has grown into one of the premier work camp programs in the nation. Females have since been added to that population. As a part of the grand opening, the governor went out and mingled with the youth.
Basketball court shoot-off with Governor Leavitt
Out on a basketball court, one of the kids challenged the governor to a shoot off and told him that if he won the shoot off then the governor would have to release him. Governor Leavitt took him up on the offer and beat him so that he didn’t have to release the young kid! There were a few people that were concerned that the governor might miss the foul shot and the kid would ask for his pardon out of the corrections camp, but the governor scored more baskets than the young person did.
Day and night monitoring –receiving centers focused on community alternatives
Toward the later part of 1994 day and night reporting center s and receiving centers were opened across the state to facilitate the monitoring of use and to provide alternatives to confinement in secure detention. In other words, some kids didn’t have to be arrested and taken to detention centers; they could be taken to receiving centers. Such centers were opened in Provo and Ogden. They also contracted with the one in Salt Lake County which still exists today and is one of the national models of receiving centers in the country.
Community options were good, but need for beds was severe
Those receiving centers were important because they focused on community alternatives as opposed to hard beds being built. All the while, the departments were having these discussions about community options; the need for beds was severe. They had not built any in the state of Utah in decades. Since the 1980’s at least. That was when they had built small secure facilities which left only seventy beds in the state of Utah for the most serious of the juvenile delinquents that were sentenced to Youth Corrections’ custody. By the beginning of 1992, just prior to Governor Leavitt’s ascension to the governorship there was an additional ten beds of secure care added at Decker Lake Youth Center which brought the statewide capacity to eighty beds.
Building Plan for youth corrections
The new beds were filled within a month and once again the entire system for secure care was at its capacity. The Governor, noting this, called the task force together and had juvenile justice representatives (judges and others) meet together and come up with a plan which became known as The Building Plan for Youth Corrections. He championed the building of a number of buildings. By the time the Governor left his governorship, there were additional facilities and almost two hundred and eighty beds available for the communities’ to use for kids who were out of control and who were delinquents in trouble.
Riot at SL County Detention Center
The year 1994 also brought a very unique experience. In January of 1994 there was a riot at the Salt Lake County Detention Center. This was a fifty-six bed facility in Salt Lake. It was housing more than one hundred kids on a daily average. It was also one of the facilities that needed to be repaired and pealed out or replaced. When it came down to it, that riot resulted in the injury of a staff member. The Legislature thought, whether jokingly or not, that the riot was staged to bring attention to the plight of Youth Corrections and their need for additional beds (see – Detention Center Answers, Please: Salt Lake Tribune – http://proquest.umi.com.proxy.li.suu.edu:2048/pqdweb?did=215187371&sid=7&Fmt=3&clientId=1670&RQT=309&VName=PQD).
The Governor asked in an early morning breakfast meeting what the need for Youth Correction’s beds was and asked if the most important thing was the building of a new facility in Salt Lake County, or would it be one in Davis County which at that time had a very small facility that was old and not well kept? A decision was made to build one in Farmington and privatize it and then to build out the Salt Lake County Facility. So in 1995, a facility in Washington County called the Youth Crisis Center was opened. It was a multi use center. It housed both youth service kids that were sex offenders, delinquency kids that were in detention, and it had a small fixed bed observation and assessment center. It would become what we call the model multi-purpose use facility in the state of Utah and other states took note of that and have built multi-use facilities such as this. It was clearly a Utah invention, if you will, and it proceeded in other counties later on.
Washington County Youth Crisis Center opened and Farmington Bay Youth Center is privatized
The Washington County Youth Crisis Center then opened in 1995 followed shortly thereafter by a new sixty bed Farmington Bay Youth Center which opened in Davis County. It was just west of Lagoon area. The Governors decision to privatize youth facilities was not well met. There were a lot of state employees in youth corrections who were very unhappy with that decision, but the Governor and Gary Dalton directed that this be done to alleviate the continual hiring of state staff and to see if privatization could in fact work. So the two sites that were selected for privatization was Farmington Bay in 1995 and in 1997, the largest facility in Salt Lake County was privatized. No state employees lost their jobs; they were all transferred into existing facilities and retrained or retooled to work in other aspects of the system. Today, the experiment was viewed to be successful as the state still continues to contract privately for those two secure facilities.
Youth Parole Board – Gubernatorial Appointment/ Executive Appointment
At the same time in 1995 it was determined that the Youth Parole Authority Members, those board members who can release kids from secure care much like the adult board of pardons can release from the prison, that those appointments would no longer be made by the board of youth corrections, but in fact that would be made by a gubernatorial appointment. The Governor had the right and the responsibility to appoint individuals to the Division of Corrections board. Youth Parole Authority members became an executive appointment by the Governor rather than an appointment by the Board of Youth Corrections.
At the same time in 1995 a task force was appointed by the division director, Gary Dalton, to review and update 1980’s master plan. The division had existed for over fifteen years without a review of the master plan that started it. It clearly needed to be updated as to facilities, programs, organization, and as to linkages within the community supervision area.
Serious Youth Offenders Legislation10 deadly sins
The serious youth offender legislation also passed in 1995 and it was enacted to expedite the transfer of violent and chronic juvenile offenders to the jurisdiction of the adult courts and correctional system. This was premised upon an outbreak of gang violence and the shooting at the triad center by the Mohi kid. An incident where a teenager open fired on individuals coming out of the parking lot and killed two of them. It was seen as an important opportunity to have serious youth offenders transferred to the adult system.
As a result, safe guards were put in place so that the kids weren’t just placed in the adult system, but that they would have to pass the scrutiny of a juvenile court judge who determined that they couldn’t benefit from the juvenile system anymore and therefore were bound over to the adult court. This serious youth offender legislation that was enacted was dubbed the ‘ten deadly sins’ because the panel and the juvenile justice task force that took it on identified not only age parameters but ten aggravated cases or charges that would be considered the ten deadly sins for which the youngster could be transferred to the adult system.
Judicial Task Force
In 1996, The Juvenile Justice Task Force was appointed by the Utah State Legislature. The issues for the previous three years continued to rise in terms of community unrest and the issue of gang violence and the legislature decided that they wanted a full review of how juvenile justice was conducted in the state and they appointed a task force. The group had a mandate to examine all aspects of Utah’s juvenile justice system. It was a very tenuous group. There was a lot of tension. There was some finger pointing, and there were feelings that the resources were not equitably distributed between the courts, corrections, and juvenile justice. The findings during the same year of 1996 of the master plan task force were presented to the board of youth corrections and signed off by the Governor. The primary recommendations to the master plan were to change the division’s mission statement to reflect a greater concern for public safety and the principles of the balanced approach which is to hold offenders accountable, to protect society, and to ensure individual competency for success in each individual.
Regions Created out of Master Plan
Finally, in that master plan update they recognized the division’s need to structure is service delivery a little differently. At that time it had an amalgamation of services that were at the state’s central core. They were pushed out to the three independent regions; one for the north, one for the central of Salt Lake Tooele summit area, and one for the southern part of the state were put in place. Those were important service delivery changes because they then dealt more closely with county commissioners and with local jurisdictions of government. The Governor was very pleased with that approach.
Partnership Youth Corrections and Forrest Service Strawberry Work Camp
At the same time in the summer of 1996 we formed a partnership between the division of Youth Corrections and the U.S. Forest Service to establish another work camp. This one was dubbed Strawberry Work Camp. It was placed in some old work barracks out by Strawberry Lake and it became a summer program since the winter months were too hard to access the area. It became a location for female offenders to do work camps. That was a very well received project. They cleaned up the Strawberry lake area. They built fences. They put up snow drift fences and for the most part it was highly received and the juvenile court started asking for more female work camp sites.
Salt Lake Valley Detention Center built for the future
This brings us to 1997 and the aging fifty-six-bed Salt Lake detention center is finally replaced by a privately operated one hundred and sixty bed Salt Lake Valley Detention Center (see Salt Lake Valley Detention Center – http://cornellcompanies.com.icglink.com/images/upload/Salt%20Lake%20Juvi%2011-04.pdf). That detention center was built with the future in mind and was plumbed so that in the future it could be built out to over one hundred and ninety-two beds. When it was initially opened the beds of one hundred and sixty filled up dramatically fast. The concerns were that we would need the additional beds immediately but as things have moderated, those one hundred and sixty beds still stand and are usually full at 80% capacity at any given time today.
The building that that had replaced, and that was formally operated by Cornell Connections, who also provided adult corrections and halfway houses so they were a well received partner in the detention arena, was then converted into a long term secure facility. It was remodeled and modified and it continues to be a fifty-six bed facility and is primarily used for long term secure care with specialty areas. It has a women’s ward in it. It has a sex offender ward in it and this became an important notation; that sex offenders in long term secure care, could not just be put in a facility with other men, they had to be segregated, treated, and handled differently.
One size does not fit all special gender programming/special sex offender programming
At the same time, the division of Youth Corrections did a survey and process change around gender issues and decided that females needed to be treated and have their own programs in a different way. Again, one size fits all did not work for the various specialty programs or specialty populations in youth corrections and so females were targeted for special gender programming and sex offenders for special sex offender programming.
NOJOS- Network of Juveniles Offending Sexually
At that time, the Division, under the direction again of Governor Leavitt and his staff, organized and started what was called NOJOS which stands for the Network of Juveniles Offending Sexually. Special emphasis was placed on training staff providers and others who dealt with juvenile sex offenders. This was a collection of treatment providers lead by a division of youth corrections employee named Dave Fowler and his compliment piece was a Juvenile Court worker named Bryan Matsuta. The two of them, between the court and youth corrections, established this network. It’s still viable today. It still does great work. They have a catalog of criteria for how you treat juvenile sex offenders at a very young age.
Two Unique Features added
This also prompted the beginning of two unique features in the beginning of youth corrections. One of them was for juvenile sex offenders. We started using on a limited basis, a plethysmograph. A plethysmograph in treatment is a feedback machine that is hooked to the male genitalia and then when the person is read stories or certain stimulus applied the erection suggests that they are being aroused and you can deal with their treatment issues. The plethysmograph was an issue that was highly sensitive in the treatment circle. It hadn’t been used a lot with juveniles but with the board of youth corrections approval it was authorized and used in a limited fashion. It had a great benefit in the treatment field. It was recommended by the NOJOS group(See – DYC Annual Report page 56 – http://www.hsdyc.utah.gov/pdf/DYC%20Annual%20Report%20web%202000.pdf).
2. Special Function Officers
The second element that became real crucial toward the middle of 1997 was because of the continuing violence in the community. It was determined that even though youth corrections parole officers or case managers were not post-certified, they were not law enforcement trained, they were in a department of human services. It was determined that they still needed some kind of law enforcement training. The governor and the board of youth corrections approved the hiring of special function officers. They were hired as a member of the division of youth corrections but they were gun toting badge wearing law enforcement officials and their main prospect was to go out and find kids that were on parole or that had gone AWOL (Absence Without Leave) who were not living up to the conditions of their parole. It was an interesting issue that the juvenile court raised in that they thought that AWOL status was a standard for which kids could subscribe to and that they could go on the AWOL status as almost a program benefit. AWOL as a result of the special function officers dropped from 12% of our community supervision down to 2%. We caught the kids and returned them to justice and provided a public safety in the community as a result of that. Those officers continue to function for the division today (See DYC Annual Report – http://www.hsdyc.utah.gov/pdf/DYC%20Annual%20Report%20web%202000.pdf).
New Sentencing Matrix
At the end of 1997 the Utah sentencing commission promulgated the new set of sentencing guidelines for juvenile offenders. A sentencing matrix was put in place. It was very controversial for the courts because the judges didn’t want to be told how to sentence kids. The mitigation factor was that everyone agreed that the sentencing guidelines had to be in place, but it left room for the mitigation so the judges could use it but weren’t held to it. As it turned out, most of them have accepted it, adopted it, and continue today to use the sentencing guidelines for determining where the youth might go. It is highly recommended but not mandatory. The guideline’s aimed to reduce delinquency through the application of earlier and more intensive sanctions. The guidelines proposal calls for the creation of a new disposition option for the juvenile court, known as “state supervision”. So it wasn’t just that a matrix was put in place, now the court and the new juvenile justice system would be given money to support what the sentencing option were. That was called the “state supervision”. Over six million dollars in one year was put into that. That was unheard of. The governor championed that and actually recommended that amount of money in his budget that would go into State Supervision. That sanction combined a range of non-residential interventions provided by the District or the Juvenile Court Probation. Residential treatment would be provided by the division of youth corrections for these delinquent youth ( See Juvenile Sentencing Guidelines – http://www.sentencing.state.ut.us/Guidelines/Juvenile/JuvenileManual2004.pdf).
Six-bed Female O and A Facility
In the same year, a small, six-bed, specialized, observation and assessment program for females opened in Salt Lake City. The only “O and A” in salt lake at that point was a 32 bed boys facility. We opened an additional six beds for females.
Copper Hills Youth Center
Finally, the highlight of 1997 was a privately operated program called copper hills youth center. It opened in region two which is up north and it provided the division with an additional 24 beds for observation and assessment (See Copper Hills Website – http://copperhillsyouthcenter.com/).
Price Multiuse Facility
In 1998, a ground breaking ceremony was held for a 32 bed multi-use facility that will replace the current six-bed facility in Price. The six-bed facility in Price was under condemnation. It never met the office of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention guidelines. The federal government was quite unhappy with the use of that facility in price. A new juvenile court judge had been appointed by the governor and he was quite concerned that we were violating children’s rights by putting them in this six-bed facility. It is now a 32 bed multi-use facility. It provides 16 detention beds, 16 non-secure beds for sheltered care and observation and assessment.
Ogden, Logan, and Vernal Facilities
During the first part of 1998 the division entered into contracts that were awarded for the construction of an additional 72 secure beds at Milcreek which is in Ogden and 32 bed multi-use facilities in Logan and Vernal. By the time we have finished the vernal facility we have now plastered the state of Utah with multi-use facilities in most of the rural areas; Logan, Price, Richfield, St. George, Blanding. Any location where it was too far to transport kids. Local communities were ecstatic over this change and the issue of juvenile corrections is always at the front of the discussion. Education was important, roads were important, and there was a massive build up of transportation, but when you go into local communities they wanted to talk about juvenile justice issues. The Logan and Vernal facilities both include detention beds and non secure program states to replace those smaller facilities (see Multi Use Facilities – http://www.jjs.utah.gov/multiuse-facilities.htm).
Archway Youth Services Center
While those were under contract to be built, we also opened Archway Youth Services Center up in Ogden. It is the first youth services program that is directly operated by the division. The other is in Salt Lake County and is privately operated by the Salt Lake County Government. It is called the Salt Lake County Youth Services Center, today. Archway was critical. It gave additional non-secure bed components in the community and was well-received.
Slate Canyon Youth Detention Center – colored tile issue
At the same time in Provo, we had the old Provo detention center that sat on the hill just outside of Provo and converted it to a new day treatment program for kids that are in the community that are struggling and they get continued support for community based programming and what makes that possible is that there is a brand new building in Provo that came to be known as the Slate Canyon Youth Detention Center. This was well-received also. It is built right next to the court. It is state of the art.
The interesting thing about that is that we built it did a grand opening and we went to the legislation shortly after and they complained. When we asked them what they were complaining about (since they had authorized it), one gentlemen, who shall remain nameless for this record, said “The problem is that you have colored tile in that facility. Kids don’t deserve colored tile.” We were taken back about that because we didn’t think anyone took look at the distinct style of the building. We also had to come back to report to them that the colored tile does not cost any more money than the standard brown or grey tile. They were upset that the colored tile had been used in the bathrooms.
So you get a new Slate Canyon facility of over sixty beds and now we are up to ninety-nine. We opened another program in Ogden called Paramount. It is a program that serves the unique needs of adolescent female offenders. It is like an observation assessment center, but again following our custom of dealing with sex offenders differently and females differently, this program was specifically gender based for females (See DYC Annual Report page 47 – http://www.hsdyc.utah.gov/pdf/DYC%20Annual%20Report%20web%202000.pdf).
Overall Division Growth during Leavitt Administration
With the division growing as large as it had, we are talking about a budget that went from forty million dollars at the beginning of the Leavitt administration to almost over eighty-nine million dollars. It went from small facilities that were overcrowded and under almost federal decree a couple of them came to federal law suits that were put aside with the buildings were built. The issue is that we had to have training for staff and then the division started what was called the Divisions Training Center and Academy for staff. It continues to this day. It is located in the old Juvenile Court building out on 35th south. The division runs its own academy for new employees and refreshes the training and is headed up by a training group of four or five people. It did ensure a more cost efficient and cost effective training process.
Increased efficiency in the Observation and Assessment Centers
At the end of 1999 the legislature did something to increase the amount of kids in the O and A. The kids that originally were coming were to stay ninety days, but the recommendation was made by the division of youth corrections that rather than them building another Observation and Assessment center, we would do the evaluations in half the time. So we doubled the populations going to O and A, because we reduced the length of stay from ninety days to forty-five days. This was put into law; a single extension of fifteen days could be requested by the juvenile court if the O and A director asked for it. We doubled the opportunity for O and A by just reducing the services. The Governor was very pleased with that.
First politician to the head of Youth Corrections Blake Chard
By July of 2000 the construction was completed on the multi-use facilities in Logan, Vernal, and Price. Each facility had beds for detention, shelter, observation and assessment. They also replaced their existing smaller centers. Also in July, Blake Chard became the director of Youth Corrections (see Chard Named Director for Youth Corrections – http://archive.li.suu.edu/docs/ms122/NW/ms122NW20000818.pdf). He was a legislator who had an interest in Juvenile Justice and the Governor appointed him. Blake was the first real ‘political’ appointment. The Governor appointed a politician to the head of Youth Corrections when before, all of the previous directors had been professionals in the field of Juvenile Justice and had expertise in that field. It was a water shed moment. The Governor then left the state about four months after that for his appointment to the Bush Administration.
Fourteen new Juvenile Court Judges 90% appointed by Governor Leavitt
From 1993-2000 the governor appointed fourteen new juvenile court judges. So real was this issue of more juvenile justice, more facility, and more judges that the state of Utah went from seven in Salt Lake County to fourteen and then state wide they went from twenty-one to twenty-three Juvenile Court judges. Governor Leavitt was responsible for appointing probably ninety percent of the current Juvenile Justice Judges that sit on the bench today.