February 3, 1999
SALT LAKE CITY – The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah today urged legislators to support House Bill 23, Department of Corrections Compensation Adjustment, sponsored by Representative Gary Cox.
The ACLU of Utah maintains that proper training of correctional officers, along with the experience that results from long-term employment, creates a safer environment for both inmates and those working within the state correctional system.
"It is troubling that currently, correctional officers are leaving the Utah State Prison because they can be paid more at our county jails," said Carol Gnade, Executive Director of the ACLU of Utah. "By providing an incentive to leave state corrections, the existing salary disparity is a direct threat to a safe and constitutionally sound correctional system" she added.
The ACLU of Utah has been encouraged by what the Department of Corrections has been able to accomplish under the direction of Pete Haun. Through his leadership, the department has implemented prison policies and programs that reduce state liability and create a safer prison system. The ACLU of Utah feels that HB 23 is a necessary component to Haun’s larger vision.