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02 October 2017 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist

Check out our first ever report on state legislation that criminalizes behavior and enhances penalties, contributing to "Utah's Statehouse-to-Prison Pipeline"! Screen Shot 2017 10 02 at 2.19.06 PM

During the 2017 Legislative Session, Utah lawmakers proposed nearly 30 bills that threatened to exacerbate Utah’s mass incarceration problem. This is a bipartisan habit; lawmakers from both sides of the aisle continuously think up new crimes and devise new or hardened punishments. 

 Taken individually, each of these bills can seem like a good idea. The problems that lawmakers are trying to address are serious, and their intentions in addressing those problems are generally good. But when taken all together, and over multiple years, these bills – in attempting to address individual social problems – result in a very problematic pattern. 

 Read the full "Utah's Statehouse-to-Prison Pipeline" report here. 

The goal of this report is to help our elected officials and their policy partners view the bills described in "Utah's Statehouse-to-Prison Pipeline" as working together to further a financially and socially expensive phenomenon. Our hope is that when such bills are considered in the future, our state leaders will weigh the overall impact and prioritize only the most critical bills. 

Not all the news is bad, though! 

Our state leaders also presented 12 very positive bills that were aimed at reforming the criminal justice system, or ameliorating the devastating impact of decades of mass incarceration. We would love to see more of these bills in the future, and have plenty of praise for those courageous lawmakers who take on these important legislative proposals! 

We encourage you to get in touch - and be in touch regularly - with your elected state representatives to let them know how you feel about Utah's mass incarceration problem, and what they can do to become part of the solution. 

 Read the full "Utah's Statehouse-to-Prison Pipeline" report here. 

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