A recap of recent accomplishments by the Campaign for Smart Justice (CSJ) in Utah.

District Attorney Debates

On October 3, we organized a debate for the Salt Lake County District Attorney race between Republican Nathan Evershed and Democratic incumbent Sim Gill. While elections for county prosecutor jobs are typically low profile, this contest is getting attention because both candidates promote criminal justice reform. The Salt Lake County event was the second in our series of three debates coordinated with the ABU Education Fund. The final debate, held at Utah Valley University on October 9, featured both candidates vying for the open Utah County District Attorney job—Republican David Leavitt and Libertarian Andrew McCullough. CSJ is proud to highlight the important role of Utah’s county prosecutors, and to demonstrate that criminal justice reform is not a partisan issue.

Blueprint for Change

In September, CSJ released the “Blueprint for Smart Justice Utah” as part of a national campaign to develop actionable policy steps to transform the criminal justice system and stop mass incarceration. Based on two years of research by the National ACLU and the Urban Institute, Utah’s Blueprint identifies specific changes to reduce the state’s prison population by 50% and address racial disparities in sentencing and incarceration. Even as crime rates fall, Utah’s prison population has been climbing. Since 1980, Utah’s population has increased by 200%, but the prison population has grown by 563%. The communities most impacted by mass incarceration are ethnic and racial minorities. We believe the Blueprint is a powerful tool for advocates, communities, and policy makers to address mass incarceration in Utah.

You can download the “Blueprint for Smart Justice Utah” and learn about our additional campaign goals at www.smartjusticeutah.org

This article was first published in the Liberty Reporter: 2018 Fall Newsletter >>