Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder says Republican Salt Lake County Mayoral Mark Crockett has little understanding of how the county jail system works. Winder was responding to statements Crockett made this morning at the Salt Lake County jail about the county budget and reducing recidivism rates in the jail system.
Crockett’s plan includes the use of a program called Real Victory, in which some offenders could be released from jail and receive daily, automated phone calls with messages of encouragement and support. Crockett says the system will work because jail inmates aren't as bad as prison inmates.
“Prison is for felons," Crockett says. "Those are the people who we find scary and a risk to society, Violent offenders. Jail is supposed to be about misdemeanants, people we’re worried about, people we’re concerned about, people maybe we’re mad at and annoyed with.
Real Victory is an organization based out of Springville, Utah that partnered with Brigham Young University to test the program.
But Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder says Crockett’s plan has no chance of working. He held a last minute press conference at the county jail to address the comments.
“Ladies and gentleman, if Mr. Crockett believes that we can suddenly release large numbers of individuals onto the streets of this community, he is sadly mistaken," Winder says. "I want to be very clear that the Salt Lake County Jail houses a number of violent felons and other felons.”
Crockett also indicated Sheriff Winder has requested an additional $225 million for new jail beds. Winder says no such request has been made.