When you think of Utah you probably think of a few things - the Mormon church, ski resorts, a popular airport hub, etc. One thing you probably don't think about, however, is jail.

Utah's incarceration rate
Utah's incarceration rate is about half the national average with only 232 out of 100,000 residents behind bars at any given time. Because of a high population density along the Wasatch Front, however, a few Utah jails do stay pretty busy - Salt Lake County Jail, Utah County Jail and Davis County Jail are among the busiest.

Utah County Jail
Utah County Jail gets a lot of attention for the innovative programs sponsored by the jail to ease the burden from taxpayers. First of all, the jail has a farm that is managed and kept up by the inmates. They grow various fruits and vegetables which they also harvest and serve to the inmates. This teaches the inmates some basic gardening skills, but more importantly it teaches the concept of self-sufficiency which is lacking in most correctional settings.

The Utah County Jail also has a work release program designed to allow low-risk inmates the opportunity to keep their job and stay in the jail at night and on the weekends. Inmates pay a daily fee for this privilege that jail officials claim almost offsets all taxpayer costs.

Utah expungement
Utah is one of the few states to allow inmates who have been convicted of certain crimes (felony and misdemeanor) to actually expunge their crimes, or have them completely removed from their record. The reasoning behind expungement is that if an inmate has something to look forward to, such as cleaning their record completely, they will be less likely to reoffend upon release.

Expungement is not possible with all crimes - certain sexual offenses, multiple convictions, etc. are not expungable - but for those that are able to finish probation and keep out of trouble for 5-7 years this is a rare opportunity.

DUI in Utah
DUI is one of the major reasons that somebody might find themselves in a Utah County Jail. Utah has an implied consent law that means when you operate a motor vehicle you are giving consent to a chemical test if requested by an officer. If you are pulled over and refuse to take a breathalyzer or other alcohol measurement test, your license will be automatically suspended.

Utah Jails