State moves 1st degree felons out of county jail
Several attempted escapes from county jail facilities throughout the state have had an impact on state inmates in the San Juan County jail. Approximately 25 state inmates with first degree felony convictions have been moved from the jail in Monticello in the past month. They have been replaced by inmates with less serious convictions.
The transfer of inmates came after escape attempts from the Daggett and Beaver county jails. An internal review showed that there may be security issues at the county jails, so the state corrections officials ordered the transfer of all first degree felons back to state facilities.
On September 23, two convicted murderers escaped from the Daggett County jail. They were captured nearly a week later in Wyoming.
On October 28, a convicted rapist escaped from the Beaver County jail for several hours.
The transfer of state inmates from the San Juan County jail has had an impact on the programs offered at the facility. San Juan County has one of only two treatment programs for sex offenders.
In addition, San Juan County has one of two programs in county jails that offer college-level courses through Utah State University. The transfer of inmates came after the beginning of a new semester and took roughly half of the students who were enrolled in the program. Registration timeframes will keep enrollment low through the remainder of the school year.
San Juan County is pursuing a possible expansion that could triple the number of state inmates in the jail.