Utah Department of Corrections

Department Policies

This page provides an alphabetical list of three types of documents: Department policies that have been deemed public; regulations that the Department is required by statute to make available to the general public; and protocols that guide the Department's operations.

Officer Involved Critical Incident Investigative Protocol


Utah Department of Corrections' Public Policies: This search tool allows you to access the Department's public policies. See instructions below.

The Department of Corrections begins preparing offenders for release from the day they enter the prison system. That begins with assessments in Receiving & Orientation, where inmates' education, treatment and life skills needs are evaluated. It continues as staff help inmates set goals for their recovery, rehabilitation and skill development so they will have the tools they need to lead a successful, crime-free life when they return to the community — as 95 percent of offenders do. Below you'll find overviews of the various evaluations and programs available to inmates during their incarceration.

Case Action Planning (CAP): While in Receiving and Orientation, inmates are monitored and take various assessments to determine their specific needs. That information is used to develop a Case Action Plan that outlines the inmate's educational, program and treatment needs and to set goals for the inmate during his or her incarceration. Progress and accomplishments are noted in the inmate's file, which is reviewed by the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole.


graduation  graduation1
: Most offenders who are sent to prison have less than a high-school education. The Utah Department of Corrections offers high school education through partnerships with local school districts. The Canyons School District operates the South Park Academy at the Utah State Prison, while the South Sanpete School District operates the Central Academy at the Central Utah Correctional Facility. The Department offers vocational training through partnerships with the Davis Technical College; Snow College; and the Uintah Basin Technical College. Inmates also may take advantage of numerous life-skills and literacy classes taught by volunteers and community organizations. Inmates also may enroll in distance-learning programs, receiving coursework materials through the U.S. Mail. Such programs provide an opportunity for inmates to earn advanced degrees. These programs are not funded by the State, but several non-profit organizations and private entities offer tuition help.

Employment: Inmates, depending on their privilege level, may work basic jobs in their housing units or apply for jobs with Utah Correctional Industries (UCI), which are usually higher paying. UCI offers a wide variety of work experiences, with on-the-job training and real-world application. UCI jobs are located both within the prison and off site. Within the prison, inmates' work opportunities include the Commissary, the sign shop, the furniture shop, the license plate shop, the print shop and the upholstery shop. UCI also operates the Serving Time Cafe, a restaurant staffed by female inmates and open to the public. It is located adjacent to the prison at 14072 Pony Express Road in Draper. 

Inmates applying for UCI jobs go through a formal application and interview process that matches what they might experience in the community. The jobs provide inmates an opportunity to produce useful products and services for customers while gaining the tools needed to succeed when released back to their communities. Jobs help inmates stay positively engaged while serving time, reducing the idleness, boredom and hopelessness that can trigger management and security problems for staff, visitors, volunteers and other inmates. The opportunity to engage in paid work through UCI is a powerful motivator for improving inmate behavior.

State statute governing UCI's operations

Visit UCI's website

parentingclass lifeskills

Life skills:In addition to formal education, there are other tools offenders often need in order to change their lifestyles and adopt an outlook more conducive to long-term success. Life skills courses include Thinking for a Change, Communication, Computer Literacy, Relationships, Relapse Prevention, Career Power, Financial Literacy, Anger Management, Parenting, Impact of Crime on Victims, Domestic Violence, Victim Empathy, and Thinking Errors. Initial assessments may identify course s an inmate needs to overcome specific challenges. Inmates also may seek to enroll in non-required courses, provided space is available.

Substance abuse treatment programs: The Utah Department of Corrections operates treatment programs for both male and female inmates designed to address substance abuse issues. The programs, which rely on evidence-based protocols shown to reduce recidivism, are in high demand. Only a small portion of inmates are serving time for drug possession alone; many engaged in criminal activity — such as theft, burglary and forgery — to support drug habits.

The Con-Quest program at the Utah State Prison and the HOPE program at the Central Utah Correctional Facility, both for male inmates, were named National Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Mentor Host Sites for 2014. The Excell program for women was one of 15 finalists for the designation.

Con Quest Con Quest1

About Con-Quest: The Con-Quest program is housed in the Promontory Facility at the Utah State Prison and can accommodate 400 inmates. Inmates with substance dependence or abuse issues who have treatment listed among their top priorities in a Case Action Plan are eligible to participate in the program. Con-Quest is based on a therapeutic community model and is focused on teaching responsible living habits to enable inmates to successfully re-entry society. Inmates, called residents while in the program, practice and live those principles on a daily basis, with daily responsibilities they are expected to perform. A key aspect of the program is accountability, and residents are taught to hold each other accountable to their actions, behaviors and attitudes. While in Con-Quest, residents engage in individual and group therapy with licensed clinicians. They also participate in behavioral modification classes and are able to participate in educational and vocational training programs designed to enhance employment skills. Residents are expected to be productively engaged 40 hours per week in jobs, classes or programs. Residents spend a minimum of 12 months in the program.

About HOPEHOPE is housed in the Fir unit at the Central Utah Correctional Facility. The dormitory-style unit is capable of housing up to 288 inmates, with 48 inmates in each of the six sections. HOPE is organized as a therapeutic community aimed at helping inmates live clean, sober, positive and productive lives and typically takes 12 months to 13 months to complete. The program's therapeutic design intentionally uses a positive peer culture and environment, where high standards, morals of "right living" and pro-social core values are reinforced with privileges, rewards and recognition. The HOPE clinical staff and Fir security staff, as well as HOPE graduates, serve as role models to the program’s residents. Ideally, inmates leave the program with tools necessary to avoid re-engaging in problem behaviors. HOPE includes a thorough relapse prevention component that enables recovering addicts to live cautiously, knowing their next relapse could be around the corner. A companion goal in HOPE's behavior modification program is the recognition and elimination or reduction of criminal thinking and anti-social behavior after a return to the outside community.

ExCell excellgraduates

About ExcellExcell is based on a residential, therapeutic community model and is designed to help women overcome substance abuse issues and resolve trauma (physical and emotional abuse) that often underlie criminal behaviors. An analysis of the 11-month program found that women who complete the Excell program are nearly 30 percent less likely to return to prison than inmates who do not. 

Reading for the Blind: This program, launched in 1988, employs offenders at a modest wage to make audio recordings of books for the visually impaired. Reading for the Blind is part of a broader organization — the Program for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Utah State Library Division, which serves patrons both locally and nationally. The program is housed in a donated facility that has reading rooms and editing stations equipped with tape duplication machines. Reading for the Blind employees read hundreds of books each year, which are then added to the State Library's collection. Some offenders continue volunteering to read books for this program at the Utah State Library even after they are released from prison.

Religious Services
There are more than two dozen religious practices represented among Utah's prison population. To meet the spiritual needs of inmates, Corrections works with volunteers who oversee activities, programs and religious services. The Department employs part-time chaplains to provide ecclesiastical counseling and non-denominational services. For more information about religious services, visit the "religious services" page under our "Volunteers" tab.

welding   culinary
Vocational Certificates
 The Department works with several applied technology colleges to certify inmates in vocational trades. Those colleges are: Davis Technical College; Uintah Basin Technical College; Snow College and Dixie State University. At the Utah State Prison, male inmates may earn certificates in seven areas: Automotive Technology; Machinist Technician; Maintenance Technician; Welding Technology; Business Technology; and Culinary Arts. Female inmates may earn certificates in two programs (Culinary Arts and Business Technology). At the Central Utah Correctional Facility, certificates are offered in Culinary Arts and Building Trades.

The prison's telephone surcharge fees — paid by inmate families and friends who accept their collect calls — help support this program. However, offenders often take out student loans in order to enroll in vocational trades. Due to the fact the offender does not have a significant source of income while incarcerated, he or she is given adequate time post-release to repay any debt incurred. After an offender is "off paper" (no longer under the department's purview in either the prison or on parole status), that individual has three years to repay the student loans, meaning the State and its taxpayers are not shouldering the costs of post-secondary education. 


The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole is tasked by State statute with determining how long an offender is incarcerated and on probation or parole. The board consists of five full-time and five part-time members. Board members are appointed by the Governor, with confirmation from the Legislature. Members generally possess expertise in areas of law, corrections and mental health. The board is a separate entity from the Department of Corrections and makes its decisions independently, though Corrections employees supply the board with information about offenders.

Utah uses indeterminate sentencing, which means sentences are set for a time range rather than a specific time period. The sentence for an offender who commits a 3rd-degree felony, for example, may range from 0 to 5 years.

The board decides when to release an offender as well as any conditions of parole the offender must abide by if released prior to completing a sentence. The board has the authority to pardon, commute or reduce sentences; impose restitution, fines and forfeitures; issue arrest warrants for parole violations; impose sanctions for parole violations; revoke parole and return parolees to prison; and conduct evidentiary hearings.

Within six months of commitment to prison, the board will set an original hearing date for an offender. One exception: inmates who are sentenced to death or life without parole by a court are not given an original hearing.

The following schedule shows how long an inmate typically serves before the board sets an original hearing:

3rd-degree felony (non-sex offense): 3 months
3rd-degree felony (sex offense): 6 months
2nd-degree felony (non-sex offense): 6 months
2nd-degree felony (sex offense): 12 months
1st-degree felony (less than 15-year minimum): 3 years
1st-degree felony (more than 15-year minimum): 15 years

See R671-201 [http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/code/r671/r671-201.htm] for complete information. 

The board considers many factors when setting the length of a sentence, including: the nature of the offense; prior criminal history; institutional progress; any mental health or psychological evaluations; recommendations of the sentencing judge and prosecutor; and letters from the victim, family and other interested parties.

Board decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

There are board hearing rooms at the Utah State Prison and the Central Utah Correctional Facility. All board hearings are open to the public and anyone may attend provided they are allowed on prison property.

For more information about the Utah Board of Pardons, please visit www.bop.utah.gov or call 801-261-6464.



Contact information:
Clinical Services Bureau
P.O. Box 250
Draper, UT 84020
Telephone: 801-576-7114
Fax: 801-576-4051

Every inmate receives a medical screening upon arrival in the Receiving and Orientation unit. Newly arrived inmates are offered a complete physical exam by a Clinical Service Bureau staff member.

The Department's Clinical Services Bureau operates infirmaries at both the Utah State Prison and the Central Utah Correctional Facility. The infirmaries are certified by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care and offer comprehensive, on-site medical care where medical staff can treat or stabilize inmates needing health care. Inmates at both prisons may submit an Inmate Care Request slip to make an appointment with a health care professional. The requests are picked up daily and evaluated by medical staff to determine what level of care is appropriate. Clinics are daily with medication passes twice daily. Medical emergencies are handled immediately.

The Wasatch Infirmary, located at the Utah State Prison, also has a telemedicine system that allows inmates to be evaluated and followed by off-site specialists, reducing the need to transport inmates elsewhere for care.

The infirmaries offer X-ray, physical therapy, vision, OB/GYN (Wasatch) and dental services; hospice care for terminally ill inmates is available at the Wasatch Infirmary. Inmates who display particularly concerning behavior, such as suicidal tendencies, may be temporarily housed at an infirmary so they can be carefully monitored and access to materials that might be used in harmful ways is reduced.

The Clinical Services Bureau operates a pharmacy to provide prescription medications to inmates. Depending on the type of medication, inmates may receive a blister pack of pills that he or she may self-administer. Pill lines are held twice a day for medications that must be more carefully monitored.

The Clinical Services Bureau contracts with the University of Utah Hospital for treatment of seriously ill inmates who cannot be properly cared for at an infirmary or require evaluation or care from a specialist.

Since the de-institutionalization of mental health patients in the 1980s, prisons and jails through the nation have become the primary mental health care providers for offenders in the criminal justice system. Utah is no exception. The Department is charged with the difficult task of taking custody of these inmates while maintaining security and showing appropriate compassion and care.

The Bureau oversees mental health services for inmates and strives to provide comprehensive and cost-effective treatment. Inmates diagnosed with the most severe mental health conditions may be housed in the Olympus facility, a stand-alone unit, while they are stabilized. The Department also has access to two beds at the Utah State Hospital.

Utah's prison population is aging — the result of older offenders sentenced to prison and offenders with longer or life-long sentences. The Department has created two specific geriatric units at the Utah State Prison, one in Lone Peak and the other in Oquirrh 5.

Under State law, inmates are assessed a $5 co-pay for primary medical and dental care and are charged a $2 co-pay for prescription medication. When an inmate receives care in the community, he or she is responsible for 10 percent of the costs, with a cap of $2,000 per fiscal year. An inmate who has assets exceeding $200,000 upon arrival at the prison is expected to pay costs of all medical and dental care up to 20 percent of his or her total asset value. Offenders pay 50 percent of the cost for eyeglasses, dentures and medical supplies. 

That said, health care is considered a basic need and is provided to every inmate regardless of ability to pay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How soon will an inmate see health care staff after being sent to the prison?

A. Shortly after arrival and while in Receiving and Orientation, an inmate will see health care staff and be offered the following:
— a nursing intake assessment to determine immediate health care needs;
— a physical exam by a physician assistant or nurse practitioner;
— a mental health evaluation;
— a dental screening.

Q. How does an inmate request health care?

A. An inmate completes an Inmate Care Request (ICR) form, available at each housing unit, to request health care. The inmate puts the completed ICR form in a sick-call box, which is checked daily by Clinical staff.

Q. When and where will prescribed medication(s) be available to an inmate?

A. Generally, within 24 hours after an inmate's sick call/clinic appointment any prescribed medication will be available at the pill line (excluding weekends). Refills of long-term prescriptions are available once certain criteria are met.

Q. Can an inmate get over-the-counter medications and supplies?

A. Yes, a catalog of over-the-counter medications and supplies is available through the Commissary.

Q. Are family members able to get copies of an inmate's medical records?

A. Yes, but an inmate must authorize and initiate that process through a GRAMA records request. The inmate requests a GRAMA form from his or her caseworker, fills it out as specifically as possible and returns it to the caseworker to be notarized. Unless indigent, an inmate must provide a blank money transfer form to cover the cost (25-cents per page) of duplicating the records. The complete form is then sent to the records specialist for review and response.

Q. Are family members able to speak to medical staff about an inmate's health?

A. Yes, but an inmate must authorize and initiate that process using the "Authorization To Verbally Discuss Health Information" form, available from a caseworker. The inmate must fill out the form, have his or her caseworker notarize it and then submit it to the Clinical Services Bureau. A designated staff member at the Bureau will make contact with the inmate's designated person to verify information and set up a passcode to be used when contacting the Bureau. Each authorization is good for 90 days.

Q. What if an inmate is having thoughts of suicide?

A. Inmates are encouraged to tell any staff member or submit an ICR form if they are struggling with thoughts of self harm. A crisis visit with a mental health professional will be arranged as soon as possible. Inmates who suspect another offender is considering suicide are encouraged to report that to staff immediately.

Q. Are accommodations made for inmates with a disability through the Americans with Disability Act?

A. Yes, those arrangements can be made through an inmate's caseworker or housing unit officer.

Q. Do inmates have co-pay charges?

A. Yes. Co-payment requirements changed in 2009. Inmates are assessed a $5 co-pay for primary medical care, $5 for dental care and $2 for prescription medication. For services provided outside of prison while still in the Department of Corrections' custody, the inmate is responsible for 10 percent of hospital care costs.

There is a cap on the inmate's share of expenses of $2,000 per fiscal year. An inmate with assets exceeding $200,000 upon entry into the Department's custody is responsible to pay costs of all medical and dental care up to 20 percent of the inmate's total asset value. After receiving medical and dental care equal to 20 percent of the inmate's total asset value, the inmate will be subject to the normal co-payments.

Inmates pay 50 percent of the cost for eyeglasses, dentures and medical supplies. However, no medical or mental health visit, procedure or supplies will be denied due to lack of funds.

Q. What is outside care?

A. Outside care is any health care provided by someone other than Department staff. This includes all appointments, surgeries, tests, X-rays, etc. conducted at outside health clinics and hospitals.

Q. What is telemedicine?

A. Telemedicine is available in the Wasatch Infirmary and uses a camera and a telephone connection to provide live-video conferences with specialists, who are able to see and converse with inmates.




Visit an inmate

An inmate may send you a visiting application or you may download one on the Visitor Application Forms page. Fill out the form and submit it to: Inmate Visiting Office, P. O. Box 250, Draper, UT 84020.  

If you pass a background check, you will be added to the inmate's approved visitors list. Minor children, with some exceptions, may visit inmates when accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or other authorized family member. Please see the Visiting Rules page, for more details. Approval may take 21 to 45 days.

Visiting schedules are posted under the "Visitation" button on the Department's public website. Visitors are expected to follow the dress code and other rules, and may not bring any items to inmates. Visitors and their vehicles may be searched when entering prison property.

Check out the Visitation Section of our website for additional information.  You can also contact the Visiting Office at 801-576-7014.

Receive telephone calls

CenturyLink is the Inmate Telephone System provider for the Utah Department of Corrections. You must establish a pre-paid account that allows an inmate to call you. Call 888-506-8407 or visit the CenturyLink website to set up an account. You also can find more information about the Inmate Telephone System provided by CenturyLink on the company's website.

Inmate Telephone System Rates

Warning: The new CenturyLink Inmate Telephone Service IS NOT associated with a company called "IC Solutions" (Inmate Call Solutions). That company has a name that is nearly identical to that of the company CenturyLink uses to set up prepaid accounts — ICSolutions. Please be sure you are accessing the correct company at the website above when you set up your account. 

For questions about the Inmate Telephone System, please contact 801-576-7684 (Utah State Prison) or 435-528-6500 (Central Utah Correctional Facility).


Send a letter

Inmates may begin receiving mail as soon as they arrive at prison.

Multilayered cards, crayon and marker drawings are not allowed. Inmates are allowed to have 25 photos in their possession; the photos can not be larger than 8x10, may not be Polaroids and must not be pornographic in nature. Inmates may not have photos of or including themselves. Inmates may not receive packages except when authorized for medical reasons.

Letters should be addressed as follows:

Inmate name and offender number
Utah State Prison
P. O. Box 250
Draper, UT 84020


Inmate name and offender number
Central Utah Correctional Facility
P. O. Box 550
Gunnison, UT 84634

Find the offender's number using the Inmate Search Feature. 

For questions about mail issues only, please call 801-576-7956.

Put money in an inmate's account

The Utah Department of Corrections uses a third-party provider (Access Corrections) to handle deposits to inmate accounts. Money may be deposited on an inmate's account by mail, telephone, via the Internet or at kiosks at the main visiting entrances at the Utah State Prison and Central Utah Correctional Facility. You will need the inmate's full name and offender number.

By mail: Download payment form and follow instructions provided.

By telephone: Call 1-866-345-1884 -  A $6.95 transaction fee is applied for phone transactions.

By Internet: Visit AccessCorrections.com to establish an account. A $6.95 transaction fee is applied for internet transactions.

At kiosks in visiting areas: The kiosks are available during regular business hours and accept cash, debit or credit cards. A $3.50 per transaction fee is applied for cash transfers and a $3.95 per transaction fee if using a credit or debit card.

Walk-In locations: Access Corrections has partnered with Cash Pay Today to provide walk-in locations that accept deposits to inmate accounts. Visit CashPayToday.com to register and find locations near you. For more information, call 844-340-2274.

For general questions about Inmate Accounting, please call 801-545-5500 or 801-576-7000.

Buy books and magazines for an inmate

Books may only be purchased through the prison Commissary and are sent directly to the prison by the book vendor. Each book is inspected before being delivered to an inmate. Family and friends may get a magazine subscription for an inmate by filling out a subscription form listing the inmate, his or her offender number and the facility address. Magazines are then mailed directly to the inmate by the publisher.

For questions about books, magazines or other inmate property issues, contact Inmate Property at 801-576-7951 or 801-576-7952.

Arrange a marriage ceremony

Marriages are set up through our Religious/Volunteer Services Office. The inmate will need to complete and submit an application. For more information, contact the Volunteer Services Office at 801-576-7817.