Utah's got a monetary problem. We're wasting lots of taxpayers' dollars on managing parolees.
And worse, besides the wasted money, our state is just about worst in the nation when it comes to recidivism rates, or parolees returning to the state prison system.
There's a reason this is happening. According to a state audit, the different communities in our state have a helter-skelter approach to managing parolees.
Vernal, for example, allows parolees 15 offenses before parole is revoked. In Moab, only four offenses sends a parolee back to prison.
These varied guidelines are ridiculous, and can no longer be tolerated. Utah needs to have uniform guidelines and better training of parole supervisors. That's what the audit recommends and it's good advice that needs to be implemented.
The current system has allowed for wide disparities of parolees' fates depending on the city. Between 2008 and 2012, Ogden had 32 percent of parolees return to prison. In contrast, Farmington had 21 percent, and Brigham City, 15 percent.
According to the national Bureau of Justice, Utah ranks an unenviable number two in the nation in parolees being sent back to prison. The state audit contends that with uniform guidelines and better training, Utah can educe those numbers, and save taxpayers' dollars.
We agree. Besides the training for parole officers, a better state system can also improve the chances of parolees finding work, avoiding temptations such as drugs, and having a better chance of reforming their lives.
A lower recidivism rate, due to the audit's recommendations, can save money that we're currently using to send these parolees back to prison.