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New Tool Promises More Transparency About Inmate Population In Salt Lake County

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah – A new tool promises more transparency about the inmate population in Salt Lake County. The Jail Dashboard project was introduced Wednesday during a press conference with Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson and Sheriff Rosie Rivera.

According to jail personnel, it currently costs taxpayers about $102 per day to house an inmate and it has as rated capacity of 2400 beds.

Data from the dashboard shows there are currently 2,251 inmates at the jail.

One of the challenges the jail is facing is a growing population that is overcrowding its cells. Local leaders are hoping the new jail dashboard tool will spark a conversation about solutions to help the inmate population.

According to the Sheriff’s office, “the project is a collaboration between the Criminal Justice Advisory Council and Sheriff Rosie Rivera.”

“The Jail Dashboard is an interactive tool that pulls data from the Salt Lake County Jail’s data system. It is updated every day and provides general information about the current jail population including the demographic makeup of current jail inmates, which agency brought them to the jail, for what reason, and how long they have stayed.

This new dashboard is accessible on-line. According to Sheriff Rivera’s office it’s the first of its kind made available to the public in the state in that it provides real time information about the inmate population.

For example, with a click one can find out how many inmates are currently incarcerated, homeless, their marital status, peak booking hours, and if they have prior criminal backgrounds.

“Our jail was built over 20 years ago and it was not built for the population today. So we do know that but we also know that there are folks in jail, who there may be other alternatives for them,” expressed Sheriff Rivera emphasizing that they also want to provide more transparency to the public.

“Also at the same time, [we want to] allow the public access to see what we see. The more eyes on this type of problem, maybe we will come up with a better solution,” Rivera stated.

“It’s also about dialogue by knowing who is in at a given moment in time, we are able to make more strategic and stronger policy decisions,” Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said.

Another goal of the dashboard is to better identify individuals at risk of becoming repeat offenders and those that may be better served at other institutions.

To find out more about the Dashboard and click here.

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