Weber County Sheriff asks viewers to approve jail expansion

Sep 27, 2023, 7:06 PM | Updated: 10:01 pm

OGDEN — The Weber County Sheriff is asking voters for up to $98 million in bond funds to help with growing mental health and drug addiction needs.

Deputies say right now, they’re struggling to keep up.

The medical wing is designed for six people. The request is to build a new medical wing to add capacity for 48 additional patients.

You might call it improvising, using a higher-security area for mental health inmates.

“We have a 32-man unit that should house 32 individuals. Right now, it houses between 14 and 15 individuals that are mentally ill because they can’t be housed with other people,” Chief Deputy Phillip Reese explained. “It overflows often into our booking area, which isn’t safe. It’s not how it’s designed to be.”


Often over a hundred inmates per day may have to come through this combined dental, medical, and mental health exam room.

Reese said, “It’s very crammed and it’s less than ideal.”

The area for counseling is a very narrow cubicle. It’s why Sheriff Ryan Arbon is asking voters to approve up to $98 million.

“Back then when this was designed and built, there was not an opioid crisis and there wasn’t a mental health crisis either,” The Sheriff said.

The bond proposal includes a new justice center where some 225 work-release inmates can stay and outside resources can come to help prepare inmates for re-entry into the community.

Arbon said, “Just locking somebody up does not do a whole lot of good if there’s nothing, no education or no programming or counseling with them.”

Arbon said he’d like the room to start preparing inmates on day one to contribute to society and not go back to crime, connecting them with resources to find housing, jobs, and education.

Meantime, deputies continue to make do, but it’s tough.

Reese said, “You walk into any given housing unit day-in and day-out, the smells, the sounds, the reverberation. It’s exhausting for our staff.”

They say they need to better serve people while they’re here and better prepare them to make a change.

“And if we can prevent future crimes, we save money,” Reese said.

The bond is estimated to cost a homeowner with around a $470,000 value about $4.50 a month. For businesses, it’s around $8.20.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

(KSL TV)...

Casey Scott

Casey Scott surprises Utahns with free gas cards and bro hugs at Sugar House Park

It's Wednesday, which means Casey Scott was surprising a few lucky Utahns with $50 gas cards, Sinclair Oil prize packs and bro hugs! Today, Casey was running around Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City.

14 minutes ago

A man and young girl were injured following a motorcycle accident on Tuesday....

Eliza Pace

19-year-old man arrested in connection to Salt Lake City homicide

A 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of shooting and killing 30-year-old Nico Christopher Patino in May.

52 minutes ago

Police arresting the suspect in a double homicide in St. George on June 19, 2024....

Josh Ellis

Two people shot, killed in southern Utah home; suspect taken into custody

Police say two people were shot and killed and officers issued a shelter-in-place order as they search for a suspect who is considered armed and dangerous.

9 hours ago

FILE (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)...

Debbie Worthen

Justice Department report alleges Utah in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act

A Justice Department report released Tuesday suggests Utah is segregating youth and adults with disabilities.

17 hours ago

An update from the Utah Women & Leadership Project addresses sexual harassment complaints across th...

Simone Seikaly, KSL NewsRadio

Report finds fewer Utah workers experiencing sexual harassment

An update from the Utah Women & Leadership Project addresses sexual harassment complaints across the state and concludes Utah is seeing fewer sexual harassment reports.

17 hours ago

According to new data from Carfax, at the end of last year, there were 609,000 vehicles with an unf...

Matt Gephardt

600,000 cars in Utah need recalls fixed, what is holding up the repair work?

According to new data from Carfax, at the end of last year, there were 609,000 vehicles with an unfixed recall in Utah.

17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Weber County Sheriff asks viewers to approve jail expansion