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Utah Prison Tackling Problems With Sex Offender Treatment

Utah Prison

Utah prison officials are scrambling to reform the state's sex-offender treatment program after an audit found serious flaws in the system that treats nearly a third of the state's prison population.

Authorities told lawmakers they're developing new targeted programs and offering treatment more days a week.

Most sex offenders must complete treatment to be released, but an audit found that backlogs are keeping some in prison beyond their parole eligibility.

Lawmakers say the problems are also worrisome because a relatively high portion of Utah's inmates are sex offenders and keeping them behind bars longer than necessary drives up costs.

Rep. Eric Hutchings, a Kearns Republican, says many inmates and their families have contacted him about the issue, so he's glad to see reforms underway.