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SUP holds meeting

Article Date: 
29 March, 2013 (All day)

Over 45 members of the Morgan Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers met Monday, Sept. 18 at Larry’s Spring Chicken Inn.  
Calvin Stephens presented the Pioneer of the Month.  Stephens reported on Alfred Randall, who is his great great grandfather.  He had five wives and 30 children.  He now has around 6,000 descendants.  He accompanied the Prophet Joseph to Carthage.  
Alfred moved to Nauvoo, and then came west with the Pioneer Vanguard Company.  He broke his leg, which necessitated his coming later in 1848.  Alfred served missions to Beaver Mountain and also in Hawaii. With his wife Lynn, he had four children and 18 grandchildren.  He died in March 1891 and is buried in the Ogden Cemetery. 
The guest speaker was Kim Allen.  Allen was born July 13, 1946, in Henefer, Utah.  His family moved to Enterprise, where he lived until age 5 when they moved to Morgan.  He and his wife, Jeanne, have three children and eight grandchildren.  
Allen attended Utah State University for two years, then transferred to Weber State University, where in 1970 he graduated with a major in sociology.  He has spent time in California as well as in Jerusalem.  His father was a professional trapper, so Allen enjoys that past-time as well.  
Allen retired from corrections after having served for 41 years. During this time he has served in a large variety of positions including: Correctional Counselor, Probation Officer, Staff Supervisor, Assistant then Regional Administrator in Field Operations and  finally as the Senior Hearing officer on the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole. He told the group that he has been in on over 1,000 arrests, and served over several hundred search warrants.  For the past 12 years he has served on the Board of Pardons.  
Allen presented interesting advice and information.  If you are arrested, it is better to go to jail. Don’t try  to get out on a bond.  It is a waste of your money because the bondsman  keeps the bail money.  Also, don’t pay money for an attorney.  The court will provide one for you.  
Most cases end up with the individual being placed on probation for a three-year period, even if found guilty, providing they have lived a clean life.  The judge reads his statement taken from the reports given to him. 
Contrary to popular opinion, once you have a felony conviction, it remains on your record.  As a felon, you may not own or have any guns in the house where you are living.  Law enforcement officers may search your home without a warrant. If you go to prison, you will come out on probation.  If a person is convicted, the judge sets the parameters, but the parole board determines how long the person remains in prison.  He reviews the parole application for about 30 minutes, then makes a recommendation, which may or may not be upheld.  Different areas in Utah may have totally different guidelines on sentencing.
The question was asked regarding a new prison here in Utah.  He feels the governor wants the new prison.  Private industry could come in a build and maintain the new facility and relocate the new facility in an unpopulated area.  
There are about 7,000 inmates in our state prisons.  Some county jails house state inmates. This is a very lucrative business for the counties which build a larger jail than necessary, so  they can get monies from housing the state inmates.  He suggested this as a future possibility for Morgan. 
Another question was regarding a person who might commit another crime just to return to prison.  Allen indicated this was a false assumption on the part of the media and the public.  A county jail or state prison is not a pleasant situation to be in. 
Utah has about 2,200 sex offenders in prison.  The state gives many 50 years without parole.  An interesting suggestion was given that if we are requested to write a letter of recommendation on behalf of the prisoner, that we be very cautious in asking for a lenient sentence.  This is especially true because you may not  know exactly what the person has done or what they are really like.  He cited several examples where this has happened and embarrassed the person who wrote the letters in favor of the prisoner. 
What is the best solution to this growing problem?  His instant answer was regarding the families and how they affect these potential convicts.  Another question was whether the state system was really overloaded.  His response was that we have a lot of people in prison, but that there are still a lot of available rooms to house those in the Federal system.  
If any person is interested in joining the Sons of Utah Pioneers, please feel free to contact Bob Poll at (801) 876-3402.