Woodrow Burton, a “frequent flier” in Salt Lake City’s criminal-justice community. He has amassed a long history of arrests but some of those busts have come without one thing: jail time. In a three-year span, Burton, 56, was nabbed 18 times, hauled to the county jail and released without ever spending a minute behind bars. The lockup has turned away 10,167 other arrestees, says a Salt Lake Tribune review of jail records between April 2005 and April 2008.
Today, the County Council will consider reopening a closed jail called Oxbow. The county’s most commonly arrested people often wrangle with homelessness or substance-abuse issues. Oxbow could help rehabilitate them, said Sheriff Jim Winder said. The facility would specialize in providing treatment and social programs to inmates with substance and behavioral issues. The result: more bed space in the county’s primary lockup – the Adult Detention Center – for other offenders.