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Procedure for securely bringing prisoners from Utah to court



Salt Lake City, Utah – Every time a Utahn who is in jail appears in court, a coordinated transportation operation involving several organizations works behind the scenes.

Asa Jett, a Deputy with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, is the person in charge of managing jail transportation at the Matheson Courthouse.

“We transport anywhere from 20 inmates, 200 inmates daily here, depending on the day Monday through Friday, there’s always something going on,” he explained.

Even though her department does not handle corrections, prisoners are kept in a makeshift jail at the courthouse while they await their hearings.

“Down here we do have anything from a citation to capital murder, we see it all the time, the high-profile cases,” Jett said. “We do have to separate some people, unfortunately, but they all go to court, they all come down, and we have a large transportation team that gets them back to the [Salt Lake County Jail].”

Because of meticulous preparation, the majority of days are somewhat boring. However, Jett stated that chaos can occasionally break out, particularly when someone is found guilty during a trial.

“Emotions can be high down here, a lot of foot traffic when you have 100 plus inmates in the morning, trying to get them all to their destinations,” he said. “And then plus the bailiff’s team that has to come pick up so they’re asking you questions, the Sargent is asking you questions.”

Jett and his colleagues work quietly in the background, five days a week, 52 weeks a year, to keep everything running smoothly.

“Working down here in the holding area, it’s nice to see some of these that are incarcerated, be released and they go into their programs, they come to court weekly and we see them at the door and they’re doing a lot better,” Jett reflected. “They’re excited to see us because we do treat them well down here. So it is thankless, but it’s also nice to see those that do get out…”


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