By CORRINNA BONET
A state-run reporting center, that is designed to help individuals on parole and probation adjust to society,is planned to open in Provo next month.
While some residents are concerned about having people who are on probation or parole in their neighborhood, state correction officials said the new center will only provide services to those in the area.
“The people who will be going to the center are the same people who are currently reporting to the adult probation and parole office right across the street,” said Jerry Taylor, regional administrator for adult probation and parole.
The new facility will give individuals on parole or probation some new opportunities not available to them in the current center, he said.
The day-reporting center would provide classes for patrons that cover topics such as anger management, substance abuse and parenting skills.
It would also help patrons find employment and assist them with skills such as resume writing and job interviewing.
“The goal of the center is to assist individuals … to become active, successful, productive citizens,” said Jack Ford, spokesman for the Utah Department of Corrections.
While residents may not be opposed to the program itself, some have reservations about the center in their neighborhood, at 75 S. 200 East.
“Who wants to walk out to their car alone at night when there are people right next door who have just gotten out of prison?” said Sherri Loo, a Provo resident.
But state corrections officials said they are already in the neighborhood, with the current office across the street, and the center will only be open during daylight hours.
“One of the frequently expressed concerns when these centers open is that there will be a sudden surge of criminal activity in the immediate area,” Ford said.
Statistics, however, indicate that these concerns are unwarranted, he said.
Since the Salt Lake City center opened several years ago, criminal activity in the area hasn’t increased, Ford said.
The Salt Lake center, which is surrounded by professional and residential building, is similar to the Provo location.
Other day reporting centers are in Ogden, Farmington and Salt Lake City.