Week ending Nov. 28, 2014

Dozens of these snowmen line the "Frozen" castle.

Dozens of these snowmen line the “Frozen” castle created by women at the Timpanogos facility.

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Inmates create gingerbread houses to help sick children by Nkoyo Iyamba, KSL TV 

“Women at the Timpanogos Women’s Correctional Facility are turning gingerbread, dough and candy into themed creations that will be donated to the Festival of Trees event to raise money for Primary Children’s Hospital.”

State prison basic training for ‘Captain’ the dog by Brian Mullahy, KUTV 2

“He’s the ‘Captain’ of a cell block at the Utah State Prison in Draper — a dog with his name on a thick metal door, a canine adept at ‘sit, stay and leave it,’ supplied with rations of treats and the affectionate command and control of two women inmates.”

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

OPINION: Utah justice reformers ignore huge factors: sex offenders by Kendall Robins, The Salt Lake Tribune

“Utah’s Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) is tackling some of our communities’ most difficult challenges. One of their key objectives is to ‘coordinate statewide efforts to reduce crime and victimization in Utah.'”

PRISON RELOCATION

Residents protest proposed prison relocation sites in Utah County by Cathy Allred, Daily Herald

Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs residents are protesting the state Prison Relocation Commission’s consideration of sites within or near the cities’ borders. ‘We haven’t run into anybody who has said, ‘We want it. Bring it here,’’ said State Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, the commission chairman.”

STORIES OF INTEREST

7  years after Shelby’s Law passes, no Utah death penalty trials for child-abuse deaths by Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune

“Seven years ago, Utah lawmakers passed a law allowing prosecutors to seek the death penalty if a child dies during an act of abuse, sexual assault or kidnapping — even if the defendant does not intend to kill the victim. Since then, the accused killers of five Utah children have been charged under “Shelby’s Law,” but none have gone to trial, which leaves the statute as yet unproven before a jury and untested by an appellate court.”

IN COURT

Jones sentenced to life without parole for 2011 double murder by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“A Washington City man [Richard Jones] was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without an opportunity for parole Tuesday for a 2011 double murder.”

State prosecutor pleased with jury verdict in rape case by Will Feelright, Cache Valley Daily

“It was a long and extremely demanding case for everyone involved. Early Tuesday morning, nine jurors found a 45-year-old Wyoming man [Trevor Vanoostendorp] guilty of forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony.”

Mental competency evaluation sought for Vidinhar by Andreas Rivera, Standard-Examiner

“Attorneys for the teenager who admitted to stabbing and killing his two younger brothers are asking that Aza Ray Vidinhar be evaluated for mental competency after a new accusation of attacking a fellow prisoner.”

Teen accused in shooting death of Sgt. Cory Wride rejects plea deal; case heads to trial by Pat Reavy, Deseret News

“The woman accused in connection with the shooting death of Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride rejected a plea deal Monday. Rather than pleading guilty in exchange for being sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison, Meagan Dakota Grunwald, 18, will now go to trial.”

ON YOUTUBE.COM

Con-Quest Thanksgiving Chant, Utah State Prison by the Utah Department of Corrections

On Nov. 19, one group of Con-Quest residents performed a special chant for Thanksgiving. Therapist Jamie Ames said the men wanted to voice the hard work they are doing to overcome addictions and express appreciation for the opportunity they have to better themselves in the Con-Quest residential substance abuse program.

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