Despite being convicted and sentenced to life in prison nearly a decade ago for sexually assaulting underage girls he considered his wives, polygamous leader Warren Jeffs continues to run the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) behind bars.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been sexually abused, molested or otherwise harmed by a member of the Mormon Church or Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
Update: Jeffs Sued by Former FLDS Members
July 18, 2016 – More than a dozen ex-members of the FLDS have filed a lawsuit against Warren Jeffs and his former law firm, accusing lawyers of helping him retain control of the sect. The 121-page complaint accuses Jeffs of working with a Salt Lake City law firm and his personal attorney to further child-bride marriages, the breakup of families and child labor.
What’s the Problem?
March 14, 2016 – Earlier this year, one of Warren Jeffs’ 70-odd wives tried to visit him at a Texas prison with a tiny microphone concealed in a hallowed-out watch. Another wife was denied entrance to the prison after a metal detector found a device buried in her hair that she refused to reveal. Such is the perpetual hide-and-seek game authorities are forced to play with Jeffs, who is serving a life plus 20-year sentence at the Louis C. Powledge Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) in Palestine, TX.
Details of the microphone and other ploys to record communications with Jeffs were revealed at a trial earlier this month which offered a rare glimpse into how the imprisoned FLDS prophet still tries to maintain control over the church from behind bars.
Among other violations of prison rules, Jeffs’ phone privileges were temporarily revoked in 2012 when it was found that the caller on the other end was broadcasting his words over a speakerphone, and a prisons official testified at the trial that some mail sent by Jeffs was blocked when it was determined to be written in code.
Ever since his arrival at Powledge in 2011, Jeffs has required special attention as an inmate, receiving over 1,000 letters a day in the beginning, mainly from his devoted flock at the FLDS. That’s more letters than all the other 1,000 inmates combined at the facility, where he is held in protective custody to shield him from other prisoners.
Every piece of mail that enters Powledge is opened and inspected for contraband; outgoing mail is also examined. Although Jeffs’ mail volume has subsided over the years, he still gets up to 300 letters each day.
Jeffs doesn’t socialize, rarely gets visitors, makes few phone calls and refuses interview requests from the media, according to prison officials. He doesn’t have a cellmate and is only allowed outside his cell 3 hours per day for recreation. All meals are delivered to his cell.
He is allowed up to 10 people on an approved visitor list that can be changed every 6 months. TDCJ limits an inmate’s phone list to 20 numbers and all conversations are monitored by a third-party contractor. Exactly who’s on Jeffs’ list is confidential; however, a prison official testified at trial earlier this month that 2 of his brothers, Isaac and Nephi, are his most frequent visitors.
Jeffs is searched before he’s transferred to the visitation area, and isn’t allowed to bring anything except his prison ID card. During visits from his immediate family members, he sits across from them at a table. Other visitors communicate through a mesh screen. Corrections officers (COs) are always nearby.
Willie Jessop, a former FLDS security chief who has renounced the sect, testified at the trial that he received over 100 coded letters taken out of the prison by Jeffs’ attorneys. They were decoded by his wives and then distributed to church members.
According to Jessop, FLDS members who blindly followed Jeffs for years are still writing him because they are leaderless and desperate for guidance.
“It’s just going to take time to wear this out, just like coming to grips with the fact there’s no Santa Claus living at the North Pole,” he said.
Do I Need an FLDS Lawyer?
The Sexual Abuse Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in FLDS abuse lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently investigating potential settlements in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was sexually abused, molested or otherwise harmed by a member of the FLDS, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.