Imprisoned cult leader Warren Jeffs loses prison phone privileges for 90 days

Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs has had his phone privileges revoked for 90 days after prison authorities concluded he broke rules concerning prison phone use.

Matthew Waller reports in the San Angelo Standard-Times

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice determined that on Christmas Day, Jeffs gave a telephone conference directed at multiple people, which is against the rules for Texas prisons, TDCJ spokeswoman Michelle Lyons said.

“It was apparent in reviewing the phone calls that he was talking to a group,” Lyons said.

Lyons said she didn’t have specifics on what was said in the calls but that the calls were each 15 minutes long, the maximum length allowed for a single phone call. Prisoners get 240 phone call minutes each month.

Two people had been stricken from the list of people Jeffs was allowed to call during the investigation, Lyons said. Their identities are not public record, she said.

Jeffs, 56, is serving a sentence of life plus 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl and fathering a child with a 15-year-old girl.

Writing in the Salt Lake Tribune Lindsay Whitehurst explains

Jeffs was found guilty of “a major disciplinary infraction” for talking to a group on two separate 15-minute calls, said Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons on Monday.

“It was apparent in reviewing the phone calls that he was speaking to more than one person,” Lyons said — a violation of a rule that says inmates can talk only to people on a 10-person approved visitor list.

In a phone call broadcast over speakers in the LSJ Meetinghouse in Colorado City, Ariz., Jeffs reportedly told the FLDS congregation that they had to be “re-baptized” into the faith by Dec. 31 by following an increasingly strict set of rules or risk being “destroyed” when Jeffs’ predicted apocalypse comes.

As a result of that proclamation, more than 1,000 members were reportedly told they weren’t “worthy” to attend the main church on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. They were told to meet separately and repent, former members have said.

The sermon was reported by more than one person on Dec. 27 and the Office of the Inspector General opened an investigation, which wrapped up Friday. Jeffs won’t be able to make personal phone calls for 90 days, but his visitor and mail privileges remain intact, Lyons said.

When Jeffs gets his phone privileges back, Lyons said officials could make sure the rules are being followed by listening in on his phone calls.

Meanwhile, on her Polygamy Blog at the Salt Lake Tribune, Whitehurst notes

Yet another Warren Jeffs revelation from God came into the Utah Attorney General’s Office today. Read it here.

Yesterday Lindsay Whitehurst joined Modern Polygamy author Cardell Jacobson, Holding Out Help executive Director Tonia Tewell and attorney/historian Ken Driggs today on Radio West, a public radio program based in Salt Lake City, to discuss the FLDS state of affairs. Listen to the program.

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