Prison Relocation-5

In this Feb. 26, 2015, photo, Department of Corrections Officers walk through the Uinta 5 receiving and orientation unit during a media tour at the Utah State Correctional Facility in Draper, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool. File)

In the Utah state prison system, some stabbings matter more than others.

If you’re dying from stab wounds, your family gets a phone call. Prison officials also call your family if you die.

But if you’re stabbed 30 times and survive, nobody needs to know.

Welcome to Dianna Maestas’ world.

  • RELATED: “Ogden man identified by his mother as stabbing victim at Utah State Prison”

At least three inmates jumped Roberto Duran at the state prison in Uinta and gashed him with a homemade weapon about 30 times July 27. Nobody told Maestas that her son had been attacked — she learned about it from her husband, also a state prisoner.

Officially, the Utah Department of Corrections acknowledged only that an inmate was attacked, transported to a local hospital and expected to survive.

“For safety and security reasons, we do not release names of those involved in such incidents. As is standard protocol, we contacted Unified Police Department and briefed them on the situation,” DOC spokeswoman Brooke Adams said in an email to Cathy McKitrick, a reporter for the Standard-Examiner. “In this case, our Law Enforcement Bureau is handling the investigation.”

Withholding the name of an attack victim protects the inmate from additional violence. But withholding information about an attack from the victim’s family serves no legitimate purpose — it primarily keeps an inmate’s family from monitoring his medical care.

Which is clearly what the state intends. According to Adams, the DOC calls family only if 1) the inmate is dying, or 2) the inmate is dead.

In a sense, Maestas was fortunate — she had someone inside the prison system who quickly got word to her about the attack on Duran. But she had to call the prison repeatedly before someone told her Friday about his condition.

Duran, 35, grew up in Ogden and attended Ben Lomond High School. He once belonged to the Ogden Trece gang, Maestas told McKitrick, “but wasn’t claiming them anymore. He wanted to live a free and godly life now.”

She believes Trece members attacked Duran, but she doesn’t know for certain. Nor, as of Friday, did she know anything more about her son’s condition.

Dianna Maestas deserved to know that a vicious attack put her son’s life in danger. She deserves to know his condition. She also deserves to know how the state intends to protect him from another stabbing.

But that won’t happen if the Utah DOC only calls to say your loved one is dead or dying.

(15) comments

dacastil

Good thing our God is a God of forgiveness.   How about you applaud Roberto for turning from his past and facing what he had to in order to do that?

dacastil

Its good to hear that he wants to change his life around.  I'm so proud of him.

anonymous

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anonymous

For the 3 of you dumbass's to talk like he isnt human and his family didnt need to be notified is sick! Did u guys get bulllied and beat up all your life that you have to have to comment some bs? Whats wrong with your brains? He was stabbed over 30 times..in prison or not..its people like u that it has to happen to to realize! Bringing up that he was in a gang and father is in there is irrelevent! 5 guys tried to take him down! Attempted murder! Pray it never happens to u or your loved ones for the sad way you people think!

tebates99

Oh, I am being real.It's not as simple as 3 minutes to make a call. They don't exactly have a "phone tree" for inmates. It's prison, not summer camp. Who would maintain the phone list? How often is it updated? How do you ensure you hVe the correct people on it? What if i have a no-contact order but the inmate still puts me down? Who decides what level of injury or action merits a call?With thousands of inmates incarcerated in our prisons, it just isn't feasible, especially when the inmate can choose to contact someone after the fact.

anonymous

Exactly! Took the words right out of my mouth!!

anonymous

Geeeez lady - a husband and a son in the pokey? You've made some bad decisions.

anonymous

How do you know it wasn't life threatening at the time? I wonder if you'd feel the same way if it happened to someone you love. The bottom line is that the notification would benefit the family, (Utah taxpayers, no doubt) not necessarily the prisoner. And what resources would be wasted? The cost of one phone call or e-mail and the 3 minutes time it would take? Get real!

tebates99

He is in prison and a ward of the state. I don't believe resources should be wasted notifying anyone of anything unless it is life threatening or death. The inmate ( in my opinion forfeits the luxury of communication on their behalf.

anonymous

It seems to me that an on-the-job injury is quite different than a deliberate act. (like comparing apples to oranges) If I was stabbed 30 times I'm sure it would seem like an emergency to my mom & dad, (even though I'm an adult). The love is still there. Certainly you can understand that.

anonymous

I hope he's on the mend.

anonymous

U guys are some heartless people. He was stabbed 30 times hes still human so he made a few mistakes. But his family deserves to know when he is injured. That is why they have emergency contacts when you go to prison. As for your comment sean you must not know who they are because his dad is not roberto sr its tony so before you post your heartless comments make sure you have your facts straight!

purpleguy

What happens in prison stays in prison. Information pass is a privilege. Although this makes for great headlines its not like Jr and his gang goings on is on a boy-scout expedition. He is a felon with gang ties in a state prison. These are the plain consequences to the family of living a gang lifestyle. They arent known for living decently and unfortunately just to keep them safe this happens because the attackers goal wasnt accomplished.

tebates99

While I agree that it would be nice for the mother to hear about this, I disagree that the State has a responsibility to notify her of his injuries. He is not a juvenile where she is his guardian any longer. He can contact his mother when he is able.If I get hurt at work, there isn't a phone tree to call my loved ones, it is up to me to see that they get called unless it is an emergency. Where this guy wasn't dying or dead, it really isn't an emergency.Yes, it is easier for me to get ahold of my family for any medical reason. But I am also not a prisoner and ward of the state. Some of the conveniences like talking to family, etc, are lost when you commit a crime and get sent to prison.

anonymous

Couldn't of happened to a nicer guy. Roberto Jr. is well known for being a ruthless enforcer for the O13. His father Roberto Sr. has been involved/associated for the better part of 45 years. The whole family has lived and breathed Ogden 13 for generations.Can't really be surprised. This was going to happen eventually. Someone would have caught him on the "outs" if he wasn't already checked into the gray bar hotel.On a side note, I'm happy maestas had this put in the SE. Otherwise, I never would've had the satisfaction of reading such a wonderful story.:) :) :)

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