As of Monday, November 23rd, there are currently 8 active cases of Covid-19 within Purgatory Correctional Facility.
Please be aware that the following restrictions are in place at the Purgatory Correctional Facility:
Commitments over 60 days will be allowed beginning December 1st 2020, please read below for more information.
On site personal visitation will not be allowed until at least November 1st 2020, please check here for updates.
Beginning Tuesday, December 1st commitments that are to be served in a continuous block or 60 days or more will be allowed at Purgatory Correctional Facility, while space is available. Shorter commitments or commitments split over multiple time periods will not be admitted at this time.
On October 20th 2020 Sergeant Darrell Cashin spoke with a local media outlet regarding our agency’s involvement in Zion National Park’s missing person investigation of hiker, Holly Courtier. During the interview, Sergeant Cashin commented on circumstances of Courtier’s recovery which were not consistent with our training and experience. These inconsistencies raised some questions as to the authenticity of the events as reported to law enforcement. In response to numerous media inquiries, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office stands behind the observations and statements made by Sergeant Cashin. However. we feel it is important to clarify that we stand by our initial release that we were only involved in a consultation role. We fully support the findings of the National Park Service investigation and believe their investigation into the incident was thorough and well executed.
Sergeant Cashin’s comments, along with national media coverage, led to many additional questions and theories regarding the incident. Numerous tips have been received indicating the incident was possibly conceived and carried out as part of a plan to fraudulently generate money to a GoFundMe account for Courtier’s recovery.
Despite the thorough investigation conducted by the National Park Service, Utah State Code does not grant them the authority to investigate violations of Utah law. Based on our local authority and jurisdiction, the Sheriff’s Office had an obligation to the public to investigate the criminal allegations which were being presented.
At this point in the investigation, there has been no evidence to support the theory that the incident was committed intentionally as an effort to achieve financial gain. However, we ask that any credible information submitted is based on tangible leads, and/or evidence which can be shared with investigators. Tips regarding this case should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sheriff’s Office would like to apologize for our delayed response regarding our involvement in the Courtier missing persons investigation conducted by Zion National Park. Over a 24 hour period we attempted to post the information to our social media page on Facebook, but were denied access citing a “violation of community standards.” After a day of attempted appeals, it was decided to post the release here for availability to both the press and public.
RE: Zion National Park Missing Person
We have received many requests for comment regarding our involvement in the Courtier Missing Persons investigation. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by Zion National Park officials in consultation regarding the Courtier Missing Persons investigation and subsequent Search and Rescue Operation. In an effort to ensure all investigative efforts had been covered and possibly provide additional insight, a case review was requested by Zion National Park Rangers.
On October 15th and 16th a Sheriff’s Office investigator and Search and Rescue representative reviewed the investigation. It was our finding that the investigative methods were consistent with Sheriff’s Office investigative practices and no further action was recommended. Based on these findings we remained available for assistance should the National Park Service make the request. This was the extent of our involvement regarding the case and all further media inquiries should be directed Zion National Park.
The Mission Statement of the Washington County Drug Task Force is to protect the citizens of Washington County from individuals involved in gangs, drugs, and other clandestine crimes. Law enforcement as a whole have experienced an alarming increase in overdose service calls. The task force is committed to the relentless pursuit and prosecution of individuals who choose to distribute dangerous and deadly drugs in our community. The task force would like to solicit your help in this valiant pursuit. If you have any information you would like to share, please submit it HERE.
Tips can be submitted anonymously or if you would like the opportunity to provide additional assistance, you can leave your contact information on the form and a detective will contact you.
Another goal of the task force is education. Please leave your contact information with a request for a presentation from the task force and a detective will contact you.
At Purgatory Correctional Facility we are issuing FDA approved disposable masks. In addition, family members will be authorized to purchase reusable cloth masks if you so desire. The only approved mask is that can be purchased at the following link:
UPDATE: Effective July 1st 2020, all professional on site visitation will be reinstated.
In order to protect inmates, staff, and the public at large restrictions on all forms of visitation have been implemented at Purgatory Correctional Facility. For guidance on attorney visitation please see the attached document regarding changes to Attorney Visitation in light of Covid-19 restrictions.
As our state begins to loosen the restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington County has seen a dramatic increase in outdoor recreation activities. In addition to the increased number of hikers and visitors to our state and local parks, we have seen an increase in the use of recreational vehicles throughout our communities. During recent interactions we have found there was an opportunity to educate the community regarding laws governing the operation of both “Street Legal” and traditional Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs). Based where and what equipment you are operating, the rules and laws likely vary. It is your responsibility as the operator to know and follow the local regulations. In this article we will attempt to cover some of the most common questions.
During recent times our community has been forced to adapt to changes resulting from the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Sheriff’s Office has also adapted to better serve the members of our community, while doing our best to follow CDC guidelines. Unfortunately Covid-19 has not completely deterred criminal activity. In order to accommodate police reports which do not require the physical presence of a deputy, we have introduced our online reporting system. For more information, visit our web page to learn what types of incidents can be reported online from the safety of your home.https://news.washeriff.net/public-services/wcso-online-reporting/
In accordance with the guidance received from State and Federal agencies regarding prevention of the spread of COVID-19, Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility (PCF) will remain on restriction until at least April 20th, 2020. The following restrictions will remain in effect:
-PCF has suspended all contracted, off-site inmate work crew jobs.
-PCF has suspended all on-site visitation, to include all legal, personal, and religious visits. All visitors are encouraged to use the messaging, telephone, and/or video visitation features available on our GTL communication system until the on-site visits are reinstated.
-PCF will not be accepting any inmates who report to serve partial commitments (i.e weekend commitments). Due to the frequency that inmates serving partial commitments come and go from the facility, they create an unreasonable and unnecessary risk of exposure for the facility. In addition, the housing area normally reserved for these inmates will be prepped for use as an isolation/quarantine area, should one be deemed necessary.
-PCF will be substantially limiting inmate recreational opportunities to allow for the appropriate cleaning of the recreational areas between each use.
-PCF will no longer accept misdemeanor arrests and/or misdemeanor warrants. The only exceptions will be Domestic Violence or DUI arrests where citing and releasing was not a reasonable option. If any other exception is requested, it will need administrative approval.
We sincerely hope that by taking such measure we can protect the public as well as the inmates whose custody and well being we are mandated to ensure.
While at present there have been no cases of COVID-19 at Purgatory Correctional Facility (PCF), due to the measures called for by State and Federal governments, I wanted to take this opportunity to inform you of the steps the Washington County Sheriff’s Office has already taken, and those we will be taking in the near future, to help manage the COVID-19 virus at PCF. Last week, PCF established a Disease Committee specifically to oversee and manage the execution of our four-phase pandemic response plan. The committee has already made adjustments to our intake screening process (which now includes specific COVID-19 related medical questions), distributed educational information regarding the COVID-19 virus and basic sanitation practices to both staff and our inmates, implemented an inmate sanitation crew within the facility, and established an internal system for tracking illness and potential COVID-19 symptoms among staff and the inmate population. Read more →