Jeffs to be in protective solitary

Aug. 23, 2011 at 5:32 PM

PALESTINE, Texas, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Polygamist sect leader and convicted child rapist Warren Jeffs, 55, will be jailed in solitary for his own protection, Texas officials said Tuesday.

Two weeks ago, a jury found Jeffs guilty of sexually assaulting two girls, ages 12 and 15, whom he took as polygamous wives, and sentenced him to life.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported Texas officials, citing the large amount of media coverage, decided to place him in a solitary cell at the Powledge Unit in Palestine, Texas.

Prison spokesman Jason Clark said Jeffs will be in his cell for 22 hours a day, only allowed out for recreation and a shower. "It was really to be more proactive" to a potential threat to Jeffs' safety, rather than a response to a specific threat or any violence, Clark said.

Jeffs has been behind bars since 2006 in Utah and Arizona, the Tribune said, but has maintained control of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints over the phone, the newspaper said.

Clark said his phone contact will be limited at the Powledge Unit, where calls are restricted to 15 minutes each -- a total of 240 minutes a month -- and restricted to people on a 10-person visitation list.

Jeffs was placed in "solo protective custody," Clark said, not in solitary confinement, which is a punishment.

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