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What an interesting story this was, not just because of what happened, but because I got to see the inside of the Salt Lake County Jail. The story is, inmate Rick Harrold saw another inmate fall to the ground while watching TV. It looked like a seizure. Rick ran over and stabilized the man until medical crews arrived. He had recently become CPR certified through a new Life Skills class offered at the jail. He says the class changed his life.
We -- about 12 memebers of the media -- first got to the jail and signed in, got passes, and put extra stuff in lockers. It took a while to get clearance, then we walked past one door with our security pass. Then we walked through several doors that clang open and shut (you know, like in the movies). We went through several wide, soothing-colored corridors until we got to a pod with dozens of cells and an open space in the middle. Deputies had chairs set up for us, with a table at the front for the microphones. Rick Harrold was then brought out and he sat behind the microphones and told us his story. He says he just acted when he saw the other inmate fall, but wouldn't have acted without the class. He also said after nine times in jail he's not going to be back b/c the classes taught him how to be a better man. I hope it does work out for him. Sgt Matt Dumont also talked to us about the program, as well as Sheriff Jim Winder.
They then led us back down the hallways to a small classroom. We waited while deputies asked if any of the inmates didn't want to be on the news. Then they let us in to observe one of the Life Skills classes. A teacher was talking about resumes and cover letters. Some of the inmates stared at us -- all those cameras and tripods and microphones are a strange sight, I know. Then after being there close to an hour and a half they led us out. Overall a very interesting experience.