A view from “inside” the prison – Sergeant Trent Weldon on Jessop’s Journal


(ABC4 NEWS – SALT LAKE CITY, UT) How stressful is your job? Think of the person, place or thing that helps you “shake it off” and rid your self of stress.

I met Trent Weldon at a local pet shop called The Waterfront. We both talked about aquariums as our “happy place.”

Admittedly, allergy season is not a fun time for me.  Trent had some serious sniffles (is that a real word?) and I suggested using a product I had recently did a news story on. Come to find out that Trent deals with a neurological disorder, called Tourette’s that creates some verbal tics. I apologized and thanked him for the details. My thoughts went to wondering if other people that watch my interviews might want more information.

As an inquisitive guy that asks questions for a living, I asked him what he did for a living and was surprised to hear that he was a Sergeant with the Utah Department of Corrections.

Translation, Trent is a prison guard. What questions would you want to ask someone that works inside the prison system?

Full disclosure, I believe that I am one of the very few reporters that has been allowed to do an interview inside the prison with inmates. You can click here to see the story. I was told that the major question I was NOT allowed to ask is “why are you here?”  

There are certain “details” that Sargent Weldon was not able to talk about, but it is pretty amazing to hear some things you may not know about working inside a prison.

“Have you ever feared for your life?” I was amazed at how fast and deliberate he answered the question and gave me background.

I’m not going to give away everything we talked about, but here are some Internet Treasure Hunt questions to look for…

“What is the inmate to guard ratio?”

“What is the difference working as a guard for women vs. men inmates?”

“How much do you know about why an inmate is there?”

“Tell me about maximum security.

“What is a typical day like?’

“Big topic —- let’s talk about incidents?”

Everyone has a Story. Stories have Power. They help us Understand each other. With another entry into Jessop’s Journal, I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.

“Jessop’s Journal” features in-depth, on-demand interviews not normally available in the news. A new segment is published every week at www.abc4.com/journal .

A big shout out goes to my collaborator, Ed Wilets, who does a great job as my videographer/editor for all my stories. I invite you to watch each episode of Jessop’s Journal at www.ABC4.com/Journal and share these stories with your friends and neighbors.  Your feedback is always welcome at DJessop@abc4.com

I’m blessed to do a number of news story series that air on ABC4 News. www.ABC4.com It is also my pleasure to have a number of my stories appear on various Nexstar Media Group TV station websites.

For a sneak peek at stories I’m working on and to see archives of previous stories, please consider following me at www.DougJessop.com, www.YouTube.com/dougjessop , www.Facebook.com/dougjessopnews, www.Instagram.com/dougjessopnews and www.Twitter.com/dougjessopnews

I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”

You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.

Thanks and shoutout for the generous underwriting support of Rustico, Tailor Cooperative, JW Custom Hats and Ogden’s Own Distillery.

Thank you for watching, reading, liking, subscribing and all that other fun stuff. I’m Doug Jessop,   ABC4 News.

Doug Jessop
For Doug Jessop, it all started with a cassette recorder he got for Christmas when he was 12 years old growing up in Southern California. Doug interviewed relatives, friends and anyone else that might have a good story. You can follow Doug at www.DougJessop.com, on YouTube.com/DougJessop, and @DougJessopNews on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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