This is a first hand account from my Dad about his time working at the Utah Prison...
Don't be too scared...
Many years ago I work as a correctional officer for the Utah Dept. of Corrections. As a new officer I had to work the graveyard shift or 3rd watch.
On this particular night I was working C-block in the main building. C-block had three floors but the top floor of C-block was the “old death row” for inmates. Death row had the old type of prison doors with steel bars, just like you can imagine. The doors opened and closed by huge levers that the officer controlled at the end of the cell block. He could open a single cell door or open all the doors depending on the levers that he would manipulate. The sounds that the metal doors and levers as they open and close are distinctly thunderous. The cells themselves were small with just enough room for a single bed and a toilet/sink. Maybe 4 feet by 8 feet in size. There was also a shower cell at the end of the block were the inmates could be let out of their cell and shower in this cell. All these doors were controlled by the officer using the levers. But the old death row was now closed down and wasn’t being used anymore. The door leading up the 3rd floor and death row was always closed and locked up. No one was supposed to be up there.
On this night I was on the 2nd floor doing my nightly rounds, basically counting inmates as they slept, when I heard a very distinct sound coming from the 3rd floor above me. I heard the lever’s and door being opened and closed. I stopped and listened more closely to the sounds and again I heard the cells doors opening and closing. As I listened I thought I could hear water running also through the pipes. I quickly finished my rounds and went to go get the keys to the 3rd floor from a cabinet in the office. I thought maybe another officer might have taken the keys and was just searching the area. But the keys to the 3rd floor were still in the cabinet.
I grabbed the set of keys and walked up the flight of stairs to the 3rd floor. I stopped at the door and tried to push the door open but the door was locked. As I was about to unlock the door and I could hear the water running from behind the door. I unlocked the door and took out my flashlight. The electricity was turned off so there wasn’t any lights that could be turned on. I turned on my flashlight and pushed the unlocked door slowly open.
The light from my flashlight didn’t shine very far in the darkness and even though I couldn’t see the shower cell in the darkness I could hear the shower water running. I rounded the corner of the block to see that the levers at the control box were up in the open position including the shower cell. I went to the shower cell and saw that the shower was running. I stepped into the cell and turned off the shower. I checked the handle to the shower to see if it was working properly. It would turn on and off without any problems. I made sure the handle was tightly turned off and stepped back out of the shower. I shone my flashlight down the cell block but didn’t see anything unusual, well other than all the cell doors were opened. I slowly walked down the row of cells checking each cell. Everything seemed to be normal until I got to the last cell.
When I shined my flashlight into the last cell I didn’t notice anything suspicious or out of place. Until I looked at the floor. On the floor of the cell was…. a small pool of water!!!
Needless to say that I quickly walked back to the 3rd floor door and locked the door behind me as I rushed back downstairs. All I can say for certain is that no one had access to the 3rd floor. I had the only key to get in.