The cheerful yellow cover of a pamphlet, decorated with stick figures of a smiling little girl and an equally happy mother, belies the distressing statistics on child sexual abuse revealed inside.
The pamphlet is a gift to the children of Utah County from inmates at the Utah State Prison.Working in conjunction with the Utah County Interagency Task Force on Sexual Abuse and Assault, the Utah Correctional Industries employees in the prison printed 10,000 copies of the pamphlet titled, "What You Should Know about Child Sexual Abuse in Utah County."
"This gift is critical to our efforts to educate Utah County citizens," said Laura Blanchard, charwoman of the Utah County Task Force on Sexual Abuse and Assault. "These pamphlets will help raise community awareness of the sexual abuse of children that is occurring in Utah County, and what we can do to help our children."
The Interagency Task Force on Sexual Abuse and Assault is a non-profit organization composed of representatives from state and local agencies, as well as private citizens. The task force promotes interagency cooperation and communication to prevent redundant use of scarce community resources and to improve the quality of services provided to victims of abuse.
Following a vote by the inmate committee, the print shop agreed to produce the child abuse pamphlets. All labor and materials were donated.
A self-supporting industry housed within the Utah State Prison, Utah Correctional Industries provides employment for inmates. In addition to the full-service print shop, Utah Correctional Industries manufactures furniture, highway signs and license plates, and produces food products for state and local government agencies.
The pamphlet project was more than an educational tool in fighting a problem that affects one out of four children nationwide. It also provided an opportunity for several Utah State Prison inmates to make a positive contribution to society.
"The men have really felt good about working on this service project," said Adrian Overton, print shop manager. "They felt it was important to do something for the children."
About a half dozen inmates willingly responded to the task force's request for assistance and volunteered a total of 25 to 30 man-hours to the project, said inmate Michael Thomas, the press room lead man.
"I know all the guys pretty well, and a lot of them are family-oriented," Thomas said. "As for myself, I have a wife and a son, so I didn't even hesitate. The other guys feel the same way."
Copies of the pamphlet can be obtained by writing to the task force at P. O. Box 2096, Provo, UT 84603. There is no charge for the booklets.