Utah Mother Arrested Days After Seeking Help for Drug Addiction

A young Utah mother was arrested five days after reaching out to friends and family online along with a treatment center, seeking help for her drug addiction.

Arrested for drugs

Seeking Help for Drug Addiction

Photo Courtesy of Facebook

On April 9th, 2017 Provo police arrested 24 year old Arali Cabezas and an older male after they were found in a stolen car with several lifted identification documents as well as methamphetamine and several needles. Cabezas was booked into Utah County Jail on theft charges as well as two second degree felonies for receiving a stolen vehicle and possession of a schedule I controlled substance. Her bail is set at $12,500 and 11 days later she has yet to be released on bond.

Good person, bad choices

According to her Facebook page, Cabezas is a single parent and the mother of a little boy – 15 month old Kaison. Upon news of her arrest, friends and family commented shock and sadness, one of which said “part of recovery is having support, and she doesn’t have much of that. She really is an amazing girl inside and out and she is so dang smart, she just made some really dumb choices.” Another individual commented stating “when you are raised by two addicts and exposed to a life of drug use and abuse, and even taught how to use drugs by your parents, you don’t have much chance of doing any better in life.”

Seeking help for a drug addiction

Photo by: Max Baars

Photo by: Max Baars

According to her own Facebook page five days before her arrest, Cabezas was trying to do better. She swallowed her price and reached out for help with her drug addiction. She is quoted as saying “So I have a [question]. Do any of my friends have any information about The House of Hope? I will be looking it up and what not [too]. If you can let me know as soon as possible.” After receiving a handful of helpful comments, Cabezas stated that same day that she “called and left a message with admissions.” Five days later however she was arrested.

Drug treatment center

The House of Hope is drug treatment center located in Salt Lake City and Provo that focuses its care on women who may or may not be pregnant as well as mothers who have young children. As with other wonderful treatment centers for drug addiction, House of Hope is a non profit organization and offers many services such as outpatient care residential and day treatment. Had Cabezas found herself in the care of the House of Hope, it is likely she would have received substantial treatment for her drug addiction. There is no added information on whether or not Cabezas got cold feet and decided not to get help for her drug addiction or if she somehow slipped between the cracks, perhaps not receiving a call back from the  for help with her drug addiction. Either way, she was arrested five days later and now she sits in jail awaiting a court date. Cabezas faces a possibility of up to 15 years in prison for her drug and theft crimes; double that amount if she is convicted of both felonies and ordered to serve them consecutively, one right after the other.

Treatment for substance abuse

Photo by: Alan Cleaver

Photo by: Alan Cleaver

Utah residents who are struggling with drug addiction are encouraged to seek help just as Cabezas but be relentless and not give up. There are multiple programs throughout Utah aimed at helping residents recover from substance and alcohol abuse, and many of these programs are funded through the state. Those individuals who need help with addiction, but who are also facing criminal charges should contact a defense attorney who can help them work on defending or reducing charges while also ensuring that treatment is made available, whether voluntarily or mandatory. For more information, contact a criminal defense attorney.

Halfway House Fugitives in Utah

There is a growing concern in Utah over multiple fugitives who have walked away from a halfway house in Salt Lake City Utah and violently reoffended within the last several months.

Roaming the streets

Photo by: Thomas Leuthard

Photo by: Thomas Leuthard

Between September 2015 and now, there have been three known violent fugitives from a halfway house in Salt Lake City called Fortitude Treatment Center. All three of these fugitives were in the headlines after behaving aggressively towards the public. One took the life of a Unified Police Department officer in January.

Loss of an officer

44 year old Officer Douglas Barney was shot and killed last month while pursuing a fugitive involved in a hit and run accident. Officer Barney received a fatal gunshot to the head while another officer was shot multiple times but miraculously survived. 31 year Old Cory Lee Henderson, the man that killed Officer Barney, disappeared from the Fortitude Treatment Center in Salt Lake City. Henderson had been missing from the halfway house for less than a month when he took the life of Officer Barney, father of three and cancer survivor.

More AWOL parolees

Photo by: Seniju

Photo by: Seniju

Henderson’s desertion of the treatment center came less than four months after another fugitive, Robert Richard Berger, left the Fortitude Treatment Center and burglarized and violently attacked and stabbed a Salt Lake City woman in her home before he was shot and killed. From the same halfway house as Henderson and Berger came yet one more violent reoffender, 29 year old Tommy Burnham, who is currently on the run for ramming a police car after a high speed chase that stretched through multiple cities in the Salt Lake Valley.

Late night search

These three reoffenders all had one thing in common: they all left the Fortitude Treatment Center and never returned. Following the most recent fugitive reoffender incident, an extensive early morning search was done of the halfway house. Of the over 100 offenders searched, the AP&P discovered 18 were either testing positive for drugs or violating their parole. There was also an community search by the AP&P that turned up nearly a dozen offenders who were also fugitives from the Fortitude Treatment Center. Most of these fugitives were returned to prison.

Halfway houses in Utah

Photo by: Craig Sunter

Photo by: Craig Sunter

The Utah Department of Corrections has five halfway houses known as community correctional centers throughout the northern half of Utah; three of these centers are for men and two for women. These halfway houses are to help offenders transition to life on the other side of the bars. According to the UDC website, “ These halfway houses are designed to help offenders who may not have a place to go when they leave prison, need additional treatment as they transition back into the community or are struggling and at risk of returning to jail or prison.” Regarding those who are struggling, the website also states that at least two of these centers, the Atherton Community Treatment Center for Women and the Fortitude Treatment Center for men, are specifically for offenders who have already violated their probation or parole.

Good Intentions

Although the UDC claims that in the Fortitude Treatment Center, “the offender is subject to tighter restrictions” and “agents actively monitor an offender”, there are apparently complications with this halfway house which holds over 300 offenders, nearly double the capacity of any other halfway house in Utah. While all these community correctional centers in Utah are wonderful for transitioning when run correctly, they are dangerous to the community when offenders slip through the cracks. Offenders, especially those prone to reoffend, should be monitored more cautiously and reported immediately if unable to locate. Unfortunately, glitches with halfway houses such as the Fortitude could potentially cause issues down the road such as closures for other halfway houses that currently run efficiently. This would be devastating for those offenders who would have benefited from the transitioning centers.