LOCAL NEWS

Elizabeth Smart Releases Statement On Release Of Wanda Barzee

Sep 11, 2018, 12:47 PM | Updated: 10:02 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Elizabeth Smart released a statement following the news that her kidnapper, Wanda Barzee, would be freed from prison.

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole announced Tuesday that it has reversed its original decision, and that the board mistakenly did not give Barzee credit for her time served in federal prison. That moved her release date to Sept. 19, 2018.

“I was surprised and disappointed to learn of the pending release of Wanda Barzee,” Smart wrote. “It is incomprehensible how someone who has not cooperated with her mental health evaluations or risk assessments and someone who did not show up to her own parole hearing can be released into our community. I am trying to understand how and why this is happening and exploring possible options. I plan to speak publicly in the coming days once I have a better understanding. I appreciate the support, love and concern that has already been expressed and will work diligently to address the issue of Barzee’s release as well as to ensure changes are made moving forward to ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone else in the future.”

Smart previously released a statement on her Instagram account after Barzee’s parole hearing in June. In the post, she wrote, “I do not think I’m a vindictive or vengeful person, if change were truly possible in her case then perhaps parole/release could be justified. … I will continue to pray that she will never be a threat to myself, my family, or any vulnerable person ever again.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

It’s only 11:00am and today has already been an eventful day. This morning was the parole hearing for Wanda Barzee, one of the people who kidnapped and held me captive for nine months. The funny side of this morning was I got to the state prison once it was already over 😬, that was just due to a silly mix up. And the good news is she was not released. However what I find troubling is that regardless of her threat level she will be released in 2024, six years from now. It is possible that she could be paroled before then….hopefully not. I do not think I’m a vindictive or vengeful person, if change were truly possible in her case then perhaps parole/release could be justified. But I have recently learned that she is still carrying around a manuscript called,”The Book of Immanuel David Isaiah” and is reading from it. In this manuscript were the “revelations” Mitchell “received” from God to kidnap myself and 6 other young girls to all become his wives, it also “revealed” his other highly disturbing and dangerous ideas. This is proof to me that she hasn’t changed, and if the prior 15+ years hasn’t changed her I don’t see how the future years will. I will continue to pray that she will never be a threat to myself, my family, or any vulnerable person ever again. A lot can happen between now and the years to come so in the meantime I will continue to make my family my priority, working to advocate and protect victims and children, and live my life the best way I know how.

A post shared by Elizabeth Smart (@elizabeth_smart_official) on

Upon her release from state prison, Barzee must report to the U.S. Probation Office in Salt Lake City within 72 hours to start her five years of supervised release.

According to the terms of her release, Barzee is prohibited from possessing a firearm or other dangerous weapon and must comply with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

In addition to the standard terms for supervision, like notifying the probation officer of any change in address and not associating with criminals, the court documents also include special conditions that Barzee will participate in a mental health treatment program and take any prescribed mental health medications.

During the court of treatment, the special conditions also prohibit Barzee from consuming alcohol.

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Elizabeth Smart Releases Statement On Release Of Wanda Barzee