High 5: Correctional Officer Makes a Difference for Utah State Prison Inmate

Mar 4, 2019, 6:38 AM | Updated: 9:34 am

DRAPER, Utah – Living behind bars isn’t easy, but finding hope within them is a true blessing.

“Officer Priddy is simply one of the most humble, helpful, selfless human beings that someone in my position could ever hope to come across,” said Evilia Cardenas. “She is a true meaning of what a mentor is.”

She’s a mentor Cardenas never expected to find while serving her time at the Timpanogos Women’s Facility at the Utah State Prison.

“I would have given up, and I’m easily a max inmate if I want to be, and I don’t want to be.”

Like many inmates behind bars, Cardenas comes from a rough background on the streets, growing up surrounded by drugs, guns and a gang member lifestyle. She had little-to-no guidance, until now, thanks to Officer Jenica Priddy.

“I have nothing but men in my family, so having a female actually take interest in me and help me become a better person and woman is tremendous,” Cardenas said.

Priddy’s actions have had such an impact on Cardenas that she wanted to do something in return to show her appreciation to a woman she has come to admire and respect. So she wrote to KSL, nominating Officer Priddy for a High 5.

Priddy read the letter for the first time on her own before hearing it from the words of the writer.

“It’s just awesome that I can hopefully bridge a gap for when they are actually out, and they can go to law enforcement when they actually need them and that can kind of help them in the future,” Priddy said.

It’s a future Cardenas is now looking forward to, with a new outlook on life and on law enforcement.

“From the bottom of my heart I just thank you,” she said. “I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now had you not helped me.”

While hearing those words is rewarding enough for Priddy, there’s a little more: a night’s stay at the Anniversary Inn for some well-deserved rest and relaxation.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

High 5

(KSL TV)...
Dan Spindle, KSL TV

HIGH 5: Utah Group Packs Thousands Of Bags To Feed Kids Through Summer Months

There are Utah children who won't go hungry thanks to some caring volunteers with USANA Kids Eat.
12 months ago
Chris Schunk is a special education teacher at Snowcrest Junior High School. (KSL TV)...
Haley Smith, Cary J. Schwanitz, KSL TV

High 5: Special Ed Teacher Treats Students As People First

Students and parents at Snowcrest Junior High couldn’t imagine a day without special education teacher Chris Schunk as they navigated the highs and lows of the last school year in the middle of the pandemic.  
1 year ago
Crossing Guard Verl Creager makes sure to wave at every car, every day. (KSL TV)...
Haley Smith & Matthew Jacobson, KSL TV

High 5: Crossing Guard’s Kind Gesture Brightens Community

Verl Creager is the school crossing guard at Valley Elementary School. Many don't know his name, but they know who he is because of a simple gesture. He makes sure to wave at every car that passes by.
1 year ago
Photo provided by Sticky Chicken...
Dan Spindle & Matthew Jacobson, KSL TV

High 5: Cooking Up Life Lessons That Stick At Sticky Bird

Sticky Bird in Farmington seems like any other fast, casual chicken restaurant, but what happens behind the scenes is the real recipe for a better life. 
1 year ago
(KSL TV)...
Shara Park, KSL TV

High 5: Utahns Step Up To Help Clear The Snow

During the recent winter storms, countless Utahns stepped up to help both neighbors and strangers clear snow.
1 year ago
Grant Weyman & Matthew Jacobson, KSL TV

High 5: Grant Elementary Grateful For Attentive Principal

At Grant Elementary School in Murray, there are some very grateful people who appreciate their principal. 
1 year ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
High 5: Correctional Officer Makes a Difference for Utah State Prison Inmate