|What Are They Telling You That Makes You Fall In Love With Them?|
|By Contrenia C Fann|
Claims of Sexual Misconduct in prison have more than doubled in eight years. A Deputy Warden I used to work with once asked me the following question, “Fann, all I want to know is, what are these inmates telling staff members to make them want to have any kind of relationship with them?” Another warden told me, “Don’t get your money where you get your honey.” When I first heard that, it was funny and didn’t recognize the seriousness of this epidemic of officers and inmates engaging in inappropriate relationships. A couple of months later, a female office was fired for having a sexual relationship with a female inmate, and the latter warden’s statement made sense and was no longer something to laugh about.
In regular society being attractive is a very good thing, but in the world of inmates, it doesn’t matter what you look like. Inmates are human beings and it doesn’t matter who fulfills their sexual needs and desires. As professional correctional officers we have a job to do. Inmates will flirt with you and tell you how beautiful or handsome you are or that your cologne or perfume smells good. Under no uncertain terms should staff members feed into or be baited by the games inmates play. Male prisoners know how to say kind and flattering words to get female correctional officer off track. An inmate might say something like this, “I like the way you wear your hair. You need to tell your coworkers to go where you get your hair done.” He might use this same flattering approach and ask you if you have you been working out or if he can do anything for you. He always asks with a smile.
Inmates love to be engaged in long conversations on sports, too, and they may even use the Bible and discuss religion just to get your attention. In my experience, I’ve found that inmates are trying to get you to see them without their prison uniforms on, to see them as good guys and not prison inmates. Let me elaborate: the inmate wants you to respect him. He wants you to forget he is incarcerated.
Yes, there are attractive inmates, men who have made mistakes. But common sense should tell us three things: You are employed to do a job. You are not employed to have a personal relationship with an inmate. Your self-esteem should not be so low that you take the word of an inmate as truth. You should not sacrifice your self respect or the respect of your family, friends, and coworkers to have a relationship with an inmate. Why give up all the hard work you went through for an inmate?
I have seen erring staff members are often escorted out through the same gates they entered seeking employment. Staff members need to remind themselves that they do not need an inmate’s words, nor their flattery and compliments, not their money, and especially not their sexual attraction and consummation.
Case No. 111
A female officer was having a sexual relationship with an inmate from Atlanta, Georgia, whose rival gang members in the dorm were from Savannah. She was bringing drugs, paraphernalia, porn movies, and magazines in for this inmate. She and the inmate were also having sex in the cell while another inmate acted as lookout. During chow one day, an inmate from Savannah began talking about how this officer was a whore. The inmate from Atlanta addressed him, and soon a fight broke out. There were two officers in the dining area with 70 to 80 inmates. The officers were not only greatly outmanned but severely injured while trying to break up this altercation. Later, when a rival gang member reported what the officer was doing, she was investigated and charged. Her husband divorced her and took custody of their two children. She was charged by the state and did time in the state prison for women.
Inmates are being physically assaulted and rape by each other every day. With HIV and AIDS on the rise in the inmate population, no sexual encounter is safe.
A word to the wise-these inmates, both men and women, have been or will be locked up for a long time and will not be intimate with the opposite sex for a long time, they will find the most unattractive person, attractive. Do not risk your job for an inmate that has nothing but time to manipulate and swoon you.”
C.C. Fann is the author of "Commonsense: Do Not Play Games With An Inmateis" and is a sought after expert and frequent panelist on correctional issues and has appeared at nationwide conferences to include: the National Association of Hispanics in Criminal Justice, National Association of Black in Criminal Justice, International Association of Correctional Training Personnel, Women in Corrections Conference, and the Southern States Corrections Association Conference.
Other articles by C. C. Fann
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