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What Are They Telling You That Makes You Fall In Love With Them?
By Contrenia C Fann
Published: 01/11/2010

Prisoncell heart 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


  1. toto on 07/05/2014:

    well, I am hoping you COS can advise me. I suspect that a CO is having some sort of relationship with an inmate. Although I do not have concrete evidence, my antennae is registering inappropriate activity between them. It is a very complicated context because the Co dislikes me terribly and whenever I am with the inmate she is overreacting to my every conversation with him. It is very bizarre. The inmate told me that she is jealous. I found his statement very telling. However you know as well as I do manipulation runs high in this environment with not all but some inmates. I find it odd that the other COS are not cluing in to their behavior together and her behavior singularly with overreacting. What are my options here? What do u advise I do? In addition, where, when and how do COS find a place,time etc..to have sex with inmates in the institution, when cameras are everywhere and so are staff? Appreciate your feedback.

  2. s.whalen100 on 12/02/2010:

    Yes there are atractive men and women on both sides of the bars. However I feel it is indeed the officers descretion that matters most. I agree that they are the ones in a position of power and to abuse that power is totally unprofesional. If a person that goes into this line of work is that easly manipulated then they shoud never have been given that position in the first place. However having said that, I personally would like to comment on the remark made about female officers and the way they dress. I believe this women is just strugling to make sense of what her husband is doing or has done in the past as he was locked up. Because if you accualy did your research you would see that most misconduct is brought on by the inmates as they are always looking to better their situations. I can also tell you that there is no really sexuall way to wear a detention officer uniform, unless undermining regulations, which does not fly in a system. By the way I would like to further point out that there will always be that 2% of workers that are not working under total appriciation of the rules and regulations, as it is in any position. Either way I feel that as long as the officer, male or female keeps a profesional mindset then they are doing just fine in their position.

  3. business woman on 02/05/2010:

    someone previosly wrote that the way some correctional officers wear their clothes it's no wonder the inmates gun them, well i guess the lady who wrote that would also say that it is ok for a woman to be raped simply because she might be wearing something that is revealing. this women obviously has no compassion for the victims in these cases. we as correctional officers did in no way sign up to see these inmates genitalia. this lady also wrote that she can voouch for her husband. oh please. she sounds like a parent that would say oh my kid would never ditch school. listen lady unless your there you dont know, for all you know your husband may be one of those sickos who guns us. GET A LIFE LADY your a loser and so is your convict hubby.

  4. runnermom5 on 01/24/2010:

    I am on the other side of this story. My husband was a CO who had sexual relations with an inmate. I was blindsided by the whole thing and never realized how bad this issue was. We have 4 children and he just threw everything out for what?? They were writing letters back and forth she made him feel whole? He is now serving time and I am wondering if I really should stay with him. I just really don't understand. What was she thinking? What was he thinking? I wish I could get in touch with other wives who's lives have been destroyed.

  5. sayjack on 01/19/2010:

    ” Claims of Sexual Misconduct in prison have more than doubled in eight years.” I don’t doubt this for one minute, although I do wish the author would cite her source. Calling the manipulation of correctional staff an epidemic is appropriate. I consider it the scourge of our profession. When staff fail to identify the various ways inmates can set them up for manipulation schemes, they run a higher risk of becoming victims. Also, administrators need to do their part by offering more on-going training to staff in this particular area. Let’s remember that it is not just security staff being manipulated, it is also counselors, teachers, psychologist, doctors and so on. We should all recognize that inmates, by way of being criminals, share a tendency to dominate and control their environment in addition to satisfying their basic human urges for sexual contact. Most criminals were manipulating people long before being incarcerated. Stay safe everyone

  6. iHenry on 01/14/2010:

    First of all, as soon as I started reading the article written by "K.H.", I automatically assumed this person was an inmate. It seems clear that they didn't read or understand the article. The comment made about the inmate being at fault is one made in ignorance. The courts have ruled time and time again, the inmate is not at fault. In fact, it's considered rape when an officer has sex with an inmate. It doesn't matter if the inmate consented to have sex or not. The officer is in a position of power over the inmate and any sexual contact is considered, "by force". Now that being said, both parties are adults and staff manipulation is a game that inmates play. Legally, the officer is responsible and will be punished. Morally, both are responsible because it's a game of seduction. Any question kids? Henry

  7. Gunfighter on 01/11/2010:

    I have wondered this as well, Its not just officers falling in love either, I have seen teachers, Social workers and unit administrators. They are all in love. It just drives me crazy. They can't even help you take out your trash at home, or set down and watch tv, but yet they have sexual appeal though.

  8. Editor @ Corrections.com on 01/06/2010:

    Editor Note: This readers comment was received via email.
    "I would like to know why is it always the inmate that is at fault with making it with the officers. I have seen some of the officers and the way that they dress, it isn't always the inmate. There has been two times that I know of that an officer has offered to please my husband. My husband is not a cheater I do not care what anyone says. The way that the women wear their clothes, no wonder the inmates gun them. It is not always the inmate. I can vouch for that. I have been going to the prisons for 7 years now and I have seen it all. Some of them will let certain inmates gun them and if they do not like certain inmates then they will have them put in lock up. Let us see if you will print this one. K.H."

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