After two New York inmates allegedly traded sex with a female prison employee for help in getting tools they used to break out, now comes a second case in which a female prison employees' alleged sexual relationship has been cited in connection with a North Carolina jailbreak.
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These might be extreme examples that attracted media attention, but such relations are far from infrequent, federal statistics show.
The U.S. Department of Justice‘s Bureau of Justice Statistics released a report in January 2014 reviewing data collected on sexual victimization in prisons from 2009 to 2011.
Almost half -- 48% -- of substantiated incidents of sexual victimization involved guards and inmates, while the other 52% involved only inmates.
The majority of the 48 percent of staff sexual misconduct cases involved female staffers, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported.
Gender appeared to play some kind of role in the nature of the banned relationships, as 84 percent of the relationships that female staffers had with inmates "appeared to be willing," whereas only 37 percent of the relationships between male guards and inmates qualified as such.
Along the same lines, only 1 percent of relationships between female staffers and inmates featured threats of physical force or abuse of power, whereas it was true with 20 percent of male staffers’ relations.
Glenard S. Middleton Sr., the vice president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, released a statement to ABC News saying that "the overwhelming majority" of corrections officers are "upstanding examples of public service workers."
"It is important to not allow the irresponsible actions of a few stain a proud record of dedicated service for the majority of their colleagues.”
Mitchell's connection with inmates at the maximum security prison in upstate New York is not the only staff-inmate relationship now under scrutiny.
Kendra Lynette Miller, a 33-year-old prison food service worker, now faces charges of having sex with an inmate, providing an electronic device to an inmate, harboring a fugitive and aiding and abetting a fugitive, according to Public Safety officials who spoke to the Associated Press.
Miller's charges came after Kristopher McNeil, a 29 year old convicted of second degree murder, broke out of the Brown Creek Minimum Unit in Polkton, North Carolina on Saturday.
McNeil was captured while walking alongside a nearby highway and is back in police custody.