Sex Behind Bars, Cleveland Scene, December 10, 2003.
Earlier this year, Scene reported on the misadventures at the Northeast
Pre-Release Center, where an unusually high number of prison employees
had been disciplined for having sex with female inmates. Even the
investigator charged with examining sexual abuse by guards was under
investigation for sexual harassment ["Authority Problem," March 12, and
"Fox in the Jailhouse?," August 6]. Now the same issues are being raised
at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marion. The national group Stop
Prisoner Rape claims that, according to three whistleblowers,
ORW staffers keep a mattress in the boiler room for
sexual escapades with inmates, that a unit manager received oral sex
from an inmate in his office, that one therapist had a picture of a nude
inmate in his office, and that consensual sex between guards and inmates
Misbehaving guards are rarely prosecuted, the group further asserts. One
investigator sometimes took home forensic evidence and then claimed to
have lost it. And an unwritten policy of "screw up and move up" dictates
that staff members caught in trysts are often transferred to more
desirable positions, the group maintains.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction disputes the
"Whenever employees are involved in inappropriate relationships, the
appropriate discipline is rendered," says ODRC spokeswoman Andrea Dean.
"And I want to emphatically refute that there is a mattress in a boiler
room. There is not. It offends me that a group would infer that we allow
this type of behavior, because we do not."