30 prison guards had sex with inmates in Kentucky prison

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By Asiya Ali

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At least 30 workers with the Kentucky Department of Corrections were caught having inappropriate relationships with inmates behind bars.

A shocking investigation by Herald-Leader newspaper offered a glimpse into official wrongdoing behind jail walls over 16 months, ending in November 2023.

The documents obtained by the publication disclosed 59 cases of employee-on-inmate sexual offenses in the past five years, with 35 cases involving possible criminal charges.

In addition to sexual misconduct, it was reported that 14 other prison workers received substances and contraband for inmates and, in some cases, were paid to do so.

prison
The file disclosed 59 cases of employee-on-inmate sexual offenses in the past five years. Credit: Charles O'Rear / Getty

In a federal lawsuit filed last year, Todd Steven Boyce, 56, was accused of sexually abusing an inmate between March and July 2022. Allegedly, prison officials were conscious of his behaviors but did not stop him.

Boyce - who was then the head chaplain at the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex - has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges and is awaiting trial later this year.

"Boyce bragged to plaintiff that he had been previously accused of sexual abuse by other inmates and nothing happened to him, so no one would believe plaintiff if he reported him," the suit alleges, per the outlet.

In a different case, a 39-year-old employee named Trista Fox was charged with third-degree rape in December 2022 after a fellow cop caught her having sex with a convict at Kentucky State Penitentiary in Lyon County. She has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing in April.

The unidentified prisoner told officials that his sexual relationship with Fox was consensual, saying he "pursued her." However, under the law, inmates cannot consent to sexual contact with staff.

James Wells, a prison and jail consultant, and former Ohio prison correctional officer, reiterated a similar sentiment and said that staff in penitentiaries "have complete control over inmates' lives," per Daily Mail.

"They decide if you get extra toilet paper or extra toothpaste or if you don't," Wells continued. "If you're in an environment where you have nothing to bargain with but your body when you're dealing with people who hold all the power, then you might be forced to do things you wouldn't ordinarily do."

Corrections officer handcuffing inmate in cell
140 prison staffers investigated were investigated. Credit: Thinkstock Images / Getty

As a result of the 140 prison staffers investigated, 62 corrections employees were fired or quit. Others received warnings or additional training,

One female guard resigned from the job after being confronted about her relationship with an unnamed detainee. She spoke to investigators about their union, claiming she was powerless to the man's advances.

"He just caught me at the wrong time one day. I mean, I don’t know what else you want me to say," she reportedly said, per the outlet. Meanwhile, the inmate told prison officials during his interview that he wasn’t in "a relationship" with the officer, adding: "It was a situationship ... I’m saying that I just live in the moment."

Department of Corrections leaders have not directly addressed the inappropriate relationships or smuggling that took place. However, they emphasized that they will take any allegations of misconduct by employees seriously.

"We handle every piece of information the same, whether that be contraband or a relationship or whatever. The truth of the matter is, if we were not handling these situations in a very aggressive manner, the numbers would not be what they were,” Scott Jordan, deputy commissioner of adult institutions, said.

Featured image credit: Jackyenjoyphotography / Getty

30 prison guards had sex with inmates in Kentucky prison

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

At least 30 workers with the Kentucky Department of Corrections were caught having inappropriate relationships with inmates behind bars.

A shocking investigation by Herald-Leader newspaper offered a glimpse into official wrongdoing behind jail walls over 16 months, ending in November 2023.

The documents obtained by the publication disclosed 59 cases of employee-on-inmate sexual offenses in the past five years, with 35 cases involving possible criminal charges.

In addition to sexual misconduct, it was reported that 14 other prison workers received substances and contraband for inmates and, in some cases, were paid to do so.

prison
The file disclosed 59 cases of employee-on-inmate sexual offenses in the past five years. Credit: Charles O'Rear / Getty

In a federal lawsuit filed last year, Todd Steven Boyce, 56, was accused of sexually abusing an inmate between March and July 2022. Allegedly, prison officials were conscious of his behaviors but did not stop him.

Boyce - who was then the head chaplain at the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex - has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges and is awaiting trial later this year.

"Boyce bragged to plaintiff that he had been previously accused of sexual abuse by other inmates and nothing happened to him, so no one would believe plaintiff if he reported him," the suit alleges, per the outlet.

In a different case, a 39-year-old employee named Trista Fox was charged with third-degree rape in December 2022 after a fellow cop caught her having sex with a convict at Kentucky State Penitentiary in Lyon County. She has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing in April.

The unidentified prisoner told officials that his sexual relationship with Fox was consensual, saying he "pursued her." However, under the law, inmates cannot consent to sexual contact with staff.

James Wells, a prison and jail consultant, and former Ohio prison correctional officer, reiterated a similar sentiment and said that staff in penitentiaries "have complete control over inmates' lives," per Daily Mail.

"They decide if you get extra toilet paper or extra toothpaste or if you don't," Wells continued. "If you're in an environment where you have nothing to bargain with but your body when you're dealing with people who hold all the power, then you might be forced to do things you wouldn't ordinarily do."

Corrections officer handcuffing inmate in cell
140 prison staffers investigated were investigated. Credit: Thinkstock Images / Getty

As a result of the 140 prison staffers investigated, 62 corrections employees were fired or quit. Others received warnings or additional training,

One female guard resigned from the job after being confronted about her relationship with an unnamed detainee. She spoke to investigators about their union, claiming she was powerless to the man's advances.

"He just caught me at the wrong time one day. I mean, I don’t know what else you want me to say," she reportedly said, per the outlet. Meanwhile, the inmate told prison officials during his interview that he wasn’t in "a relationship" with the officer, adding: "It was a situationship ... I’m saying that I just live in the moment."

Department of Corrections leaders have not directly addressed the inappropriate relationships or smuggling that took place. However, they emphasized that they will take any allegations of misconduct by employees seriously.

"We handle every piece of information the same, whether that be contraband or a relationship or whatever. The truth of the matter is, if we were not handling these situations in a very aggressive manner, the numbers would not be what they were,” Scott Jordan, deputy commissioner of adult institutions, said.

Featured image credit: Jackyenjoyphotography / Getty