Charges that two women working at a Virginia prison had sexual encounters with inmates — one a rapist, the other a triple murderer — have shocked their rural communities, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The alleged relations with the convicts occurred this year at Augusta Correctional Center. “What we all find amazing is how these girls can do this,” one neighbor said. But such charges do not surprise Park Dietz, a forensic psychiatrist and president of Park Dietz & Associates in California.
In most countries, prisoners and their warders are of the same sex. In the United States, while prisons are often single-sex, the staff is both male and female. Nearly one-third of Augusta’s staff of 362 is female. It is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison for prison employees of either sex to have carnal knowledge of inmates. Such relations, even if consensual, can disrupt prisons and undermine security and the authority of the staff. The law does not consider such relations consensual regardless of circumstances.