Who initiates Sex between Prisoners and Guards?

By · Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

Some of my published writings about prison describe sexual relationships between prisoners and guards. One reader wrote me to ask who makes the first move, the prisoner or the guard in such relationships. Generally, I would have to say, prisoners make the first move. Yet during the more than 21 years that I have served, I have been exposed to situations that felt like a female staff member with whom I was working, wanted me to make a move. Perhaps I was delusional.

Prisons are unnatural environments. Rules may be necessary to preserve the security of the institution. Yet when men and women are locked inside the same walls, and artificial conditions exist that place female staff members in the close company of male prisoners, or vice versa, human nature sometimes trumps rules.

I don’t think any correctional officers walk into a prison thinking that they will engage in inappropriate relationships with the prisoners. They take jobs because they want to build stable careers, they want to earn an honest paycheck and enjoy the health benefits and pension that comes with government employment. The culture of the prison then demonizes the prisoners. Staff members who become too friendly with prisoners may be labeled with the pejorative term “inmate lover,” or “hug-a-thug.” Staff does everything possible to ensure that clear lines exist between those who work in prisons and those who serve time in prisons.

Yet, prisoners are human beings. Those who are not devoted or committed to a specific purpose focus on living in prison. Sometimes, a female staff member can become that focus. Likewise, the female staff member has needs that are outside the scope of her career. She may feel neglected at home. She may long for attention, affection, and love. By working in close proximity with a specific prisoner, she may develop the natural feelings that exist between a man and a woman; those feelings may cause her to see the prisoner more like a man, despite the uniform he wears. When that happens, the female staff member may throw off unmistakable or subtle signals that she is receptive to romance.

I may have been incarcerated for more than 21 years, but those signals between a man and a woman are instinctual, and neither prison rules nor career aspirations are going to block them.

In summary, I think prisoners are more likely to make the first move to seduce a female guard. Yet since they know the consequences for unwanted overtures may be severe, they will likely be guarded. If the female staff member is receptive, she will find the way to let the prisoner understand her intentions. Sparks of love may flow from either side. If discovered, however, consequences can be severe. I describe those consequences through articles available at criminal-indictment.com and in this post about sexual encounters with prison staff.

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