Eighteen female guards have been sacked after having affairs with their inmates at HMP Berwyn, Wrexham. The inappropriate relationships were uncovered via Freedom of Information requests from the Daily Mirror.
Three of the women involved even ended up in court as a result of the affair, which took place over a six-year period at the privately run prison in North Wales.
One of the guards, Jennifer Gavan, received £150 to smuggle a phone into the prison for robber Alex Coxon. They were later caught sending flirty messages to each other on WhatsApp.
Gavan pleaded guilty to misconduct and was sentenced to eight months in prison.
Her colleagues Emily Watson and Ayshea Gunn were also jailed for their illicit relationships with prisoners.
Watson engaged in a sexual relationship with drug dealer John McGee. He was serving eight years in HMP Berwyn for causing a death by dangerous driving.
Gunn was in a relationship with Khuram Razaq, in prison for armed robbery. They shared “highly sexualised” photos and videos.
Mark Fairhurst, chair of the Prison Officers’ Association, said the “wrong kind of women” had been hired for the roles.
He said: “Staff being recruited don’t have face-to-face interviews… it’s all done on Zoom.
“A lot of people getting these jobs don’t have enough life experience and are susceptible to conditioning from prisoners.
READ MORE: Thug steals veteran’s bank card to buy KFC but is released from jail
“Your figures just prove what we’ve been warning the employer about for years.”
In England and Wales, 31 female prison officers have been dismissed for having relationships with inmates since 2019. These statistics are from the Ministry of Justice.
In one case, a prison officer had an inmate’s baby.
HMP Berwyn is the UK’s biggest prison, but it has also been branded the country’s “cushiest” jail due to the high-quality accommodation there.
Prison cells do not have bars on the windows, and they come with ensuite bathrooms.
Inmates also have access to TVs, laptops and phones.
A Prison Service spokesperson said: “The majority of staff are hard-working and honest but we are doing more to catch the small number who break the rules.”
Teenager struck by gritter lorry fighting for his life in hospital [NEWS]
Full list of UK school closures today as nation braced for snow chaos [NEWS]
Cardiff crash police searching for mystery sixth passenger [NEWS]