Detention Officer Arrested and Charged After Video Surfaces of Her Engaged in Sexual Conduct with Inmate

by Xara Aziz
Courtesy: Fulton County's Sheriff's Office

A Georgia detention officer has lost her job after being arrested and charged with having sexual relations with an inmate, according to a recent WSB-TV report.

Police found cellphone video of Kawana Jenkins, who worked for the Fulton County Detention Center since 2019, engaged in improper sexual conduct with the inmate.

According to police, Jenkins was in a long-term relationship with the inmate, whose hand is seen in the explicit video with Jenkins. Officials were “outraged” upon viewing the video and say she provided the inmate with a “contraband cellphone” to record the sexual encounter between the pair.

Jenkins has been charged with two counts of improper sexual contact by an employee or agent, five counts of violation of oath by a public officer, two counts of reckless conduct, two counts of cruelty to inmates and one count of giving an inmate a prohibited item without authorization.

“As Sheriff of Fulton County, I am committed to transparency and to holding each and every employee accountable to oath they have taken to protect and serve our community,” Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat said in a statement given to the media.

He added that the former employee’s actions “are certainly not a reflection” of other guards at the detention center and its employees.

“The actions of this one individual are certainly not a reflection of the men and women of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office. The vast majority of employees are to be commended for their integrity, commitment to service and the work they do day in and day out.”

The judge assigned to the case has granted Jenkins bond while investigations are currently ongoing. She first appeared in court earlier this week.

According to Brenda Smith, who served on the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission and currently works as a law professor at American University’s Washington College of Law, relationships between officers and prison inmates are “very common,” she told NBC News.  

One of the more prominent cases of inmate-officer relations involved former officer Joyce Mitchell of New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility. She helped Richard Matt and David Sweat escape prison after being involved in a romantic affair with the inmates. She is currently serving seven years in prison for her involvement in their escape from the maximum security penitentiary.

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