Prison officer sacked for sending inmate Valentine’s Day card
A FEMALE prison officer has been fired after she allegedly fell for an inmate and sent a Valentine's Day card to him in Sydney's west.
Police arrested the 33-year-old woman, who worked at Parklea Correctional Centre, at a Stanhope Gardens home yesterday afternoon after the card addressed to a 41-year-old male prisoner at the jail was uncovered.
The woman was fired by the jail's operator GEO Group on the same day.
Sources said it was not believed the pair had sex but that "there was correspondence".
"There was a Valentine's Day card, it was a pretty quick turnaround, (authorities) learnt about it and investigated."
The man, a minimum security inmate at Parklea, is now being held separately to other prisoners and will be transferred to another prison.
The woman has been given a notice to appear at Blacktown Local Court on March 7 charged with engaging in a relationship with an inmate causing a safety risk to a correctional centre.
It is not alleged the relationship involved sexual contact.
Police will allege in court the woman was involved in a "romantic relationship" with the man which "compromised her position as a correctional officer".
She is the first person to be charged with the offence since the NSW government passed legislation to change the law last November.
Last year it was revealed prison guard Amy Connors allegedly had sex with convicted cop killer Sione Penisini at Kempsey maximum security prison.
The pair allegedly had sex in a prison cell.
Sources told The Daily Telegraph that Connors' husband became suspicious she was having an affair and called the jail demanding to know who the other officer was only to be allegedly told: "Sorry, it's an inmate".
While not commenting on an individual case, Corrective Service Commissioner Peter Severin previously said last year some prisoners could be "extremely manipulative" - but there was no excuse.
"There is no excuse for it. Reality is humans are unfortunately at time susceptible to influences and what we need to do is make sure we give them professional backbone so they know how to manage the professional boundaries … If they do the wrong thing they need to go."