PREA in the News

Prison staffer accused of sexual misconduct

Prison staffer accused of sexual misconduct

Spokane, WA, May 16, 2013 - Airway Heights Corrections Center is investigating a second woman on staff accused of having sex with an inmate.

The employee, identified in court documents as Siri A. Crain, had sex with a convicted murderer in a staff bathroom, those documents say. The encounter was reported to the prison by an anonymous tipster.

Crain, who supervises prisoners in a textile shop in the facility’s Correctional Industries, is on paid leave while the Airway Heights Police Department investigates, according to prison Superintendent Maggie Miller-Stout.

Crain faces a potential charge of custodial sexual misconduct.

In a previous case, charges were filed this week against Sarah Brooks, a therapist in the Sex Offender Treatment Program at the Airway Heights prison. She resigned April 11 when confronted about an inappropriate relationship with another inmate.

Miller-Stout referred both cases to Airway Heights police. The two cases are not related, she said.

The inmate in Crain’s case was sentenced as a juvenile to 23 years in prison in 1999 for second-degree murder. He stabbed a man to death at an East Central home, according to prior news reports.

Corrections staff found photos of a nude woman with a dragon tattoo on her hip in the inmate’s cell. Investigators knew Crain had a similar tattoo because of a previous arrest.

The prisoner reportedly made 92 phone calls to Crain from the prison. They coordinated their phone calls around her estranged husband’s work schedule, court records say, and had phone sex on Valentine’s Day.

Investigators seized Crain’s luggage as she returned from a trip to Arizona, according to court records. They found two photos of the prisoner and a handwritten poem inside her bags.

They also found a book called “Do You Know Your Husband?” The companion book, “Do You Know Your Wife?” was found in the inmate’s cell, court records show.

The prison plans to boost training for staff about misconduct and offender manipulation, although it’s already part of their training curriculum.

“People engage in relationships for all sorts of reasons, and there’s no one specific reason or factor,” Miller-Stout said. “It’s really clear from our policies and trainings – relationships between staff and offenders are not allowed, but people in general do things they’re not supposed to.”

There have been a handful of cases where a relationship was starting but supervisors intervened before it got physical, Miller-Stout said.

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© Educorr 2013