13 Female Correction Officers Accused of Handing Complete Control of Jail to Gang Leaders

In a twisted story that doesn't sound unlike a "Prison Break" plot line, 13 female prison guards have been accused of becoming deeply involved with a national gang in a drug-trafficking and money-laundering scheme that was operated from inside of a Baltimore prison.

Leaders of the Black Guerrilla Family, known as BGF (wouldn't it be awesome if they were the BFG's, like the Big Friendly Giants?), ran their gang with smuggled cellphones, selling prescription pills and drugs within the prison, and ordering hits, thanks to a group of prison guards who colluded with the gang members.

The accused women were romantically involved with the prisoners— four of them became pregnant by the same inmate, and two of them even got tattoos of his name. Tavon White, the BGF leader who appears to have led the gang from prison and is believed to have fathered five children with correction officers, told an acquaintance over a cellphone call, "This is my jail. You understand that? I'm dead serious. I make every final call in this jail."

The shocking extent of collusion between the guards and the inmates, with allegations of a gang leader purchasing a BMW and a Mercedes-Benz with his sales from within the jail for the women to take joyrides in, have obviously caused a flurry of finger-pointing. The sexual relationships between the guards and the inmates led some to blame it on the women not because they were corrupt, but because they were women.

"A lot of times, [the female correction officers] become smitten with their inmates," said Sen. Lisa A. Gladden (D-Baltimore), "[The inmates] talk really sweet and say really nice things, and the CO's fall for them. You need to have a bunch of rough, ugly men."

An affidavit for search warrants of the homes of the prison guards stated that gang leaders specifically targeted female CO's who they believed had "low self-esteem and insecurities."

The tone of these statements suggests that female CO's are inherently unfit to do their jobs because they're not "rough" and "ugly" enough, have low self-esteems, and just want some attention.

Gary D. Maynard, the state prison chief, disagrees with that contention: He states that the issue was not a matter of the sex of the CO's but rather a group of "bad actors" placed in a position of power. From the details of the case thus far, the gang leaders also relied heavily on fellow inmates they called "working men," or inmates who's jobs within the prison gave them more ability to work for the gang leaders.

But instead of commenting on the state of the prison institution and the shocking fact that this level of corruption went on without detection for several months, comments like Gladden's lay the blame squarely on the shoulder of the female CO's and their femaleness.

[Washington Post]

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