Criminology: Should Correctional Officers Be of Same Gender ?

Correctional facilities have major goals of punishment, protection of population and rehabilitation of the inmates. The effectiveness of correctional facilities is dependent on the federal government policies and individual state policies regarding such facilities. In addition, the success of such policies is dependent on the ethics of the correctional officers in such facilities. However, research on the prisons in the US reveals that the correctional facilities have not been successful in achieving their main goals, due increased number of the repeat offenders.

A number of cases have been reported where the correctional officers have engaged in money laundering and other criminal activities like aiding drug trafficking in prisons and engaging in sex with inmates, (Cho, 2004). A particular case is that of a female correctional officer having sex with a male inmate. This has raised a question on whether male correctional officers should take charge of male inmates. In order to correct and manage these crimes that result from female correctional officers taking charge of male inmates and promoting crime, correctional officers should take charge of inmates of the same gender.

Although there is need for gender equity and equal opportunity for job allocation regardless of the gender of the inmates, many crimes have been happening in cells where women correctional officers have been taking charge of the male counterparts, (Griffin, 2006). There have been reported cases of female correctional officers having sex with male inmates. In Tennessee Department of Correction at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Kenyetta Foxe, a 28-year-old correctional officer was reported to have had sexual relationships with male inmate, Michael Daniels, 28, who was sentenced in 2008.The officer is reported to have had sexual encounters with Daniels on two occasions, (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2013).

In another similar incident, Tavon White, a leader of Black Guerrilla Family impregnated four prison guards and admitted to smuggling drugs and communication devices within the jail cells in Maryland Department of Public Safety and correctional facilities. This was contrary to the first principle of prison management.

There is the need for privacy among the prison officers; therefore, it is imperative that the same correctional officers take charge of prisons of same gender. It is custom that male inmates are more likely to be content to be frisked and monitored by male correctional officers. Such inmates will likely feel infringement into their privacy if female correctional officers did the frisking and monitoring them when they are in the cloakrooms or even when taking showers or changing their attire.

Most male inmates have record of accomplishment of having committed serious crimes and this means they are dangerous and need maximum security. Many of female correctional officers have been shown to be prone to laxity and collaboration with such criminals and this leaves male correctional officers as ideal professionals to take care of male correctional facilities, added to their physique and technical capabilities.

In order to stem out corruption, smuggling of drugs and mobile devices, it is imperative that the prison officers who mostly consort with inmates must be given disciplinary actions. However, it is clear that most of these incidences happen with female correctional officers who take charge of male correctional facilities. Therefore, correctional officers should take charge of correctional facilities with inmates whose gender is the same to theirs.

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