When mistreatment of prisoners is discussed, it’s often centered on physical abuse or neglect. But the story from ‘Britain’s cushiest jail’ has brought a more scandalous form of wrong-doing to light: eighteen female guards were recently fired after it was discovered that they allegedly had inappropriate relationships with inmates. The news has captivated public attention and spurred a flurry of commentary about everything from prison reform in the UK to gender dynamics within correctional facilities.

The eighteen female correctional officers lost their jobs after it was discovered that they were having sexual intercourse and affairs with the facilities’ inmates. The illicit sex occurred between guards and inmates at the Wrexham jail in North Wales.

Now, the chair of the Prison Officers’ Association, Mark Fairhurst, has blamed the situation on hiring “the wrong kind of women” to do a job that required discretion.

Fairhurst told the Mirror, “Staff being recruited don’t have face-to-face interviews… it’s all done on Zoom. A lot of people getting these jobs don’t have enough life experience and are susceptible to conditioning from prisoners. Your figures just prove what we’ve been warning the employer about for years.”

Three of the female prison guards who allegedly had sexual intercourse with the facilities’ male prisoners were Jennifer Gavan, 27, Ayshea Gunn, 27, and Emily Watson, 26. Back in December, Gavan was jailed for eight months because she had a sexual relationship with inmate 25-year-old Alex Coxon.

Gavan had used Snapchat to send intimate images of herself to the inmate. She then kissed him during their relationship that lasted between April and July 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when the world was struggling to cope.

Gavan allegedly smuggled a mobile phone into the prison facility so she could contact Coxon when she wanted to. She later pleaded guilty to misconduct at the Mold Crown Court and accepted a fine for smuggling the phone into the prison for her sex partner, the inmate.

Gavan’s relationship came a year after fellow correctional officer 27-year-old Ayshea Gunn had a sexual relationship with the “dangerous” inmate, 29-year-old Khuram Razaq. An investigation came across photos of Gunn and Razaq kissing and hugging. These photos were taken on a mobile phone inside Razaq’s cell at the North Wales prison. She was jailed for one year for having a relationship with the male inmate.

Another officer, 26-year-old Emily Watson, received a one-year jail sentence in April 2019 because she performed a juicy sex act on one of the inmates inside his cell. Mold Crown Court heard how Watson had been alone with the inmate three times. She performed a sex act on him twice and had intercourse with the convict one time.

Since 2019, about thirty-one female officers in England and Wales have lost their jobs for having sexual relationships with inmates, according to shocking stats provided by the Ministry of Justice.

A Prison Service spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice said: “The vast majority of Prison Service staff are hardworking and honest, but we are doing more than ever to catch the small number who break the rules.”