Friday's arrest of 28 year old Logan Boyd marks the third person charged with improper sexual activity and civil rights violations of inmates this August. Sheriff David Jones says they exploited areas with little or compromised camera surveillance.
The sheriff's office has been pushing for a new jail for quite some time, hoping to correct several design and security flaws.
Any sexual activity with a worker behind bars, regardless of its nature, is seen as a civil rights violation due to the inherent power dynamic that exists. Dr. Christine Lamberson, a professor of history at Angelo State University, says the evolution of prisoner rights largely began in the 1960s and 1970s in the wake of abuse.
"The problem is: if you have guards or people who work at the prison who have a lot of power over inmates, it becomes very difficult to give consent," Lamberson said. "Because that's so messy, you end up having a system where that's completely prohibited."
While security and design issues make the Tom Green County Jail susceptible to violations, they can--and do--happen in prisons and jails across the nation.
"There are certainly lots of these sorts of problems in a lot of prisons, and the ACLU and other organizations include it as one of their main points of focus in looking for prison reform," Lamberson said.
The San Angelo City Council is set to discuss the rezoning of a site off Highway 277 for the future during its meeting Tuesday. Sheriff Jones is expected to be in attendance, and speak to the design and security flaws that exist at the current site.