CCA Employee Charged With Rape, Smuggling, is at Large

On November 6th a warrant for ex-CCA prison guard Michelle Kalinich was issued for three counts of rape against an inmate and one count of smuggling while employed at the minimum-security 1,010 bed Davis Correctional Facility in Holden, Oklahoma (NewsOK). Stories of guards raping inmates are not uncommon, and often occur in immigrant detention facilities. However, reports of female guards raping male inmates are not as common. The state of Oklahoma has laws against inmates and prison guards having sex, and any act, even if consent is given, is considered rape under the statues — something that a prison guard should have been told. Kalinich worked at the facility for eight months and confessed to smuggling in large amounts of drugs for a single inmate in exchange for money. Randy Ellis from NewsOK tells the story:

Kalinich, 29, of Holdenville, also is accused of one felony count of conspiring to smuggle drugs into the prison for the benefit of the inmate, James Black, 21, of Enid…

The Corrections Department launched an internal affairs investigation into the relationship between Kalinich and Black in response to a June 8 request for assistance from Davis Correctional Facility officials, records show.Kalinich and Black initially denied any sexual contact “except for kissing,” but Kalinich later acknowledged having sex with the inmate on three occasions, internal affairs investigator Randy Knight said in a sworn affidavit used to justify the issuance of an arrest warrant.

“Kalinich admitted she participated in sexual intercourse with Black… ,” Knight wrote.Kalinich also admitted bringing seven ounces of marijuana, 30 Ecstasy pills and 36 pouches of tobacco into the prison for Black’s benefit, Knight reported.

He said Kalinich received three money grams totaling $1,000, and acknowledged receiving an additional $1,000. Kalinich was terminated May 29, said Rebecca Adams, the warden’s secretary.

Along with sexual abuse, bribery is also a common problem with private prisons because of their significantly lower pay than their public-sector colleagues. For instance, in Texas, the highest paid private prison guard is paid $2,000 a year less than the lowest paid public prison guard, correlating with a 90% turnover rate (TPB). Smuggling is common in both public and private prisons, there is no doubting that. However, private prisons have a seemingly unanimous problem across the board with smuggling due to their low pay and poor benefits. Paying employees better wages would in theory reduce the need and desire to smuggle contraband for extra income. However, doing this would reduce the company’s overall profits — another pitfall of privately run prison facilities.

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