Last week, the news introduced me to an interesting term: crimiphelia. It came with the reporting over the end of a manhunt for the escaped convict, Casey White, and his willing love interest and captor, Vicky White. According to the news reporter, it’s estimated that as many as 5% of people in authority over others in confinement have crimiphelia. It is as it sounds – the love of crime and criminals. It’s the thing that allows correctional staff to be compromised. It is a hidden fetish that tips the scales from professional to perverse. Vicky White, like Joyce Mitchell and others before her, are speculated to have this. Why else would someone with decades of professional standing take a step over the line into the unthinkable?

While not all of these encounters result in the escape of a convicted criminal, they are very much real. I would say that 5% may even be a conservative estimate. I have, in the last decade, known of several female staff that have been removed from this prison for emotional improprieties. I know a fellow inmate who married his college teacher from his first prison twenty years ago. While her employment in a prison was immediately terminated, their marriage still holds its sacredness to them. But guys like my friend are the impassioned exception. Most felons who compromise staff do so with the worst of intent and that’s why it’s extremely dangerous. I wonder if there is a way to psychologically screen for the propensity to cross that line and keep the Vicky Whites and Joyce Mitchells of the system at bay? Ultimately, I had no idea that this phenomenon had been prevalent enough to be studied to some degree and I’m sure someone out there would say that it’s a consenting adult’s choice. But rest assured, the danger of the behavior is too great to allow any part of it, just to find out. So let’s not…

by Rory Andes

I’m sure love finds a way, but so should public safety and professionalism…

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