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Autumn Wedgeworth, Meridian, Miss., prison guard sex with inmate

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Autumn Wedgeworth is an American prison guard who is accused of having sex with an inmate. The Daily Mail reports today that Autumn Wedgeworth, who was being held at the Lauderdale County Detention Center, was released on $10,000 bond. The former Mississippi prison worker is due back in court as soon as an opening becomes available, according to the Clarion-Ledger.

Prison records show that Autumn Wedgeworth was on duty while she perform sexual acts with an inmate. The incident was reported, investigated and confirmed true. Sheriff's Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun did not go into specifics about the case. In most states it is against the law for any state prison worker or employee to have sex with an inmate over whom they have jurisdiction.

Prison guard Autumn Wedgeworth worked in the education department at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility located at 10641 Old Highway 80 W in Meridian. The correctional facility, which opened in 1999, houses male inmates in an unincorporated part of Lauderdale County.

Prison guards having sex with inmates is fairly common in every state. Most cases that are brought to light involve male prison corrections officers or male employees having sex with female inmates. According to the book "Exploring Corrections in America," by John T. Whitehead, Mark Jones and Michael C. Braswell, it is difficult to get an exact number or percentage of the number of inmates who are abused annually. Most inmates, particularly female inmates, feel too vulnerable and afraid to report the offenses to prison authorities.

In September 2013, 30-year-old Leanne Salls of Vermont pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charge of prohibited acts with an inmate at Windsor prison, according to Valley News. Last week Andres Verdugo, a jail guard at the Bernalillo County Jail, was arrested for having sex with at least one female inmate.The subject of sex with inmates was portrayed in the 1997 movie "Prison of Secrets" starring Stephanie Zimbalist.

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