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Clark: Prison not sounding like punishment for some

Sun., May 19, 2013, midnight

Not to frighten any of you, but I predict the entire region will soon be clobbered by a tsunami-sized crime wave.

And all because of what’s been going on at Airway Heights Correctional Center, the horndog hoosegow of Eastern Washington.

Mark my words. Criminals will be getting themselves purposely arrested so they can get in on some of that Airway action, and who can blame them?

For the second time this spring, one of the prison’s female staff members has been accused of having carnal relations with an inmate.

So much for prison as a deterrent.

Now, I’ve been around the cellblock.

Really. I actually toured the Airway Heights facility. And I realize that sexual urges don’t go away just because someone is cooling his heels behind concrete and razor wire. It’s not called penology for nothing, after all.

But what’s been going on lately at Airway Heights is not the typical shower-buddy rub-a-dub rendezvous that we’ve grown to expect from our finer institutes of incarceration.

The first incident involved a counselor in a sex offender treatment program at the prison. She quit, according to our news story, when “confronted about an inappropriate relationship with an inmate.”

That was bad enough. But the most recent scandal is even more of a dilly.

A woman who supervises prisoners in the textile shop has been put on paid leave while investigators check out whether or not she did the wild thing with a convicted murderer in a staff bathroom.

Ah, the ol’ lavatorial love-in. Sure hope they lit some scented candles.

It’s been eons since I went out looking for a date, so maybe I’m out of touch. But I can’t believe the eligible inmate gigolo pool could be so shallow.

Getting involved with a convicted murderer is so risky. Weren’t any reputable meth chefs available?

But here’s the big question: How do these prison management/miscreant dalliances get started in the first place?

SHE: “Oh, I’ll never forget the first time I met my Killer.”

GUARD: “Was it love at first sight?”

SHE: “No. More like love at first cavity search.”

Maybe we should go back the old penal system of keeping the sexes separated.

If not, I have half a mind to write that eHarmony dude, Neil Clark Warren. Perhaps he could create a dating service spinoff designed with staff and inmates in mind. “eHandcuffs,” we could call it.

If the claim is true, the aforementioned supervisor could be charged with “custodial sexual misconduct,” though “looking for love in all the wrong spaces” seems more apt.

From the information being given, this was a whole lot more than a casual fling.

A search of the prisoner’s cell, for example, turned up photographs of “a nude woman with a dragon tattoo.” Not to digress, but I saw that movie and it wasn’t half bad.

It was also quite troubling to learn that the inmate had “made 92 phone calls” to the supervisor and engaged in Valentine’s Day phone sex.

I think we’ve all learned an important lesson today: Hard time ain’t what it used to be.

Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432

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