Demmi Zeschke and Jared Smith.
Demmi Zeschke and Jared Smith.

Prison boss vows to lock up sex lovebirds

PRISON guards that have sex with inmates will be thrown behind bars as punishment for the deplorable act under a tough reform being pushed by the state's jails top boss.

Corrective Service Commissioner Peter Severin is also supportive of inmates that have sex with prison guards being medically treated with anti-libido drugs to kill their sex drive while behind bars.

Every option for new tough punishments for prison guards and inmates that have sexual relationships is on the table with the government launching a taskforce to investigate the past decade of sordid sex trysts in the state's jails.

It comes as young mum Demmi Zeschke has been identified as the latest guard to have had an inappropriate relationship with an inmate.

NSW prison guard Demmi Zeschke is believed to have had a sexual relationship with drink driver killer Jared Smith at Long Bay Jail. Picture: Nine Network
NSW prison guard Demmi Zeschke is believed to have had a sexual relationship with drink driver killer Jared Smith at Long Bay Jail. Picture: Nine Network

It's understood Zeschke lived on site at Long Bay jail this year and frequented the gym where 23-year-old inmate Jarad Smith, who was responsible for the drink driving death of two innocent people in 2014, was a cleaner.

Zeschke resigned before the investigation concluded that she had an inappropriate relationship with Smith.

"When the investigator was ready to spring her she was already off the payroll," Mr Severin said.

Jared Smith was a P-plate driver when he mounted the kerb on Victoria Road, Rozelle, and killed two pedestrians. Picture: Stephen Cooper
Jared Smith was a P-plate driver when he mounted the kerb on Victoria Road, Rozelle, and killed two pedestrians. Picture: Stephen Cooper

Mr Severin - who is "shocked and appalled" by recent allegations - said the most severe current punishment for an officer is dismissal but it wasn't a big enough deterrent.

"If I had my way I would make it an offence punishable by imprisonment," he said.

He also flagged that medically reducing an inmates sex drive would have his support.

"I want to do anything that will stop inappropriate behaviour from happening. If there are medically based options would I say no? No I wouldn't, no I wouldn't because I want to stop this behaviour from happening."

Corrections Minister David Elliott and Prisons Commissioner Peter Severin. Picture: Bob Barker.
Corrections Minister David Elliott and Prisons Commissioner Peter Severin. Picture: Bob Barker.

He said some prisoners could be "extremely manipulative" - but there was no excuse.

"There is no excuse for it. Reality is humans are unfortunately at time susceptible to influences and what we need to do is make sure we give them professional backbone so they know how to manage the professional boundaries … If they do the wrong thing they need to go."

Investigators are currently trawling through CCTV and rosters for more evidence of Kempsey jail guard Amy Connors' sexual relationship with cop-killer Sione Penisini.

Cop killer Sione Penisini.
Cop killer Sione Penisini.

Ms Connors' was working at the jail in June and was suspended on Friday.

Mr Severin said the jails general-manager began investigating Connors after her fellow guards reported their suspicions.

It's understood Corrective Services have yet to find evidence Connors' fell pregnant to Penisini.

Mr Severin said inappropriate relationships range from sex to contraband smuggling.

"Human beings have great ingenuity when it comes to those things … it's not always the case that they need to find that quiet corner to do bad things."

 

A recent photo of Amy Connors on her motorbike.
A recent photo of Amy Connors on her motorbike.

Corrections Minister David Elliott said he wanted prison officers that have sex with inmate to never work for the state government again.

"Prison officer brings profession into disrepute should leave in disgrace - I want their reputation so badly tarnished they can never work for the state government again," he said.

Yesterday he instructed Mr Severin to establish a Taskforce to investigate the last 10 years of allegations of inappropriate sexual relationships between inmates and correctional staff.

The Department of Justice Secretary has also been told to investigate increasing penalties for misconduct for inmates and staff.

Mr Elliot said the review would examine whether "single, young female" officer should be left alone with maximum security prisoners.

He also flagged making it a criminal offence to have sex with a prisoner as well as penalty increases including increasing inmates security status and adding time to their sentence.

"I'll be putting my reputation and my career to have those penalties increased," he said.

"I'm going to be looking at that option of it being criminal … we should be holding onto these people, punishing them, investigating them and making sure that they know their behaviour is unacceptable."

Demmi Zeschke in her NSW prison guard uniform. Picture: Nine Network
Demmi Zeschke in her NSW prison guard uniform. Picture: Nine Network

Smith, 23, was sentenced to four years in prison for killing Pracy and her partner Gary Kelley in December 2015.

Last night Cathy Pracy's family were shocked to hear of the state of the misconduct in prisons.

"We had no idea he was even on day release until Ray Hadley called us today," Duncan Miller told The Daily Telegraph.

"There's just no punishment."

Ms Zeschke is believed to have lived on site at Long Bay jail. Picture: Facebook
Ms Zeschke is believed to have lived on site at Long Bay jail. Picture: Facebook
Amy Connors was suspended on Friday.
Amy Connors was suspended on Friday.


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