South Carolina prison officials have charged a correctional officer they said had a romantic relationship with an inmate and received payments from him.
The Department of Corrections said Monday that Tajiri Belton was charged with misconduct in office after her arrest last week. According to warrants, Belton had a telephone relationship with an inmate between Sept. 2017 and last month. She was working at the time as a correctional officer at Camille Graham Institution in Richland County.
The inmate also paid Belton a gift and used her home address to illegally mail a controlled substance. State law bans officers from receiving gifts from inmates and agency policy requires employees keep their relationship with inmates in their charge at a professional level.
“After an arrest, the burden of proof is still on the state to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt within a court of law,” Corrections Department spokesman Dexter Lee said in an email.