A jail deputy at the adult detention center was arrested Thursday following an investigation into contraband being brought into the facility.
Marshae Childs, 24, admitted bringing food and contraband into the facility over a two month period for detainee Julius Johnson, 42, who is being held on alias bench warrants for second-degree battery and possession of a controlled substance.
“One of the very things we stress to applicants during the initial hiring process as a deputy jailer within our detention facilities is that if you are caught bringing contraband into the jail as a deputy jailer, you will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Sheriff Lafayette Woods, Jr. “We have a zero tolerance policy regarding the introduction of contraband or any unauthorized items. The arrest of former Deputy Childs, now Detainee Childs, is a very clear example of a serious breach of policy and the community’s trust. This arrest like others in the past also speaks to our commitment to the public in pursuing charges against those who violate the public’s trust and threaten the security of our detention facilities.”
According to a probable cause affidavit from Sheriff’s Investigator Lt. John Bean, Capt. Yohance Brunson was notified Thursday that there was a possibility of contraband being brought into the jail. That notification came from jail administrator Joseph Gorman and was based on text messages between Johnson and Childs.
In one of the messages, Johnson accused Childs of keeping $1,000 and said their relationship was over. Childs responded by saying she had “risked her job.”
Bean and Brunson interviewed Johnson who said Childs had brought items to the jail and given them to him over a two month period. He said the items included cigarettes and marijuana.
When Childs was interviewed, she admitted bringing Johnson food from local restaurants, Chinese, Taco Bell, Popeye’s and Ricks a total of five times. She also said on one occasion, Johnson’s son had given her a package approximately 8 and-a-half inches by five inches by three inches deep wrapped in black tape. She said she did not know what was in the package.
On Friday, Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney set a $10,000 bond for Childs after ruling prosecutors have probable cause to charge her with six counts of furnishing prohibited articles.
As a state mandate, deputy jailers who are hired are required to complete a minimum of 56 hours of jail training, Woods said in a press release. However, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office requires each deputy jailer to complete 72 hours. During training, jailers are warned repeatedly that if they allow themselves to be coerced or conspire with anyone especially a detainee to bring contraband into the detention facilities, they will suffer the consequences of their actions.
“The issue of contraband being introduced into our detention facility is challenging and threatening not only to the safety and security of our facility, but to those who work and are detained there,” said Woods. “This is all the reason why we conduct these undercover operations on a routine basis and train our staff during jail training. We will pursue charging with maximum penalty for anyone who violates the policies or our jail without exception.”