Indecent inmates prompt new law

A Shelby County Correction Officer for the past 15 years, Phyllis Johnson says you would not believe the bad behavior she's seen.

"It's very offensive, very offensive," says Johnson.

One of the biggest problems behind bars are inmates who expose themselves to officers.

"Sticking themselves through the bars and everything like that--I just don't like that," says Johnson.

Already this year, there have been 250 such incidents involving inmates inside the Shelby County Jail..

"It's always been an issue," says Sheriff Mark Luttrell. "It's become more of an issue in prisons and jails as you've seen more females come into the workforce," he adds.

The Sheriff believes it's high time inmates learn to keep their clothes on. A brand new law should help.

In effect since July 1st, intentional sexual exposure to a correction officer is a violation of the Indecent Exposure Law. Anyone convicted three times must register as a "sex offender" for life.

Signs will soon go up inside the jail warning to inmates about the new rules.

"I think it's going to really help us a lot," says Luttrell.

Officer Johnson and others hope he's right. They're tired of seeing "too much" of too many inmates.

"No one should be subject to that--on the street or in the workplace," says Johnson.

Even when you work behind bars she says.

The new law regarding indecent inmates not only applies to 201 Poplar, but every jail and prison in Tennessee.


to email Jason Miles.