A correctional officer at G.K. Fountain Correctional Facility in Atmore was arrested and charged with beating a child Wednesday morning.
The officer, Sgt. Lateshia Jackson, 44, was arrested for torture/willful abuse of a child-family by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. Jackson was released without bond the same day she was arrested.
According to a complaint filed with the District Court of Escambia County, Jackson allegedly struck the 8-year-old child with a belt several times causing extensive bruising and breaking to the the front and back of the child’s thighs. The complaint states the offense took place at least 10 days prior to Jackson’s eventual arrest.
APR reached out to the Department of Corrections and spoke to an individual who would not identify themselves, denied a request for comment, and hung up during the conversation.
The arrest is the latest in a long line of black eyes for ADOC, including numerous arrests of correctional officers over the past year. According to various reports and ADOC press releases, at least 10 correctional officers have been arrested since last April. That total includes the arrest of six officers at different facilities over the course of a week last December for various alleged crimes.
The arrests are particularly troubling for an agency that is in desperate need of officers. ADOC is in the midst of a Department of Justice lawsuit, a portion of which is directly tied to the Department’s chronic under-staffing and hiring of ill-equipped and unprepared officers.
ADOC officials have taken a number of approaches to attempt to solve the officer shortage problem, but hiring has remained slow. One problem, ADOC officials have said privately, is the Department’s continued negative reputation — an issue that isn’t helped by frequent arrests of officers.