Report: Dangers on the job remain for female prison guards

Feb 24, 2011

Prison guards could see higher insurance premiums

While working in America's prisons can be a dangerous occupation for anyone, a recent report in the Seattle Times said that it's particularly hazardous for women who work in the field.

One corrections officer Jayme Biendl was killed at the end of January, marking the first staff fatality in the state's prison system in 32 years, the paper said. Yet another officer, Keri Towle, said she doesn't feel unsafe because of her gender.

And the inmates in Towle's prison, Stafford Creek, seem to be as saddened as anyone else by Biendl's death.

"That dude needs to be slung from a tree. You don't treat the females that way," said convict Harold Rath to the Times.

The newspaper said that conditions used to be far worse for female officers in the state's prisons, thanks to discrimination by male co-workers, who sometimes forced them to patrol alone, in violation of policy.

Experts say men and women who are employed at dangerous jobs may be charged higher life insurance rates because of their occupations.

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