A Valentine’s Day letter from a female prison officer allegedly sent to an inmate has led to her immediate dismissal from Sydney’s Parklea Correctional Centre.
Tara Brooks doubles as a part-time model and it is understood she allegedly sent the note under a false name, but slipped up and gave away their budding romance behind bars.
She was accused of an inappropriate relationship with an inmate.
“I’m horrified that anybody would still use this sort of behaviour as something that they think is acceptable,” NSW Corrective Services Minister David Elliott said.
Brooks allegedly came undone when a Valentine’s Day card arrived at the jail on Wednesday.
It was sent under a fake name to Hassan Zreika, a minimum security inmate, but investigators traced it back to a PO Box registered to Brooks.
She was arrested at her home before becoming the first officer charged under tough new laws.
“It’s proof positive that the NSW government’s decision to implement this new offence for inappropriate relations between officers and inmates was justified,” Mr Elliott said.
Parklea Correctional Centre is privately managed by GEO Group Australia.
GEO Group says Brooks made admissions about an inappropriate relationship during its investigation, but denies reports photographs of the model were found in the inmate’s cell.
The inmate has been placed in isolation and will be moved to another jail, while the former guard could find herself back in jail as a prisoner if convicted.