News that two female jail guards at the Guilford County jail in High Point are under investigation for having sex with inmates in the jail drew quite a reaction from county officials and county residents this weekend.

Some found it humorous while others cited major concerns about security in the county’s two jails at a time when the Sherriff’s Department is having trouble hiring and retaining detention officers.

Others in the county were just shaking their heads in response to the story.

On Friday, the Rhino Times reported that several sources within Guilford County Government stated that two female detention officers at Guilford County’s jail in High Point were under investigation for engaging in sex with male inmates in the jail. The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department stated that it is aware of the allegations and “is investigating the validity (if any) of those claims.”

One source very familiar with the operations of the High Point jail told the Rhino Times that officers were being paid for the “service.”

After the news, one county official joked this was just an attempt to reduce spending from the Inmate Welfare Fund since this was a way to enhance inmate welfare without dipping into the fund.

One Facebook poster stated that this gave a new definition to “three hots and a cot” that inmates usually get in jail.

Another Facebook user posted that the guards could use, as a defense, the fact that Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers has a well-publicized practice of hugging inmates in the jail – a practice that some of Roger’s critics have dubbed the “Hug-a-thug” policy.

While many found the news humorous, the matter is extremely serious. In North Carolina it is a felony for a jail guard to engage in sex with an inmate, and, according to the source familiar with the High Point jail operations, two inmates that allegedly had sex with the guards are accused of very serious violent crimes.

It is impossible for a jail guard to maintain proper oversight and control of an inmate while engaging in sex with that inmate – so, if in fact the allegations prove true, those actions placed the safety of the participating guards, fellow guards, other jail staff and other inmates at risk.