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Correctional officer loses job after becoming caretaker of inmate's newborn baby

Ella Scott

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Correctional officer loses job after becoming caretaker of inmate's newborn baby

Featured Image Credit: WBLT/Fox

A former correctional officer says she lost her job at a high-security facility after becoming a guardian for an inmate's newborn child.

Roberta Bell, 57, from Vicksburg, Mississippi told Gray Television via WLBT that she had worked at the Louisiana Transitional Centre for Women for over three years.

The former officer said she spent the majority of her working hours in the facility's food hall, where she would speak to the centre’s inmates.

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However, a couple of months ago, she was presented with the chance to become a temporary guardian for one of the prisoners’ children.

It’s said that at the time Katie Bourgeois of Denham Springs, Louisiana, was serving a 'short term' sentence at the LTCW.

However, while inside, she was months away from giving birth to her first child.

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The 57-year-old said that the mum-to-be was 'trying to find somebody that would help keep her baby until she finished her term'.

Bell said she wouldn't change anything about her new situation. Credit: WLBT
Bell said she wouldn't change anything about her new situation. Credit: WLBT

“She was very concerned about Child Protection Services getting the baby and her not knowing where the baby was since she had such a short term to serve,” she added.

According to Bell, Bourgeois was desperate for her to look after her child, as her own mother was also going through a divorce and she felt there were no other options available to her.

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Upon agreeing to take care of the inmate’s child, the Vicksburg woman contacted her employers at LTCW 'weeks in advance' but heard nothing back.

The LTCW is a correctional facility based in the city of Tallulah. Credit: WLBT
The LTCW is a correctional facility based in the city of Tallulah. Credit: WLBT

She told the news outlet: “Nobody ever got back with me until it was about two or three days time for her to deliver.”

However, Bell’s contract at the centre was allegedly terminated due to exchanging personal information with the pregnant woman.

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A few days after turning in her LTCW badge, Bourgeois’ son Kayson was born in a nearby hospital.

Reflecting on the tumultuous time, Bell said that she wouldn’t change anything about becoming a guardian and getting fired.

She said: “I wouldn’t because this is me. There’s no changing. I’m stubborn. Once I do something, that’s it.

“I’m not going to change my mind. I’m not going to back down. I’ve never been that type of person.”

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She then stated that she believes God created her to 'administer to the women that don’t know him'.

The 57-year-old now lives at home in Vicksburg, and is looking forward to reuniting Bourgeois with her son when she is released sometime next month.

Topics: Community, News, Parenting, US News

Ella Scott
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