Local Prison Nurse Arrested

Authorities say it was an internal investigation that led to the arrest of Linda Beckham Tucker, a prison nurse who works for a subcontractor.

Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun says Tucker is charged with introducing contraband into the East Mississippi Correctional Facility. Calhoun tells Newscenter 11 that contraband can be any number of things, but in this case it was a cell phone.

"Which are illegal to have or to introduce or bring into a correctional facility," Calhoun says. "She's been charged with that."

As for what led officials to conduct an investigation, Calhoun says he is not able to go into specifics. However, he says authorities at the prison received information that led them to closely monitor Tucker. And Calhoun says while the cell phone was presented to a specific inmate, it is unclear whether there was any sort of relationship between Tucker and the inmate.

"Anytime you have a setting where you have correctional officers and offenders who are there together, sometimes for years, relationships develop," Calhoun adds. "It's when those relationships go beyond the boundaries that the rules clearly state there are problems."

He says the employee is the one that typically faces those problems because they could be faced with losing there job or worse, a criminal charge. EMCF warden Frank Shaw sent an e-mail to Newscenter 11 saying he will not tolerate this type of behavior and that he is committed to operating a safe and secure facility.

Tucker has been released from the Lauderdale County Detention Facility on $5,000 bond. Calhoun says it could be a couple of months before Tucker faces a grand jury.

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