Tashiba Watkins, Arrest, Inmate, Julia Tutwiler Prison

Female Officer At Women’s Prison Arrested After Exchanges With Inmate

Tashiba Watkins resigned from her position at the prison in 2023 after text messages revealed she was paid at least $1,000 by an inmate.

Tashiba Watkins, a correctional officer at Julia Tutwiler Prison, has been charged with exploiting her official role for personal gain.

The ex-officer, who resigned in November 2023, according to WSFA, was arrested at her home on March 13 by the Alabama Department of Corrections’ Law Enforcement Services Division.

Court records from November 2023 detailed a $1,000 Apple Pay transaction that Watkins allegedly received from an undisclosed phone number earlier that month. The former Julia Tutwiler officer claimed she was repeatedly solicited by an inmate to smuggle a bag of drugs into the facility, a proposition she claimed to have rejected. The former officer further claimed that the inmate subsequently issued threats to her over her personal cell phone and her daughter’s phone. However, Watkins admitted that she failed to report the interactions to her superiors at the time.

In a conflicting account, the inmate asserted that she had, on multiple occasions, provided Watkins with over $2,000 in exchange for various contraband items within the prison. While no contraband was presented during the investigation, the inmate furnished personal notes containing Watkins’ private information and details about a meeting between the two individuals at a specific date and time.

According to court documents, investigators uncovered security footage allegedly depicting Watkins meeting with the inmate, during which Watkins provided the inmate with writing materials. The ADOC’s investigation further uncovered evidence that Watkins had indeed accepted an alleged digital transaction of at least $1,000 from a contact that was linked to the inmate. Three text messages from the inmate’s associate were extracted from the cell phone, one of which explicitly requested monetary funds.

As ADOC’s Law Enforcement Services Division continues to investigate the illicit incident, involved parties may face further charges.

Julia Tutwiler Prison is an all-women’s facility located in Wetumpka, Alabama, according to ADOC.