Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Westville prison officer charged with trafficking

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A Westville Correctional Facility officer was arrested Friday on a charge of trafficking with an offender, the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) said.

According to DOC, Joyce Sokolowski, 54, of Merrillville, reported for work at the start of her shift. She was then stopped and questioned by Internal Affairs officers and subsequently found to be in possession of tobacco and other contraband intended to be delivered to an offender, DOC said.

Sokolowski was transported to the LaPorte County Jail following her emergency suspension without pay.

Sokolowski was hired in May 2012. Trafficking with an offender is a Class C felony punishable by a term of two to eight years.

The incident is still under investigation by the facility’s Internal Affairs Department to determine what charges or internal disciplinary action may be taken with any offenders allegedly involved.

“It is regrettable that another staff member decided to traffic with an offender,” Superintendent Mark Levenhagen said. “At the same time, I am proud of all our employees who continue to work hard to uncover such activity and stop it.”

“I congratulate Westville for continuing to weed out those who feel they are above the law,” DOC Commissioner Bruce Lemmon said. “Those who uphold the honor of their position as state employees simply will not tolerate such activity.”

 

Posted 5/22/2013