By PAT EATON-ROBB, Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut prison officials are asking for a new law that would label inmates who commit lewd acts in their cells as sex offenders.

A Correction Department spokesman says it’s an ongoing problem at prisons such as the high security Northern Correctional Institution, where some inmates masturbate in front of staff, often a female staff member.

Lisamarie Fontano, president of the union representing prison workers, says more than 500 such incident reports were written up at Northern last year.

She says internal discipline hasn’t deterred the behavior, but believes inmates will stop if they know they will have to register as a sex offender when they leave prison.

The bill has passed out of committee and is awaiting action by the full Legislature.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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