A former prison guard who had personal relationships with two inmates has admitted that she is not suitable for the job because she is naturally flirtatious.
Melissa Goodwin, 26, was convicted in August of having an intimate relationship with teenage inmate Corey London, a year after she was dragged from her parents’ home in western Sydney during a dramatic arrest.
On Wednesday, she spoke to Kyle and Jackie O about her time as a prison guard — revealing that she was often spat on and urine thrown on her while managing a pod of 86 male inmates at one point.
“I like choosing good men,” she joked as she discussed how she came in contact with London and former prisoner Caleb Valeri – an associate of the rebel outlaw biker gang.
‘I love choosing good men,’ she joked as she discussed how she got caught up in London and former prisoner Caleb Valeri (pictured together)
Goodwin wore a new neck tattoo when she appeared in court to admit she was dating an inmate
Though she denied ever dating London, she discussed her relationship with Valeri, which only started when he reached out to her on Instagram after he was released from prison.
“I understood that he was in love with me, he was my friend, we were together,” she said.
Valeri, she claims, never saw the relationship as exclusive and saw “about 7,500 girls” at the same time.
“Looking back now, I’m a complete idiot. I had never been cheated on, so I didn’t know the signs.’
Ms Goodwin said she was “embarrassed to admit” that she completely ignored “about 62 red flags” over the course of the relationship.
Valeri, Ms Goodwin claims, never saw the relationship as exclusive and saw “about 7,500 girls” at the same time
Ms Goodwin denied ever having a relationship with London (pictured), instead insisting on offering him ‘life advice’
She hadn’t stated to corrective services that they were dating yet, because she wanted to make sure they were the real deal first.
But in the meantime, Valeri had reportedly shared explicit photos of Ms. Goodwin on his social media pages, some of which were while she was in uniform.
“The captions were things like, ‘I’m literally f**king the system,’ referring to me,” the 26-year-old claims.
Ms. Goodwin admits she made a mistake in not informing corrective services about her relationship with Valeri, but is adamant that this was beyond expectations.
“I didn’t do anything with him until he got out because I loved my job and followed the rules… to some extent… It’s not illegal to be in a relationship with a former inmate,” she said.
Just before her arrest in May 2020, Goodwin was featured on the front page of Corrective Services NSW Bulletin magazine
She was in bed with Valeri at her parents’ house in May 2020 when police stormed the house around 7:30 am to arrest her
She was in bed with Valeri at her parents’ home in May 2020 when police stormed the house around 7:30 a.m. to arrest her.
At first she assumed it had to do with Valeri. It wasn’t until she was on her way to the police station that she learned that London had claimed they had committed fellatio while in prison.
Ms. Goodwin pleaded guilty to having a personal relationship with London, but insisted it was a “pen pal” dynamic and they were never physically intimate.
Speaking to radio hosts on Wednesday morning, she further downplayed her involvement with the convicted armed robber.
“I gave him life advice… I tried to help and my personality can be seen as flirty, I can be overly nice, but that’s just me. I’m not like just the prisoners, I’m like everyone,” she said.
Ms Goodwin said her only major mistake with London was accepting a note he slipped her in jail with a mobile number on it.
“Maybe I wasn’t the perfect person for the job… My personality doesn’t really fit a prison.”
Ms Goodwin said her only major mistake with London was accepting a note that he slipped her in jail with a mobile number on it.
Curiosity got the better of her, she claims, and she texted the number after her shift, only to be told it was London’s mother.
Pictured: Mrs. Goodwin
She claims that this way London could get her mobile number and call her outside of work.
“Nothing else happened in that pod. If you’ve ever been a prisoner or an officer you’d know it’s impossible… The prisoner made it up [and] I was shocked, ashamed and ashamed.’
London was shocked after he was beaten at the Mid North Coast Correctional Center in Kempsey on May 14, and later refused to testify about the dynamics of their relationship in court.
When asked why, London lawyer Hannah Dempsey said: “He just refuses to talk and won’t comment on comments he’s made so far.”
Magistrate Reiss charged London with contempt of court, but the crime carries no hefty penalty – just 28 days in prison. He still wouldn’t budge.
Despite the conviction, for which she was sentenced to 12 months of community service and 100 hours of community service, Ms. Goodwin insists she was good at her job.
‘I was very good at my job, I was punctual, I loved my job, I treated people fairly. It’s not my job to judge them, that’s the judge’s job,” she said.
Ms. Goodwin understands that her conviction will make it difficult for her to find work in her chosen field in the future, but hopes to put her degree in criminology to good use and work in the fight against terrorism.
In the meantime, she works as a personal trainer at two gyms in western Sydney, trying to escape the stigma associated with her conviction.
“This has done a lot of damage to my mental health… I still get messages about it to this day, I suffered a lot of abuse.”
Despite the outcome and the public outcry, Ms. Goodwin has no regrets about how she interacted with detainees on her job.
“They’re having a hard time,” she said. “They’re locked up in cells, they’re away from their families and I know they put themselves there, but it’s still hard.”