Santa Clara County Correctional Officer arrested for misconduct with a minor

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Some are questioning the leadership and operations at the jails in Santa Clara County after another correctional officer is arrested for misconduct.

A guard was arrested for sending illicit photos to a teenage girl. This is the latest black eye for the Sheriff's Department.

At 23-years-old, Blaine Hopper worked as a correctional officer at the San Jose Main Jail. But police just arrested him after he allegedly sent illicit photos of himself to a 17-year-old girl and asked her to do the same.

"That raises the question how are they vetting folks to bring in there to be the guards, should there be people who are older than that, more maturity more experience in the world, what has been implemented," said Retired Judge LaDoris Cordell.

Cordell chaired the independent Oversight Committee which was formed after three correctional officers beat a mentally ill inmate to death.

The Commission recommended there be a change in leadership at the jail and a permanent oversight committee should be established. But in that time there's been more accusations of use of force in the jail, inmates have escaped from the jail, and just last month, inmates escaped from custody at the county courthouse.

"If we're going to make sure that bad things don't keep happening and that the public can have confidence in our law enforcement institutions they need to know somebody is on watch and we're looking to create that somebody on watch," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian. He says the county has been looking over 623 recommendations on how to improve the jail.

Sergeant Reggie Cooks with the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said, "When things like this happen, the sheriff does hold people accountable, she has started a reforms plan which she started 18 months ago and out of that reform plan she's made significant headway."

Our sources say Hopper was a probationary officer and has since been let go by the department.

But the latest arrest and security breach makes some question when a permanent change will happen.

County officials say a vote on forming an oversight committee to monitor the jails is expected to happen in January.
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