A former employee of a federal prison in southern Illinois will herself be going to prison after admitting to providing contraband to an inmate. 42-year-old Renee Strauss of Marion will spend four months in prison, pay a fine, and serve supervised release. She also pleaded guilty to having an improper sexual relationship with the inmate.
Federal authorities were tipped off to the Strauss’ relationship with the inmate and began an investigation. She worked as a case manager in the federal penitentiary in Marion, but was not assigned to the inmate with which she was involved. Authorities say Strauss provided items that she would smuggle into the prison on several occasions including cell phones that have not yet been recovered. She admitted to spending long periods of time with the inmate in her office, and was even caught by investigators on one occasion. The incidents took place over a four-month period in 2015.