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A 37-year-old woman employed as a unit manager at Racine Correctional Institution (RCI) was booked Thursday into the Racine County Jail on 41 felony charges, including having a sexual relationship with an RCI inmate.

A source who spoke to Racine County Eye on the condition of anonymity said Jacqueline Heidt worked as a correctional program supervisor (CPS) and was part of the team responsible for keeping drugs and illegal cell phones from making their way to prisoners at RCI. Now she’s facing 20 felony charges of misconduct in public office, 20 felony counts of second-degree sexual assault of an individual confined to a correctional facility, and one felony count of delivering illegal articles to an inmate.

Each charge is a Class I Felony and carries a possible sentence of 3-1/2 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines. Should District Attorney Tricia Hanson charge her with the 41 felonies and Heidt is convicted of them, she faces the rest of her life – 143-1/2 years – in prison or up to $410,000 in fines.

Heidt’s career with Racine Correctional Institution

John Beard, director of communications for the DOC said in an email he can’t comment on the case because it remains an on-going investigation but did say Heidt has not been terminated. She is on administrative leave without pay.

Heidt is a 10-year veteran of the state Department of Corrections, starting in August 2011 and has worked at RCI since May 2017, Beard said in an email. According to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity, Heidt began her career as a social worker and worked her way up to CPS. She was also considered Warden Jason Wells’ right-hand person. By all accounts, she was well-liked and well-respected with a great family, including four children.

A press release from the Racine County Sheriff’s Office confirms the inmate with whom Heidt is accused of having a sexual relationship admitted the two met several times a week primarily in her office at Racine Correctional Institution for intercourse, some 20 times or more between April and August 2022. The single felony charge of delivering an illegal article to an inmate refers to a cell phone Heidt allegedly gave the prisoner that contained photos and text messages that backed up the prisoner’s statements.

When she was confronted with the allegations, Heidt originally denied them and said inmates were retaliating against her. After being presented with the cell phone evidence, she stopped answering questions.

Online court records do not yet list an initial appearance date for Heidt. To bond out of jail before that court date, she would have to pay $1,105,000.

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