‘Humiliated’ psychologist may never work in field again
AN ex-prison psychologist who had an inappropriate relationship with two inmates and leaked information about witnesses in a drug case may never work in the field again.
Sarah Jane Florentin, 39, who worked at Palen Creek low security jail before resigning was this month sentenced to two years probation.
The Health Ombudsman suspended the registration of Florentin, who also goes by Sarah Jane Lodington, in October 2019.
According to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, whose records state Florentin was first registered in 2006, she remains suspended.
Florentin pleaded guilty in Southport Magistrates Court to two counts of abuse of office, confidential information and take or attempt to take a prohibited thing into a corrective services facility.
A Health Ombudsman spokesman said the office was aware of the court decision but could not say when a decision would be made on her future.
The spokesman said the office did not comment on "matters that may be under investigation".
Florentin is now working as a disability support worker.
She began work as a psychologist at Palen Creek low security jail in December 2017 where she conducted one-on-one sessions with inmates in a private office not monitored by cameras or other officers.
A Queensland Corrective Services spokesman would not say what changes had been made to the facility in the wake of the scandal. The spokesman said it would be inappropriate to comment as it was still being investigated.
"We expect the highest in professional and ethical behaviour from all our officers," a spokesman said.
"Queensland Corrective Services takes these types of incidents very seriously."
The QCS spokesman said a bill was before parliament that proposes to create a new offence prohibiting a staff member from having an intimate relationship with an offender.
The court was told details of how Florentin became "close" with convicted drug trafficker Allen Milos, and his brother Daniel Milos, who at the time was on bail for drug offences.
The court was told that during a session with an inmate, who happened to be a witness in Daniel Milos' case, she allowed him to phone a detective.
The court was court she then leaked the information to Daniel Milos. She was also accused of searching another prisoner, who was also a witness, and told Milos their whereabouts.
Florentin also purchased a phone and activated it in a prisoner's name, so she could give it to another inmate, who she was romantically involved with.
Defence barrister Kerry Copley told the court Florentin was "remorseful" and "humiliated". The court was told the likelihood of reoffending was low.
He said the offending was towards the "lower end" but conceded Florentin would likely lose her registration.
Originally published as 'Humiliated' psychologist may never work in field again