In this three-part series the Globe conducted an extensive investigation into the Suffolk County corrections department after allegations arose of widespread abuse of power and misconduct among correctional officers. Four officers were fired from the county's South Bay correctional facility after current and former female inmates brought up charges that guards exchanged privileges for sexual favors. The county officially recognized the allegations after a former female inmate's 1999 pregnancy showed a corrections officer was the father. The department is also facing charges of brutality from prison guards, largely stemming from a 1999 case when an inmate died in the custody of the sheriff's department. The Globe finds that at the heart of all of the problems is the county sheriff. Sheriff Richard Rouse has had a long history inside Boston politics, but some say "his grasp of corrections is minimal and his response to scandals has been mostly cosmetic." Moreover the Globe finds that Rouse spends very little time in the department, relying heavily on assistants while being paid a $104,000 salary and using a department vehicle illegally.