According to a source at the prison, the precautions are a direct result Smith’s history of sexual infractions. In 2000, Smith, then 28, was disciplined for having sex four times with 50-year-old prison guard Houston Cagle. (He pleaded guilty and spent 3 months in jail.)
The following year, a prison captain, Alfred Rowe, also pleaded guilty to having sex with Smith and was sentenced to five years probation.
“You can imagine that changes how some guards deal with her,” the prison source tells PEOPLE exclusively. “The guards never allow her to be alone with one of them; she is always with two or more guards, and extra prisoners are often transported with her.”
“No one trusts her to be alone with a guard,” the source continues. “She spends most of her time in her cell or working her job, but when she’s being transported, there are always two guards with her, preferably a male and a female.”
Smith, now 48, has spent more than half of her life in prison for the drowning murder of her two sons. The case, which became international news and was featured on the cover of PEOPLE, made Smith a household name in the mid-1990s.
On October 25, 1994, she told police that she had been carjacked by a black man who had taken off with her two young sons still in her car. For 9 days, she made tearful pleas for their safe return. But it was all a lie — and she finally admitted that there was no carjacker. She had let her car roll into a lake with Michael, 3, and Alex, 14 months, still strapped into their car seats.
Her motive: She was secretly dating a man who didn’t want children. Smith was convicted of two counts of murder and is serving a life sentence.
Records obtained by PEOPLE show that her incarceration has been marred with disciplinary infractions for self-mutilation and drug use.
At least six times in the past two years, Smith has had severe enough medical issues that she has been transferred to another facility for outpatient treatment. The nature of her treatment has not been made public.
In the past nine years, Smith has been disciplined at least five times for various infractions, including self-mutilation and the use and possession of narcotics or marijuana. Each infraction has resulted in the loss of privileges, including loss of visitation, canteen and telephone privileges.
Twice in 2010 and once in 2015, she was disciplined on drug charges, losing privileges for more than a year.
“She has been in trouble over the years, but she seems to be calming down,” the prison source tells PEOPLE. “She’s just there. A non-entity. Sometimes she can be pleasant, but usually she keeps to herself.”
“It has been a few years since she’s gotten in major trouble,” the source continues. “She has been caught with minor contraband in the past year. Extra food, that type of thing. Not anything big.”
The source says that the prison continues to be proactive in keeping Smith from getting into additional trouble — especially having sex with the guards. “It’s for everyone’s protection: both hers and the guards,'” says the source. “Nobody needs another allegation against them. We just want her to do her time and not cause any trouble.”
According to the jail, Smith is not permitted to give interviews. A call to her former attorney has not been returned.