RICHFIELD — The Utah Department of Corrections said it has placed two officers on administrative leave while it investigates allegations of an improper search involving two female inmates.

Corrections director Tom Patterson said the office is investigating the allegations, which came to light Friday morning. Two male transportation officers were transporting the two female inmates from the Sevier County Jail in Richfield to a Utah Board of Pardons and Parole hearing in St. George.

"There's an investigation into the type of search that was conducted of the female inmates by male officers prior to leaving that facility," Patterson told the Deseret Morning News on Friday. "We were made aware of it, and immediately, an investigation was started on the appropriateness of the search."

Corrections policy allows for opposite-sex searches under certain circumstances, Patterson said.