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COMPLAINTS MUST BE SENT TO NASHVILLE OFFICE
by Sharon Rondeau
(Nov. 29, 2010) — The Post & Email has learned the specific persons and office which must be contacted in order for an inspection of the Monroe County jail to be ordered and completed.
Complainants, who do not have to be inmates at the jail, may direct their written complaints to the Fire Prevention Division, Codes Enforcement – Inspections Division, which covers prisons and jails within the state of Tennessee. The following fax can be sent by anyone to the number provided:
November 29, 2010
Mr. Christopher Bainbridge
Mr. Al Hancock
Mr. Fred Garbler
Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office
Code Enforcement Section
500 James Robertson Parkway
3rd Floor, Davy Crockett Tower
Nashville, TN 37243-1162
RE: FORMAL COMPLAINT REGARDING CONDITIONS AT THE MONROE COUNTY DETENTION FACILITY
I have been communicating regularly with an inmate at the above facility located at 319 Hickory Street, Madisonville, TN, for the last month. He has reported to me the following building and fire code violations which are threatening the health, well-being, and constitutionally-guaranteed right to safety of inmates:
- overcrowding, resulting in inmates sleeping on concrete floors
- lack of heat, to the point where the inside temperature has been reported to be 58 degrees
- inmates squeezed into spaces so small that they are “sleeping like cordwood”
- raw sewage seeping out of exposed piping onto the floor of an assembly room where inmates are forced to sleep on the floor due to overcrowding
- plumbing that doesn’t work, including toilets and sinks, causing flooding in the cells
- Excessive smoking within the facility, in violation of Sheriff Bivens’s official policy posted on the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department website that there is no smoking allowed in the jail.
The aforementioned conditions have been reported in detail by this publication and have been corroborated by former inmates who have contacted me following their release. Please see the following:
The facility has been described as a “dungeon” and is a disgrace to the state of Tennessee. These conditions have been reported to the Knoxville office of the FBI.
I am demanding a full and formal inquiry, inspection and report of the conditions at the Monroe County detention facility and will appreciate hearing from you regarding your findings.
Very truly yours,
The Post & Email, Inc.
Editor’s Note: The Post & Email has noted that the photos of the “chiefs” which had been pictured at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department website have been removed. They had depicted Chief Deputy Bryan Graves and Chief Jailer Trent Prock, the officer who allegedly tasers the inmates “just for fun.” Even the photo of Sheriff Bivens “accepting an award” has been taken down. Perhaps it’s because he’s stopped smiling because the FBI has been at his doorstep.