by Sharon Rondeau

(Jun. 23, 2015) — On Monday, a hastily-written, two-page letter was received from CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.), the last in a series of generally lengthy mailings received over the last three weeks.

In the letter, dated “Wednesday evening, 17 June 2015,” Fitzpatrick wrote, “It’s on. Been a very bad day.”

Fitzpatrick’s recent communications have indicated that he has been forced to participate in a “Pro-Social Life Skills” class paid for by the federal government but for which he was determined to be unsuitable while housed at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex (BCCX) initially last summer.

Federal funds are generated from taxpayers across the country.

In early December, Fitzpatrick was relocated to the Northwest Correctional Complex (NWCX) in Tiptonville, very close to Tennessee’s border with Missouri.

A second class in Adult Basic Education (ABE) was added to Fitzpatrick’s schedule despite the fact that he holds a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in business administration. At the same time, Fitzpatrick reported that a prisoner very much in need of ABE was removed from that course and placed in the Pro-Social Life Skills course instead.

In his last letter, Fitzpatrick indicated that Correctional Officer Lexie Smith regularly issues negative reports on the condition of his cell despite its “shipshape” condition and has mandated that any paperwork kept in his locker be removed from his possession.

Last Tuesday, The Post & Email wrote to NWCX Warden Mike Parris questioning Fitzpatrick’s forced participation in both courses and related the reports of Correctional Officer Smith’s behavior, demeanor and threats toward Fitzpatrick. A copy of the letter was sent to TDOC Commissioner Derrick Schofield.

In a letter received late last week, Fitzpatrick wrote:

…Absent a formal, federal criminal audit regarding the scope and operation of the Pro Social Life Skills program administered/managed by TDOC/NWCX officials, the actual amount of dollars being pasted from the feds cannot be established or discerned; the depth of the fraud being foisted upon the feds stands as a mystery.

…In any article(s) you may decide worthy of your time about the PSLS program regeime (sp?), fire away naming names. Vivian Windsor, Terry Hopper, Candice Prince (Repeating Prince), and Correctional Officer Lexie Smith all stand as targets of opportunity.

Correctional Officer Lexie Smith is particularly vicious, mean spirited, predatory and nefarious. She is a white female (as are Windsor, Prince and IRC Joy Tarver who I mentioned prior. Terry Hopper is white male).

CO Lexie Smith is the most oppressive official I encountered. She revels in her abuse of authority and power. Her reputation is notorious.   ——* with inmates is one of her most least offensive escapades.

[*Word removed by The Post & Email.]

Lexie Smith’s demeanor, temperment [sic], disposition, and personality render her unfit to hold any position as a correctional officer.

…I don’t know… Maybe if Smith sees her name in public print (as well as her superiors) maybe that’ll have better effect. Feel free to send any of articles [sic] you may author on the subject directly to Smith, Windsor, Prince, Hopper and Warden Mike W. Parris…

In an earlier letter, Fitzpatrick had identified the woman with the first name of “Candice” as having the last name “Price,” not “Prince.”

The salient portion of Fitzpatrick’s latest letter appears below.

After seeking the reference to the Pro-Social Life Skills class located at the TDOC website last week, The Post & Email on Tuesday morning we found that the TDOC website has reportedly been “reorganized.” At this time, the only reference to the Pro-Social Life Skills course is on the page relating to the Morgan County Correctional Complex, whereas before the court had been listed with several others designed to assist habitual offenders and drug and alcohol abusers.

Fitzpatrick has sent The Post & Email to workbooks in which the Pro-Social Life Skills instructor, Terry Hopper, reportedly instructed the inmates that they would be consequences if they did not “write enough” in them when prompted.

The enrollment of inmates unsuited for the class has been characterized as a prisoners-for-profit operation garnering as much as $3,000 from the federal government for each participant.

An internet search for the course at the TDOC website which yielded fruitful results last week now leads to error messages.

When clicking on the third item from the top which specifically says that the Pro-Social Life Skills is offered at four facilities, the following message appears:

The same error page appears after clicking “ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES Effective…”

A 2012 report on “Rehabilitative Services Programs” for inmates contains a reference to the Pro-Social Life Skills course and others.

The home page of the TDOC appears to have remained unchanged since we last accessed it.  NWCX’s website, however, has been reorganized.

NWCX’s emphasis is “education,” but the Pro-Social Life Skills course is not mentioned in its descriptive paragraph, which now reads:

The Northwest Correctional Complex (NWCX) site is one of five prototypically designed prisons in Tennessee. The Lake County site is the primary educational prison for the TDOC. The educational program includes special education services, Adult Basic Education, preparation for GED testing, Title 1, and vocational education programs.
However, a link from the TDOC main website leads to an old version of NWCX’s page, which also did not mention the Pro-Social Life Skills class:
The appearance of other Tennessee correctional centers reflects the “reorganization” reported in the Error 404 pages, with a change in the state logo used on the upper-left corner of each web page.
This story was updated at 12:01 p.m. EDT.

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