Inmates with Serious Medical Conditions Allege Inadequate Treatment by Tennessee Department of Correction

CHRONIC KIDNEY FAILURE, MULTIPLE HERNIAS, CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE

by Sharon Rondeau

(Sep. 14, 2015) — Early on Monday afternoon, The Post & Email sent a message to four Tennessee legislators regarding two seriously ill inmates housed at the Northwest Correctional Complex (NWCX) in Tiptonville.

The legislators are Sen. Ken Yager, Sen. Ed Jackson, Sen. Thelma Harper, and Sen. Jeff YarbroTDOC Communications Director Neysa Taylor was copied on the message.

On August 27, representing the Senate State and Local Government Subcommittee, the four chaired a hearing during which current and former corrections officials testified about their experiences under TDOC Commissioner Derrick Schofield, who was appointed in 2011.

Over the last year, a shortage of corrections officers has become widespread, attributed at least in part to Schofield’s alteration of the process by which overtime pay is earned. Both inmates and corrections employees have confirmed dangerous working conditions, gang violence resulting in serious injuries, and extreme fatigue on the part of corrections officers after working double shifts which in at least one case led to a car accident.

On August 31, The Post & Email contacted the same parties about evidence in its possession relating to a prisoners-for-profit operation at NWCX which uses inmates to garner money from the federal treasury through placement in educational courses.

The attachments sent with the email to the senators on Monday appear below the email, which reads:

Good afternoon.

I contacted you on August 31 regarding documentation in my possession that a prisoners-for-profit operation is going on at the Northwest Correctional Complex (NWCX) in Tiptonville.

In recent letters, I have learned of two seriously ill inmates who report having been denied proper medical care while they remain in custody.  Both have given me written permission to publish their names and conditions.

The first is Jeffery Gaylon Douglas, #467106, and the second is Donald E. Lynch, #439897.

Mr. Douglas is approximately 50 years old and is suffering from kidney failure, reporting that the medication he requires has been denied him.

Mr. Lynch is 74 years old and has two painful hernias which have reportedly gone untreated.  He has fallen multiple times and incurred additional injuries to his head, hands, wrists and knees.

As a fellow human being, I believe it is incumbent upon me to inform you, as public servants to the people of Tennessee and having sworn an oath to uphold that state’s constitution, that this type of suffering is occurring.

I will be publishing the inmates’ letters in an article this afternoon so that my readers can better understand the medical situation in Tennessee’s prisons in addition to the shortage of correction officers, dangerous working conditions from gang-related violence, and pay raises for TDOC executives while corrections officers are forced to work 160 hours to earn any overtime.

There is not one Tennessee inmate who has received constitutional due process prior to his or her incarceration in at least 100 years because of the judicial selection of the grand jury foreman.  Such hand-selecting renders the foreman an employee of the judge and not an impartial administrator. Over the six years The Post & Email has studied this phenomenon, it has collected extensive documentation showing that at times, Tennessee government claims the grand jury foreman is a juror, while at others, it claims the opposite.

Our Constitution and Bill of Rights were based upon due process of law being applied in every defendant’s case, but the Tennessee courts have completely abdicated that concept, if they ever embraced it at all. Evidence is fabricated or not produced; witnesses lie on the stand with impunity; grand jurors are always compromised because of the foreman, who influences them; prosecutors routinely violate the laws of evidence; and charging documents known to be forged are nevertheless upheld.

I have documentation supporting all of the above statements.

State legislators today may not know that in 1984, a series of statutes was passed directing the county criminal courts to combine with others to form districts from which jurors would then be selected. While the districts bear the numbers indicated by the legislature at the time, each county still operates its own criminal court in defiance of the statutes.  I have attached screenshots of the applicable laws for your convenience.

Given these two flagrant abuses of power by Tennessee’s judiciary, how can any of the indictments issued against any defendant be considered valid?

Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email
P.O. Box 113
Canterbury, CT  06331-0113
www.thepostemail.com
editor@thepostemail.com
203-987-7948

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