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by Jerome L. Johnson, TDOC Inmate #150724

Tennessee operates 13 prisons. NWCX is located in the northwest tip of the state near the Missouri state line.

(Feb. 15, 2016) — [Editor’s Note:  In December, Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) inmate Jerome L. Johnson was inexplicably moved, against prison regulations necessitating a justified change in classification, to Site 1, the most dangerous part of the Northwest Correctional Complex (NWCX) in Tiptonville, TN.

Since then, Johnson has been working to have prison managers relocate him back to Site 2, where he was housed with Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III.

Like Fitzpatrick, Johnson received a “Class ‘A'” disciplinary write-up for refusing to take part in the Pro-Social Life Skills class last summer.  However, initially Fitzpatrick’s write-up was abandoned, while Johnson’s was not, leading Johnson to believe that he was the object of racial discrimination. Johnson is black and Fitzpatrick is white.

In July, when the write-up was issued, Johnson reported that it was his first in the three years which he had spent in prison.

Johnson filed a Title VI Civil Rights complaint with Michael Alston of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Civil Rights and the Title VI coordinator for the state of Tennessee, Jennell Riddle.  He believes his unexpected move to Site 1 is a result of his civil rights complaints, which he first made to NWCX Warden Mike Parris and TDOC Commissioner Derrick Schofield.]

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