by Sharon Rondeau

(Mar. 2, 2017) — TTCC inmate Grenda Harmer, who has previously written to Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam about alleged gang activity and other wrongdoing at the facility, has filed an emergency grievance with prison management citing “denial of adequate medical care.”

The two-page grievance is copied to Haslam, the No Exceptions Prison Collective (NEPC), and this writer.

NEPCs website currently has a notice specifically about TTCC which reads:

If you have a loved one who is housed at Turner Trousdale Correctional Facility, are housed at Trousdale, or are an employee at Trousdale and have concerns about abuse, neglect, internal conditions failure to provide health care, an unsafe environment, etc, then please contact us. We are working diligently to make the public, law-makers, and others aware of the internal state of the prison at this time in order to effect positive change. Communications will be kept confidential. If you are willing to share your story more publically in our ongoing advocacy work then please let us know. Email noexceptionstn@gmail.com or write to us at 1004 Fowler Street, Old Hickory, TN 37138.

TTCC in Hartsville is said by many to be the worst prison in Tennessee.  Owned and operated by private company CoreCivic, inmates and relatives alike have reported unrestricted gang activity, non-delivery of prescription medications to inmates who need them, 23-hour lockdowns of minimum-security prisoners along with more closely-classified prisoners, unexplained deaths, stabbings, and extreme, chronic short-staffing.

A letter Harmer enclosed with his mailing directed to Jeannie Alexander, NEPC Director, states, “…I have a very bad case of acid reflux. While at TCIX they tested me to ensure that I did not have GERDS, a form of cancer. The test results showed that I did not have GERDS.

He continued:

I was initially placed on Zantac and two bottles of Tums per month. Because I still experience severe enough symptoms, I was placed on Prilosec. I was told that as long as I take my medication that I will be okay.

Not long after I got here I was taken off my Tums without ever seeing a doctor. The nurse at the medication window told me that if I needed Tums that at this facility (Trousdale Turner Correctional Center (“TTCC”)) inmates had to purchase them off the commissary. In October I went for chronic care (I believe it was October 25th, 2016) and seen Nurse Stephanie Ruckman. I asked her if she would order me two bottles of Tums for my acid reflux. Nurse Ruckman stated that she could not order them for me because TTCC requires inmates to purchase them off the commissary.

[Editor’s Note:  an “Epley maneuver” is done to combat vertigo caused by calcium particles moving within the inner ear, according to WebMD.]

On February 1, 2017 I had an Epley maneuver performed on me by Nurse Smith. At that time Nurse Smith informed me that they were going to take me off Prilosec because the State of Tennessee would no longer pay for Prilosec. I then said to Nurse Smith that I am chronic care and need my Prilosec. Nurse Smith then informed me that it inmates need Prilosec that they must purchase about the commissary at that point Nurse Smith stated that when I return on February 2 for another Epley maneuver that she will have me fill out a form to try and get it approved. On February 2 I received another Epley maneuver. After my Epley maneuver was completed Nurse Smith gave me a form to fill out to send to Nashville for approval of Prilosec.

On February 17 I went to the medication window and was told by the nurse that I no longer will receive Prilosec even after I complained that I needed it. The nurse at the medication window stated that I would have to purchase it off the commissary. I then asked about my Terazosin and. The nurse said that they did not have it.  The nurse informed me that I am lucky she found my naproxyn and antiverts because they had my name and number wrong. I explained to the nurse that if I don’t receive my Terazosin that after a few days I will be unable to urinate. The nurse said she will put another order in and see if they will send it. She stated that is all she can do.

I am not receiving proper medical treatment. I am filing a grievance and will detail it…

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