by Sharon Rondeau

(Apr. 9, 2017) — In what appears to be corroboration of recent accounts from inmates at the Morgan County Correctional Complex (MCCX) in Wartburg, TN, a reliable source has told The Post & Email that an inmate with possible special needs was “assaulted” and his cellmate “shoved against the wall and elbowed” by a correction officer with the title of “sergeant” on Friday evening.

“It has been reported that Sgt. XXXXXX had recently returned to duty after assaulting an inmate who was in a wheelchair…unbelievable!” our source reported.

In late February, an MCCX inmate who is wheelchair-bound reported having been punched in the rib cage while other correction officers watched.  We have not heard from the inmate since that time.

The Post & Email has related a number of accounts from inmates and their relatives describing brutality on the part of correction officers, inadequate medical care, prevalent gang violence, and other abuses within Tennessee’s prisons to Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) Communications Director Neysa Taylor, who termed them “inaccurate” in a phone call last August.

Nevertheless, our source commented at the conclusion of his/her report to us that “There is no way that the abuses that happen in this facility are unknown to higher ups and I know other family members have contacted TDOC about the conditions at MCCX, but the abuses continue.”

On February 6, The Post & Email mailed a letter to the White House to request an FBI investigation into Tennessee prisons.

Last Tuesday, we mailed a copy of our April 3 article in which an inmate described MCCX as a “hands-on” institution utilizing “hands-on training” on the part of correction officers, with a business card to MCCX Warden Shawn Phillips.

West Tennessee State Penitentiary (WTSP) has also been reported to be physically abusive of inmates to include beatings and the shattering of an inmate’s eardrum.

While Tennessee state law specifically prohibits cruelty to inmates, legislators who have been contacted about the abuses appear unconcerned.

Update, 7:45 p.m. EDT:  Just after this article went to press, The Post & Email’s source reported:

It was relayed to me today that Sgt. XXXXX was escorted off the premises of MCCX last night. The inmate that was in the wheelchair when he was assaulted by XXXXX was XXXXX who reportedly has cirrhosis and occasionally needs a wheelchair.

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