by Sharon Rondeau

(Apr. 10, 2017) — An inmate at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center (TTCC) has informed The Post & Email that he has received wages for a prison job which “does not exist.”

On March 31, 2017, Grenda Harmer contacted Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, TDOC Commissioner Tony Parker and Contract Monitor Christopher Brun, and the CEO TTCC owner CoreCivic by letter to inform them that “Tennessee taxpayers are paying around $250,000 per month to inmates for jobs they never go to and from work they never perform.”

His letter is additionally copied to a number of state senators and representatives, newspaper editors and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Harmer is a whistleblower who on April 3 wrote that TTCC Warden Blair Leibach ordered all of his “legal work” confiscated while he was working in the library and that he anticipates further retaliation, perhaps in physical form.

His letter begins:

On March 14, 2017 I was credited to my inmate Trust Fund account $44.88. (See Attached evidence). This is fraud because I have never been provided a notice from jobs coordinator Darlene Pendleton that I have been assigned to a job. The job I have been allegedly assigned to is “The Unit Housing Clerk.” There is no such job posted. I have personally checked for all job listings and this job does not exist. I have never been officially assigned to said job and at the writing of this letter I have never performed any clerical work that consist of typing memos schedules, etc., for Unit Manager, Case Manger, Counselors, file paperwork, operate copy machine, run errands, etc.” [sic]

Enclosed with his complaint was a trust fund statement showing the March 14 payroll deposit of $44.88.

Harmer’s account mirrors that of other TTCC inmates who have reported that they have been assigned to “ghost jobs.”

CoreCivic employees have previously been accused of falsifying other types of records.

On February 12, Harmer reported that he was placed in the Pro-Social Life Skills (PSLS) class for which he is administratively ineligible.  Six days later, we learned that he was “quickly dropped” from the course, apparently after his report to Haslam and other parties was received.

Several other Tennessee prison inmates have reported there in voluntary enrollment in PSLS, which reportedly garners between $3,000 and $7,000 in federal monies for each student.

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