by Sharon Rondeau

(May 1, 2017) — On Monday, The Post & Email received three letters from Tennessee state inmate Grenda Harmer, who wrote that once again he has been denied three essential prescription medications which have placed him at risk of death.

Harmer is housed at the South Central Correctional Facility (SCCF), a privately-run prison owned and operated by CoreCivic, formerly Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).

CCA has not responded to The Post & Email’s several requests for comment on conditions within another of its Tennessee facilities, TTCC, where Harmer was housed between July 2016 and early April.  Many other inmates have corroborated Harmer’s accounts of spotty medical care and non-dispensing of doctor-prescribed medications for a wide range of conditions, some of which are life-threatening.

TTCC has been called “the worst” prison in Tennessee.

Four diabetic inmates have sued CoreCivic, the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) and its commissioner, Tony Parker, alleging that “Defendant CCA is often unable to provide persons with insulin-dependent diabetes with access to basic diabetes care, including blood sugar checks and insulin administration coordinated with regular mealtimes.”

In late March, Harmer told The Post & Email that his medications were denied him without warning with the explanation that he could purchase them from the prison commissary.  We contacted both spokeswoman Neysa Taylor and a spokesman for Correct Care Solutions (CCS), the prison’s private medical provider.

Late Monday afternoon, we contacted Taylor with the following message:


Hello, Ms. Taylor, I received today three very disturbing letters from the above inmate housed at SCCF.  He is out of three prescription medications, including one which is life-saving.

Could you kindly check on this situation.  I am going to publish the inmate’s letters this evening.

He states that he has been retaliated against, likely for communicating with me, which is his legal and constitutional right to do.

Thank you very much.

Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email

A letter dated April 24, 2017 begins:

Harmer’s closing paragraph began, “South Central Correctional Center prison officials are worse than Trousdale.”

A second letter written on April 25 contained the following grievance in which Harmer wrote, “I’m being denied Terazosin, Prilosec and Naproxen.  Without Terasozin, I won’t be able to urinate and, if not corrected, it will kill me.

Terazosin is described by Drugs.com as being “in a group of drugs called alpha-adrenergic blockers. Terazosin relaxes your veins and arteries so that blood can more easily pass through them. It also relaxes the muscles in the prostate and bladder neck, making it easier to urinate.”

When we heard from Harmer last week, he said he had gone four weeks without a prescription foam sleeping cushion and his eyeglasses.

Harmer’s third envelope contained typewritten letters dated April 28 directed to Parker and State Rep. John Ray Clemmons furthering his handwritten grievance. Those letters will be published in a subsequent article.

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  1. It’s just terrifying that the people with power over others become more inhumane with that authority. Power corrupts.

    There needs to be constant and continuous oversight of everything that occurs in our “justice” system but instead the doors are locked tight and only prisoners can report what’s going on. Then they’re not believed because they’re prisoners.

    But step into a court of law and those same prisoners will be allowed to get on the stand and testify to something that puts another man behind bars for years.

    I worked at TTCC and everything I’ve read on your site is completely true. This man happens to be someone willing to speak out but most never will. Some simply can’t. I was there when another correctional officer asked a sergeant if he could write out an incident report for a man who cannot read or write. He was emphatically told “No.”

    Most are just terrified that their sentences will somehow be extended. As it is there are people within the walls of TTCC who have already been paroled but have not been released.

    The description of the audit of TTCC by TDOC, as described on your website in letters from inmates, is EXACTLY as it happened. These people say nothing on radio channels that are actually monitored and force staff to go to telephones or other channels when they’re talking about things that matter.

    As stated by Mr. Harmer here, the medical unit alone puts every inmate’s life in jeopardy. I’ve seen inmates with head injuries convinced by nurses they do not need help. Conversely, if they refuse treatment they’re then roughed up for refusing treatment.

    Most wicked of all, no one on the grounds of a CCA facility is given the authority to pronounce a person deceased. This way no one ever dies on the grounds of CCA. I was told this by a certified EMT who is employed there and not officially allowed to use her skills while on duty.