TOLD TO SIGN PROPERTY LOG WITHOUT RETURN OF BELONGINGS
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jun. 9, 2017) — A reliable source has informed The Post & Email that Tennessee prison inmate Grenda Harmer was roused at 4:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 3 and hastily relocated from the South Central Correctional Facility (SCCF) in Clifton to the Morgan County Correctional Complex (MCCX) in Wartburg.
The source said that Harmer’s clothing, personal items, writing paper and pens, and medications were taken by MCCX staff upon his arrival, although the latter were restored after three days.
In late February, Harmer’s medications were discontinued by medical staff at Trousdale Turner Correctional Center (TTCC), where he was housed between July 2016 and early April, as well as at SCCF, where he spent only two months. In both cases, The Post & Email contacted Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) Communications Director Neysa Taylor and Correct Care Solutions (CCS) spokesman Jim Cheney to ask why Harmer’s medications were denied him.
Both TTCC and SCCF are owned and operated by CoreCivic, the United States’ largest private prison operator. CCS is the private firm contracted by CoreCivic to provide in-house medical care to the inmates.
Taylor provided no response, while Cheney acknowledged our communications. In both instances, Harmer reported that his medications were restored within several days of our contact with Cheney.
Our source of the new information on Harmer reported that as of Tuesday, Harmer was told to sign a property inventory sheet acknowledging an inventory of his belongings even though they had not been returned and that he refused to sign it.
“They said if he didn’t sign it, they’d give his things away to other inmates and he’d never see them again,” he/she said. “He has been denied bedding, towels, clothing, and showering. After three days, they gave him his medications back, but they didn’t give him anything else.”
When we asked the source if Harmer is in solitary confinement, he/she said, “No, he’s in general population. He’s not going to sign that paper until they return his things.”
After SCCF placed Harmer in solitary confinement in late April, Harmer’s boots were confiscated because staff alleged that they were not properly notified on his clothing inventory list. However, Harmer provided proof, including to The Post & Email, that the boots were an approved purchase which appeared on his property list.
Harmer has been outspoken in reporting to prison authorities and state legislators his observations of prison staff allegedly engaged in violations of Tennessee Code and prison regulations. Most recently, Harmer had related to The Post & Email that his SCCF roommate was dangerously ill and not receiving the treatment Harmer believed he needed to survive.
On Monday The Post & Email received two letters from Harmer but have not heard from him since. An expansive writer and documentarian, Harmer has often sent 4-5 letters a week since he learned of The Post & Email approximately five months ago from another TTCC inmate.
MCCX is where a Sgt. Cashmore reportedly engages in “hands-on” treatment of the inmates. Physical, emotional and verbal abuse by prison staff against inmates have been reported on numerous occasions to this publication as well as sporadic administration of prescription medications.