TTCC: Inmate Has Blood Drawn, but Results are Kept “Secret”

“THE ONLY THING THAT WAS IN MY FILE WAS FROM ANOTHER PRISON”

by Sharon Rondeau

(Oct. 22, 2017) — On September 29, The Post & Email reported that an inmate at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center (TTCC) in Hartsville, TN diagnosed with Hepatitis C said that he has had virtually no follow-up medical treatment since his transfer to the institution in July 2016.

TTCC is owned and operated by CoreCivic, formerly CCA, and has been called not only Tennessee’s “worst” prison, but also one which operates in “secret.”  Lack of adequate medical care, gang activity, cruel treatment of inmates, frequent assaults on both inmates and staff, and severe short-staffing have been repeatedly reported, including by WSMV-Channel 4.

CoreCivic is obligated to work with and take direction from the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC), its “government partner.”

A private corporation, CoreCivic was founded in Nashville, the seat of Tennessee government, in 1983.

In July of last year, a number of inmates, represented by the ACLU, filed a federal lawsuit against the TDOC for alleged lack of treatment for Hepatitis C.

Follow-up correspondence from the inmate earlier this month included a letter he received from the prison medical unit restating the fact that he had blood drawn on August 8, 2017.  However, the letter did not reveal the results of the test, which the inmate is still seeking.

“I’m not sure what my medical file say’s Because it went missing a couple of Time’s,” he wrote [sic].

A third letter received on Saturday related what appeared to be the positive development that he was summoned to the medical clinic, where he spoke with a “nurse practitioner” about the August 8 lab work, the only blood work he said he has had done there.

However, the inmate said that the test results did not appear to be in his file, which he has been trying to personally access since his transfer. “Today is the closest I’ve been to my medical file,” he wrote.

The inmate has additionally reported that the medication he was prescribed for acid reflux disease was discontinued without explanation in May.

Similarly, TDOC inmate Grenda Ray Harmer claimed that he received the same treatment, or lack thereof, both while at TTCC and after he was transferred to another CoreCivic-run facility, SCCF, this past April.  Harmer suffers from acid reflux disease and at least two other medical conditions, the prescriptions for which were reportedly discontinued without notice.

In both instances, The Post & Email contacted the spokesman for the private company contracted to provide medical care, CCS, after which Harmer reported them restored.

In contrast with TTCC, the inmate said he had received quarterly blood tests while housed at TDOC-operated prisons.

 

 

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