Tennessee Prison Report: Inmates Ejected from Wheelchairs Due to Poor Sidewalk Maintenance

“SOME ARE GETTING INJURED”

by Sharon Rondeau

(Nov. 10, 2017) — The following letter was received on Monday from an inmate at the Northwest Correctional Complex (NWCX) in Tiptonville, TN and describes difficulties at the facility for those confined to wheelchairs.

The Post & Email has corresponded with the inmate previously and made at least one inquiry on his behalf to TDOC Communications Director Neysa Taylor.

The Design Guide of Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act states:

Many inmates in State and local correctional facilities have mobility disabilities and need to be housed in accessible cells. Yet, many correctional facilities do not have enough cells that are accessible to inmates with disabilities. Federal laws protect people with disabilities from discrimination by State and local governments, including entities that own or operate correctional facilities. All such entities are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and those that receive Federal funds are also covered by section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. These laws prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities, including inmates who use wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, or other mobility devices. While all aspects of law enforcement and correctional services are covered by these laws – including facilities, employment, transportation, and other activities, programs, and services – this guide focuses on the prevention of discrimination against inmates with mobility disabilities through the design of accessible cells.

 

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