CONTRABAND, MEDICATIONS OFTEN NOT DISPENSED, DANGEROUS CONDITIONS, DISAPPEARING MAIL
by Sharon Rondeau
(Nov. 24, 2017) — In a letter postmarked November 17, 2017 and received on Monday, an inmate at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center (TTCC) in Hartsville, TN reported alleged tampering with his “outgoing legal mail,” a common complaint among the prisoner population at the facility.
A second TTCC inmate from whom The Post & Email has previously heard on numerous occasions, Ronald Allen, reported the same problem with outgoing mail in a letter received at the same time. Many inmates have said that in order to ensure that their legal papers arrive at the court to which they are addressed, they must send them to a third party, who must then re-mail them.
Consistent with reports received by this publication from numerous other inmates at the facility, the inmate additionally wrote that he has been denied the ability to obtain legal forms from the law library. He stated that when he attempted to obtain a specific document, “…the Law Library inmate wanted me to paid him for the form.” [sic]
Channel 4 (WSMV) in Nashville has reported on a number of issues as related by inmates and their families at TTCC, including extortion schemes, drug overdoses, understaffing, inmate beatings, staff assault caused by drug overdosing, uncontrolled gang activity and staff sexual assault.
WSMV had previously reported that Tennessee inmates in the possession of contraband have openly displayed it on Facebook.
Opened just under two years ago in January 2016, TTCC has a capacity of more than 2,500 inmates but reportedly very few opportunities for prison employment or training. Most who have contacted this publication have stated that jobs are awarded only to gang members, who also reportedly dictate the operation of the prison.
As TDOC inmate Grenda Harmer reported with documentation, while at TTCC he was paid by CoreCivic, the private owner/operator of the prison, for work he never performed. Harmer sees it as a bilking of Tennessee taxpayers and has notified many in the media, the Tennessee legislature, and Gov. Bill Haslam about it.
A consistent point which continues to be made by both inmates and their relatives is that many at TTCC do not receive their prescription medications on a regular basis, if at all.
As the inmate requested The Post & Email’s assistance in the area of his non-administered medications, we attempted to contact the last-known medical provider for the prison, Correct Care Solutions (CCS), on Friday morning through its website contact portal. However, we received an “Email Server Error” message after twice attempting to send it.
We therefore contacted CCS by telephone and through the automated phone system asked for the extension of spokesman Jim Cheney, whose name appears on a November 17, 2017 press release recognizing November as “National Diabetes Awareness Month.”
We previously communicated with Cheney by email after Harmer reported not receiving his medications on two separate occasions, after which the medications were restored. However, because of an email upgrade at The Post & Email approximately two months ago, his email address was not retained.
Founded in 1983, CoreCivic is based in Nashville and initially served as a detention center for illegal aliens.
CCS is also based in Nashville.
On November 10, The Post & Email learned that an inmate who said he had been denied his medication for four months again began to receive them without outside intervention.
At the bottom of page 1, the letter reads, “… Even the wardens allow dishonest CCA staffs to bring into prison drugs cell phones and street weapons or anything else the inmates wanted “. [sic]
On page 2, he wrote:
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.