BUT FOR HOW LONG?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 28, 2018) — On January 19, 2018, TDOC inmate Grenda Ray Harmer, #88710, wrote in a letter received last week that the Naproxen he was prescribed years ago for degenerative joint disease was recently reinstated after having been withheld beginning on December 30.
At that time, the Tums Harmer has been provided for acid reflux disease was also reportedly discontinued with the explanation that it could be purchased at the prison commissary. In response, Harmer had written, “I’m broke.”
“The nurse didn’t like the harsh letter I wrote Warden Phillips,” Harmer wrote in his most recent letter, referring to MCCX Warden Shawn Phillips and his Naproxen complaint.
Since being placed in solitary confinement last July after receiving a threat from a gang member, Harmer has sent a significant number of memos, letters, grievances and “Administrative Notices” to Phillips, medical personnel, Gov. Bill Haslam and TDOC Commissioner Tony Parker concerning staff members’ alleged use of tobacco on-site, which violates prison regulations; cold food; “freezing” cell temperatures; the alleged over-medication of an inmate; and what Harmer views as “fraud.”
Harmer initiated contact with The Post & Email in October 2016. Since then, he has reported that one or more of his medications have been discontinued without notice by prison staff at three different facilities. He is not alone in that complaint, as a number of Tennessee inmates have related going “months” without proper medical care, as was reported by WSMV in Nashville. Health-maintaining blood work and life-saving treatments have reportedly been withheld from TDOC inmates, particularly at the TTCC institution in Hartsville, according to two lawsuits filed over the last 18 months.
On May 10, 2016, The Tennessean reported that a “Hepatitis C epidemic” identified within the state’s prison population have been “largely untreated.”