ONE ALLEGEDLY FROM DRUG OVERDOSE, THE OTHER FROM HEAT STROKE
by Sharon Rondeau
In referencing “a week” in his opening sentence, the inmate, from whom we have heard before on a number of occasions, is indicating the time elapsed since the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) conducted an inspection of the prison.
Last week, inmate Jeffery Johnson informed us that TDOC regional manager John Fisher visited on July 21, with Commissioner Tony Parker visiting three days later.
Today’s letter reports that “there was a couple of OD’s one even died there was one in my pod that had a heat stroke and died there was a stabbing.” [sic] The letter continues. “None of that was on the news but when a C/O got caught having sex it was all over the news.”
“C/O” signifies “correction officer.”
Last year, TTCC was the subject of a four-part series produced by WSMV in Nashville based on reports from inmates, relatives and former employees who related horrendous conditions inside the facility. Included in a myriad of complaints voiced to both WSMV and this publication were inadequate medical care, unfettered gang activity, frequent theft of property, the ignoring of inmate grievances, irregular mealtimes and meals consisting mainly of cold food, short-staffing and poor sanitation.
TTCC opened in January 2016 and is owned and operated by the Nashville-based private corporation CoreCivic, formerly Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).
The inmate expressed doubt over whether or not a favorable audit will ensue as a result of the inspections. “I just don’t see how this place gets by with the stuff that they do, it’s cruel and human,” he wrote. [sic]
An audit completed last November corroborated the inmates’ accounts of pervasive short-staffing within the prison. Inmates have also reported problems with the heating and cooling system.