Report: Correction Officer Continues to Threaten, Use Racial Slurs


by Sharon Rondeau

(Sep. 9, 2018) — A letter arriving last week from an inmate at the Northwest Correctional Complex (NWCX) in Tiptonville, TN reinforced other inmates’ reports of an abusive female correction officer who allegedly pits inmates against each other, not only verbally but physically; threatens her colleagues; and reportedly “blatantly defies prison rules and policies.”

In this latest report, the inmate, from whom we have not heard previously, wrote that Officer Julie Abbott insulted Officer Kayla Benson and threatened to inflict physical harm upon her. “…This was in front of about a dozen inmates and we were all shocked by it,” the inmate wrote.

In language which cannot be repeated here, the inmate said that Abbott routinely uses racial slurs and voices threats of harm against black correction officers while in the presence of inmates. “Now Officer Abbott regularly refers to those three and other officers as “Black ******* ” when Abbott is talking to inmates and in her casual conversation. We are all amazed that nothing has happened and that probably nothing will happen,” he closed the letter.

The same officer has been accused of supplying contraband to inmates in violation of state law even as the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) states it has stepped up its efforts to combat the entry into its prisons of forbidden objects and substances.

Inmates who say they have witnessed Abbott’s behavior have requested that we not respond to their letters out of fear of retaliation. However, as the reports have been arriving over matter of months, it appears that neither the TDOC nor NWCX Warden Shawn Phillips has taken any corrective action.


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