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by Sharon Rondeau

(Jun. 2, 2019) — A letter received late last week from Johnny Royston Sr., an inmate from whom we have received numerous letters in the past, reports that Royston was recently relocated from the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center (TTCC) in Hartsville, TN to the Northwest Correctional Complex (NWCX) in Tiptonville.

Royston, who will be 69 at the end of this month, wrote in his letter he is grateful for the relocation after having been denied his prescription medications at TTCC as well as physically threatened.  He wrote that at first, he was placed in Section “14-26” but after a court appearance, he was assigned to unit “13-10” with a cellmate who smokes despite NWCX staff “knowing I was on 4 different inhalers.”

Royston has detailed his medical issues in the past and given us permission to write about them.

“I don’t think my health issues are able to go on long by living with a smoker,” Royston wrote.

TDOC Administrative Polices and Procedures, Section #502.05, “DEFINITIONS OF DISCIPLINARY OFFENSES” states that possessing, using or introducing to others tobacco products is a disciplinary “procedure” (p. 5).

A myriad of Tennessee inmates have informed The Post & Email over more than four years that despite policies against it, “contraband” often finds its way into prison and that employees are part of the problem.


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  1. Pure and simple, there is corruption going on in the Tennessee prison system. Furthermore, the prison system is harming John Royston,Sr. who should be moved away from a cell in which someone else smokes. This is a discrimination issue based on a known medical handicap,disability or condition, which most certainly is being exacerbated by his continued exposure to second hand smoke, a scientifically established health hazard. There are laws that prisons must follow which prison officials in Tennessee appear to be flagrantly ignoring. This is criminal in nature and violative of federal and State law. This situation warrants an investigation and corrective action. Prisoners have rights and protections afforded by law. They do not abandon or forfeit these basic rights because they are incarcerated.