“SEE IF BY THE TIME YOU GET THIS I AM IN THE HOSPITAL OR DEAD”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jun. 17, 2019) — A letter received Monday from an inmate at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center (TTCC) in Hartsville warns that because of ongoing threats to his life by gang members and his cellmate, he fears imminent injury or death.
He alleges that prison staff have repeatedly failed to take action on his behalf despite the level of threat he faces on a daily basis.
Not unlike a myriad of other inmates at the same facility, Kyle Robert Ball, #221855, reported that members of the Vice Lords gang wield a significant degree of power and have a “SOS (smash on site) hit out on me.” Ball, from whom we have not heard previously, described having been “robbed & extorted,” assaulted and denied protective custody by prison officials over the course of approximately three years.
The facility, owned and operated by CoreCivic, opened in January 2016 to what inmates described then as dangerous and substandard conditions due to severe short-staffing, a claim that was supported in a report generated by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury in November 2017.
Prior to that, the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) denied to this writer the existence of such conditions and claimed it provides “daily” oversight of operations.
In June 2017, WSMV produced a four-part series on Tennessee’s privately-run prisons with a focus on Trousdale. On Sunday, the same media outlet reported that a TTCC prisoner was found “unconscious” and died at the hospital following an “inmate-on-inmate altercation.”
“My family is scared to get involved due to retaliation by prison officials and I’m basically on my own here,” Ball wrote in his first paragraph. “I came here in July 2016 and I had only Refused Cell assignment write ups because it’s not safe for me in population here and even though I have proof of being assaulted, extorted and mistreated by gangs here, staff refuse to give me any kind of protection.”
An entry at the TDOC’s online inmate database shows that Kyle Robert Ball, #00221855, is housed at TTCC on a 17-year sentence, with his next parole hearing scheduled for December.
“On 6-11-19 my cellie assaulted me while I was in my bed at 6:00 a.m. and I have reported this and nothing has been done and he is threatening me again because I told on him,” Ball wrote at the bottom of page 1. “He says he assaulted me over the hit the Vice Lords have on me. I don’t know if I’m going to be hurt again or even killed by this violent crazy mad man…Maybe you could check up on me and see if by the time you get this I am in the hospital or dead.”
On page 2, Ball said that he qualified for parole in May of last year but was ultimately denied release “over a Refused Cell assignment write up I got because I had been assaulted and went to staff for help…” He said that rather than placing him in protective custody (PC), he was relocated to “the hole” as a result of having allegedly refused his cell assignment (“RCA)”.
Finally, Ball said he wants a transfer to “any other facility in the state,” as “My life and safety are in serious jeopardy here.”
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.