by Sharon Rondeau

(Nov. 11, 2019) — Late Monday morning, The Post & Email received an email from an individual who stated that she received information from several inmates at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center (TTCC) in Hartsville, TN, the state’s newest prison with a track record of violence and short-staffing, among other issues.

The prison is operated by the private company CoreCivic, formerly Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), which has denied claims made in a four-part series issued in June 2017 by WSMV of questionable medical and emergency procedures, gang domination of the prison population and personnel, and unduly harsh treatment of inmates.

The person who contacted us stated that she was told that on Friday, “there was a multi-inmate altercation that involved weapons and at least three inmates were transported to local hospitals…The incident occurred on Friday, 11/8 sometime after noon.”

Our contact stated that she was told that the incident involved loss of life and requested that we investigate the reports she received.

We first contacted two of three new public information officers at the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) who have apparently replaced former Communications Director Neysa Taylor.

We received a prompt response from Robert A. Reburn, PIO for East Tennessee, advising us to contact CoreCivic for comment.  We did so and received a prompt reply from Brandon Bissell, Manager, Public Affairs for CoreCivic, who told us:

The report you received from your non-eyewitness was wrong – there has NOT been a death at Trousdale Turner.  Here are the facts:

An inmate-on-inmate assault occurred Friday afternoon at Trousdale Turner Correctional Center. Staff responded quickly to separate the inmates and the inmates were immediately evaluated by medical staff. Based on the initial medical evaluation, two inmates involved in the incident were transported via EMS and one later by facility transport vehicle to an outside medical facility for treatment of their injuries. As of Sunday all three inmates have returned to the facility following treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Our partners at the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) were immediately notified. The facility was placed on lockdown status and an investigation is underway.

In deference to our government partner, follow-on inquiries regarding the investigation should be directed to TDOC.

The Tennessean reported on June 16 that a death occurred at the institution “following an inmate-on-inmate altercation.”  On the same day, WSMV wrote, “The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death of an inmate at Trousdale Turner Correctional Facility in Hartsville.  TBI told News4 the incident happened inside a prison cell involving two inmates.”

Since early 2016, shortly after TTCC opened, The Post & Email has reported extensively on the facility utilizing scores of inmate letters and documentation as well as interviews with inmates’ relatives as sources.


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