New Prison Stops Taking Inmates

Posted at 7:05 AM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 14:07:59-04

Tennessee's newest prison has stopped taking inmates after just four months of full operation.

Records obtained by The Associated Press suggested why.

State corrections officials and the private prisons operator confirmed the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center temporarily halted new admissions two weeks ago, leaving the 2500-inmate prison about two-thirds full.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the Corrections Corporation of America blamed growing pains.

Those with the Tennessee Department of Correction released the following statement:

“Together, TDOC and CCA made the decision to slow admissions at Trousdale Turner at the beginning of May in order to evaluate the facility and its operations following the initial ramp-up.  With the opening of any new facility, growing pains are to be expected.  This is why part of what TDOC does is to provide a great deal of oversight from the very beginning.  In addition to an onsite compliance monitor who keeps department leadership informed, there is constant communication and onsite observation by TDOC senior staff.  Our partnership with CCA remains strong and we will continue to work together as we fulfill our non-negotiable mission of operating safe and secure prisons.”

Memos obtained by the AP through a request for public documents about the taxpayer-funded facility said the guards were not in control of the housing units, were not counting inmates correctly, were putting inmates in solitary confinement for no documented reason, and that a stabbing happened after a guard left a door open.