NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Top Congressional lawmakers are asking a local company some tough questions.
United States Senators Cory Booker (D) New Jersey and Elizabeth Warren (D) Massachusetts sent a scathing letter to the head of Prisoner Transportation Services of America which is located in Brentwood.
The letter requested specific information from the company and raised questions about the company's safety record.
Congressman Ted Deutch (D) Florida joined the Senators in signing the letter which was sent last week.
The lawmakers noted the for-profit company has a moral obligation to avoid harming individuals in custody.
According to the letter, "At least 5 individuals have died while in PTS custody since 2012, one man was allegedly beaten to death by other prisoners as PTSA guards looked on."
But their concerns go well beyond the deaths.
"Public reports have documented inhumane and unsafe conditions in your transportation vehicles, including unsanitary practices, gross negligence, physical and sexual abuse...." adding that one PTSA employee was indicted last June "for sexually assaulting a female prisoner in his custody."
The letter went on to state "The desire to slash costs in order to increase profit margins may create perverse incentives for your company to jeopardize the health and safety of your employees and the prisoners in your care."
The lawmakers asked the company to provide information on all deaths that have occurred involving inmates in their custody as well as all allegations of sexual assault against its employees.
In addition they asked for copies of all contracts the company has to transport prisoners for both public and private jails and prisons.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates called the company for comment, but the company has not responded.