Rep. Mike Stewart Discusses Prison Inspections

Posted at 5:04 PM, Sep 21, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A state lawmaker has continued to be critical of the Tennessee Department of Correction.

Representative Mike Stewart held a news conference Monday to say the American Correctional Association had paid a visit to Tennessee to check out various issues, such as staffing, at certain prisons.

Stewart also said everyone knew about the visits ahead of time, so there were no surprise inspections.

"You had multiple individuals, and you can see them on the inspection because it’s indicated with a plus eight if you look at the second shift roster, which is when the ACA folks were there, you’ll see a series of people with plus eight by their name,” Representative Stewart said. “These are people who were held over to plus up the staffing during the times the inspections were present. Let’s remember, one of the critical allegations in this prison collapse issue is that under-staffing is leading to highly dangerous conditions.”

Stewart said he's afraid, before too long, the state will have another lawsuit on its hands and will be back under federal supervision.

Stewart had wanted someone like the National Institute of Corrections do the investigation. It's an arm of the Justice Department.