NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV), Nov. 14, 2017 — Two Democratic lawmakers are going to recommend not to re-authorize the Tennessee Department of Correction after a scathing audit released on Tuesday by the Tennessee Comptroller’s office.
Reps. Bo Mitchell and Mike Stewart, both Nashville Democrats, said in a press conference on Tuesday that they will recommend at a Joint Government Operations committee meeting on Wednesday to recommend not to reauthorize the Department of Correction.
They are also going to recommend strongly the state should no longer use Core Civic to operate facilities used by the state. Three of the findings in the audit dealt with facilities operated by Core Civic.
“I can’t remember ever receiving a Comptroller’s report that shows such flagrant disregard for the reporting requirements by a contractor,” said Stewart, the Democratic Caucus Chairman.
Findings in the audit, which studied the department’s activities from July 1, 2014, through Aug. 31, 2017, highlighted staffing and staffing reports at several facilities operated for the state by Core Civic, a Nashville-based corrections company formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America.
The findings included:
- Trousdale Turner Correctional Center in Hartsville, and Whiteville Correctional Facility in West Tennessee, both managed by Core Civic, operated with fewer than approved correctional officer staff, did not have all staffing rosters, did not follow staffing pattern guidelines and one left critical posts unstaffed.
- Core Civic staffing reports for two facilities – Trousdale Turner Correction Center and Hardeman County Correctional Center in Whiteville – contained numerous errors, so information about hires, terminations and vacancies may not be reliable.