Prisons operated by a Brentwood company have more murders than state run facilities


Prisons operated by a Brentwood company have more murders than state run facilities

NASHVILLE SCENE

One of Brentwood’s newest corporate citizens, the private prison company CoreCivic, has more murders in its prisons than state run facilities in Tennessee.

A report released by two prisoner advocacy organizations highlights 10 homicides at Tennessee prisons run by CoreCivic in the past five years — twice as many killings as have been reported in state-run prisons during the same period. 

The company officially moved its headquarters to Brentwood from Green Hills on July 8. The office located in a new building on Virginia Way.

The for-profit prison operator — formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America — currently runs four prisons in the state, according to the Nashville Scene. Those house an average of 30 percent of the state’s prisoners, according to the report released by the Human Rights Defense Center and the No Exceptions Prison Collective.

The report found the homicide rate at those facilities is more than four times higher than the rate at the Tennessee Department of Correction’s facilities. 

From the report:

From March 2014 through June 2019, ten prisoners have been murdered at the four Corecivic facilities, including Jeffrey T. Sills (2014, at SCCF); Daniel Colby (2016, at HCCF); Michael Belt (2016, at WCF); William Hancock (2016, at HCCF); John Herrin (2017, at HCCF); Earl Wayne Johnson (2017, at HCCF); Fidencio Perez (2018, at SCCF); Dameion Nolan (2019, at WCF); Ernest Edward Hill (2019, at TTCF); and Tyrone Elliott Montgomery (2019, at SCCF).

Five state prisoners were killed in TDOC-run facilities during the same time period, based on data from the Department’s fiscal year statistical abstract reports and more recent information provided by the TDOC’s communications office.  

CoreCivic facilities have long been the source of troubling accounts about violence, bad conditions and under-staffing. The company runs the state’s largest prison, Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, which has been particularly troubled since it opened in 2016. The family members of people incarcerated there have publicly expressed concern about the safety of prisoners and insiders have told the Scene about rampant gang activity and poor management resulting from inadequate staffing.  

The organizations behind the report are holding a press conference Wednesday morning at CoreCivic’s location in Green Hills. 

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