Skip navigation
The Habeas Citebook: Prosecutorial Misconduct - Header

Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Performance Audit Report, Department of Correction, TN, 2020

Download original document:
Brief thumbnail
This text is machine-read, and may contain errors. Check the original document to verify accuracy.
Department of Correction
January 2020

 

DEBORAH V. LOVELESS, CPA, CGFM, CGMA
Director
State Agency Audits
KANDI B. THOMAS, CPA, CGFM, CFE, CGMA
Assistant Director

Information Systems
DANIEL V. WILLIS, CPA, CISA, CGFM
Assistant Director

JENNIFER WHITSEL, CPA, CFE, CGMA
DENA W. WINNINGHAM, CGFM
Audit Managers

BRENT L. RUMBLEY, CPA, CISA, CFE
Information Systems Audit Manager

Melissa Boaz, CPA, CGFM, CFE, CGMA
Jaclyn Clute
Vincent Finamore, CFE
In-Charge Auditors

James Falbe, CISA
Sam Osborn, CISA
In-Charge Auditors

Mason Ball, CPA, CFE, CGFM
Chris Colvard
Michael Deloach, CPA, CGFM
Fonda Douglas
Heather Murray
De’Aundrea Pointer
Valeria Stadelman
Chas Taplin, CPA, CFE
Sarah Vandergriff
Jackson Wickham
David Wright, CFE
Staff Auditors

Andrew Bullard, CISA
Daniel Elkins
Malik M. Moughrabi
Timothy F. Powers II
Staff Auditors

Amy Brack
Editor
Amanda Adams
Assistant Editor

Comptroller of the Treasury, Division of State Audit
Cordell Hull Building
425 Fifth Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 401-7897
Reports are available at
comptroller.tn.gov/office-functions/state-audit.html
Mission Statement
The mission of the Comptroller’s Office is
to make government work better.
Comptroller Website
comptroller.tn.gov

 

January 6, 2020
The Honorable Randy McNally
Speaker of the Senate
The Honorable Cameron Sexton
Speaker of the House of Representatives
The Honorable Kerry Roberts, Chair
Senate Committee on Government Operations
The Honorable Martin Daniel, Chair
House Committee on Government Operations
and
Members of the General Assembly
State Capitol
Nashville, TN 37243
and
The Honorable Tony Parker, Commissioner
Department of Correction
320 Sixth Avenue North
Nashville, Tennessee, 37243
Ladies and Gentlemen:
We have conducted a performance audit of selected programs and activities of the Department of
Correction for the period October 1, 2017, through July 31, 2019. This audit was conducted pursuant to
the requirements of the Tennessee Governmental Entity Review Law, Section 4-29-111, Tennessee Code
Annotated.
Our audit disclosed certain findings, which are detailed in the Audit Conclusions section of this
report. Management of the department has responded to the audit findings; we have included the responses
following each finding. We will follow up the audit to examine the application of the procedures instituted
because of the audit findings.
This report is intended to aid the Joint Government Operations Committee in its review to
determine whether the department should be continued, restructured, or terminated.
Sincerely,

Deborah V. Loveless, CPA, Director
Division of State Audit

DVL/jw/dw
19/032

 

 

Division of State Audit

Department of Correction
Performance Audit
January 2020

Our mission is to make government work better.

AUDIT HIGHLIGHTS 
The Department of Correction’s Mission
To operate safe and secure prisons and provide effective community supervision in order to
enhance public safety.
We have audited the Department of Correction for the
period October 1, 2017, through July 31, 2019. Our audit
scope included a review of internal controls and compliance
with laws, regulations, policies, procedures, and provisions of
contracts.
We conducted site visits at the following
correctional facilities:

Scheduled Termination Date: 
June 30, 2020 

CoreCivic Facilities 

State Facilities 

Hardeman County Correctional Facility 
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center 
Whiteville Correctional Facility 

Northeast Correctional Complex 
Northwest Correctional Complex 
Turney Center Industrial Complex 

We divided our report into 11 sections:
department leadership oversight;
department’s annual inspections of correctional facilities;
public reporting of inmate deaths and other serious incidents;
inmate sexual abuse and sexual harassment investigations;
inmate medical and mental health services;
correctional staffing and department turnover;
inmate services and support;
department’s community supervision responsibilities;
COMET implementation;
public records management; and

 

recidivism rates for the department’s educational and vocational programs.
We present a total of 18 findings, 13 observations, and 3 matters for legislative
consideration. Our key conclusions below refer to each audit area and its overarching conclusions.
The beginning of each section of the report lists the respective findings, observations, and other
conclusions.

KEY CONCLUSIONS
Department Leadership Oversight
The Department of Correction’s leadership failed to provide adequate oversight activities of
department and correctional facilities management in several areas relating to inmates,
correctional staff, and the community, thereby affecting the department’s ability to meet its
mission “to operate safe and secure prisons and provide effective community supervision in
order to enhance public safety.”
As a result of our review of the department, we have determined that various areas of the
department’s operations would benefit from increased oversight and the implementation of
adequate internal controls. In order to ensure compliance with laws, regulations, and policies;
provide safe and secure facilities; and reduce the risk to public safety, department management
should develop a plan to improve areas throughout the organization, including
quality reporting of information;
correctional facilities staffing;
inmate services, including medical and mental health services;
parole and probation monitoring; and
contracted services and other procurements.
Department management has a duty to provide a safe environment for staff at its facilities and
inmates in its custody. Department management must also report complete and accurate
information to decision makers. Department management must meet the medical and mental
healthcare needs of individuals in custody and ensure that individuals on parole and probation are
sufficiently monitored. Finally, management should provide sufficient oversight over contracted
services and other procurements, ensuring that department staff comply with state laws and
regulations and that vendors meet the department’s expectations. See Finding 1 on page 11.
Department’s Annual Inspections of Correctional Facilities
Although the results of annual inspections provide management a basis to evaluate state and
CoreCivic facility performance and to establish a basis to reward CoreCivic facilities, the
department’s overall annual compliance percentage scores do not provide a clear measure
of correctional facility performance.

 

Based on our review, we found that the Compliance Division’s calculation of compliance
percentages emphasizes the number of compliant items instead of the severity of critical findings.
These scores do not differentiate between “critical” or “other” findings and do not stress missioncritical areas that may directly impact the safety and security of inmates, staff, and the general
public. Management uses these scores to monitor performance at all correctional facilities and to
reward CoreCivic’s performance (although only at the Hardeman County facility currently). The
Department of Correction’s management has also used the overall scores to discuss facility
inspection results during legislative hearings. See Finding 2 on page 24.
Public Reporting of Inmate Deaths and Other Serious Incidents
Management did not ensure that state and CoreCivic facilities staff collected and reported
complete, accurate, and valid information; as a result, their ability to provide reliable data
is problematic.
Because state leadership and the public use the information provided by the Department of
Correction to draw conclusions about how correctional facilities are operating, it is vital that
management ensures that data on incidents, including deaths and other serious incidents, is valid
and reliable.
Based on our review, management did not implement or enforce established internal controls to
ensure state and CoreCivic correctional facilities staff collected and accurately reported incident
information for
inmate deaths (see Finding 4 on page 43);
inmate assaults, inmate violence, and correction officers’ use of force (see Finding 5
on page 46);
inmate accidents and injuries (see Finding 6 on page 50); and
facility lockdowns (see Observation 1 on page 54).
Because of these internal control deficiencies, management’s ability to provide accurate and
complete information to key decision makers is problematic, impacting both management’s
oversight of facility operations and its ability to provide a safe and secure correctional environment
(see Finding 3 on page 40 and Finding 8 on page 57).
Inmate Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment Investigations
Department of Correction management has not ensured that state and CoreCivic
correctional facility staff followed policies and procedures for investigating sexual abuse and
harassment allegations and documented their results.
The failure to properly investigate and respond to allegations of sexual abuse and harassment can
directly impact the safety and security of both inmates and staff at correctional facilities. During
our review of investigations of sexual abuse and harassment occurring at correctional institutions,
we identified the following deficiencies:

 

at one state-managed facility, investigators misclassified investigative results as
unfounded rather than unsubstantiated; in these cases, the investigators did not find
sufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations; and
at state- and CoreCivic-managed facilities, investigators did not record allegations
timely, limiting department management’s ability to effectively track and monitor the
status of investigations.
Without accurate, complete, and timely investigation records, management cannot ensure that
facility management, investigators, and staff take swift action to investigate and respond to
allegations of sexual abuse and harassment. See Finding 9 on page 82.
Inmate Medical and Mental Health Services
Because of issues at both state and CoreCivic facilities involving medical and mental health
documentation; medical records and medication transfer; and medicine dispensing,
Department of Correction management did not fully demonstrate that inmates received
sufficient medical and mental health services when needed.
Pursuant to Section 41-1-408, Tennessee Code Annotated, the department has a responsibility to
provide medical and mental health services to inmates under its custody. Based on our review of
inmates’ medical and mental health files, staff at the department and CoreCivic facilities did not
maintain all required documentation, which prevents management from ensuring whether inmates
received appropriate care (see Finding 12 on page 100). Additionally, state correctional facilities
staff did not ensure that inmate records and medications traveled with transferred inmates (see
Observation 5 on page 108). Based on our audit procedures, we also identified deficiencies with
medicine distribution practices at CoreCivic facilities, placing both inmates and medical staff at
risk (see Observation 4 on page 103, Observation 5 on page 108, and Finding 13 on page 106).
Department of Correction management did not provide adequate oversight over medical and
mental health contractors to ensure the contractors met required staffing levels, and
management did not follow statewide procurement policies governing contract terms and
amendments, increasing the risk that contractors may not be held accountable for
performance that may adversely impact medical and mental health services for the inmate
population.
The department’s medical and mental health contractors, Centurion of Tennessee, LLC and
Corizon Health, have been unable to consistently meet contractually required medical and mental
health staffing levels, increasing the risk that inmates will not receive needed services (see Finding
11 on page 98). Even though Centurion and Corizon have contract performance deficiencies,
department management has established a value-added credit system (outside the scope of the
contracts) in which the contractors are allowed to self-report areas and/or efforts that they believe
deserve recognition. According to the department’s Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Medical
Officer reviews the contractor’s reported information and may approve credits, which the
contractor can use to offset any department-assessed liquidated damages. In the current system,
contractors can fail to meet current contract requirements; receive credits for self-reported areas
of good performance or efforts (including areas not currently required in the state’s contract); and
then use, or “net,” the earned credits against assessed damages. Furthermore, we could not
determine whether the contractors actually corrected the contract performance deficiencies, nor

 

did department management collect the majority of liquidated damages assessed. (See Finding
10 on page 96.)
Correctional Staffing and Department Turnover
Management must continue efforts to ensure adequate staffing at state and CoreCivic
correctional facilities in order to provide safe and secure facilities for inmates and staff.
Sufficient staffing of correctional officer positions is vital to achieving the mission of the
Department of Correction; however, both state- and CoreCivic-managed facilities have
experienced significant difficulties in hiring and retaining a sufficient number of correctional
officers. Due to minimal staffing levels at both state and CoreCivic entities, management has
increased overtime and temporarily closed noncritical posts to cover critical posts and duties. At
the facilities we visited, we found that, on average, they operated with fewer than the approved
number of correctional officers while noncritical posts, such as transportation and recreation, were
consistently under-staffed or closed. Low staffing levels coupled with frequent overtime impacts
management’s ability to provide safe and secure facilities, especially in emergencies. See
Observation 6 on page 130 and Observation 7 on page 133.
The department should continue its efforts to remedy the deficiencies on CoreCivic’s staffing
reports as noted in the prior audit.
Despite management’s stated corrective action after the November 2017 performance audit and
efforts to accurately track staffing positions on a monthly basis, CoreCivic facilities’ monthly
staffing reports contained the same errors noted in the prior audit, so department management
cannot effectively track whether CoreCivic is meeting its contractually required staffing levels.
See Finding 14 on page 135.
Inmate Services and Support
Management did not ensure that state and CoreCivic facilities performed mandatory
procedures designed to protect and serve inmates.
Staff at both the state-run and CoreCivic facilities did not conduct screenings to determine if
inmates posed a risk of being a sexual abuser or victim within the policy-required timeframes (see
Finding 15 on page 160). Furthermore, Trousdale Turner Correctional Center did not conduct the
minimally required number of random inmate drug screenings, while Whiteville Correctional
Facility, Turney Center Industrial Complex, and Northwest Correctional Complex did not
consistently and accurately record the results of these screenings. Without consistent application
and documentation of these drug screenings, management cannot reasonably ensure facilities have
taken sufficient measures to control drug use and its detrimental effects on facilities’ safety and
security (see Observation 10 on page 167).
Management did not ensure inmates are aware of, and have access to, information and
services the Department of Correction provides.
In compliance with law and policy, state and CoreCivic facilities are required to provide access to
various programs and services for inmates. As dictated by department policy, facilities must
provide inmates with an orientation program within three days of their arrival; these orientation
programs provide information on rules of conduct; disciplinary procedures; reporting grievances

 

and allegations of sexual abuse or assault; access to medical and mental health services; clothing;
and family visitation. Management did not ensure facilities performed inmate orientations within
the three-day timeframe that policy requires (see Finding 16 on page 163). As a result of our
review, we also determined that
two state-managed facilities impeded inmates’ access to forms and healthcare
instructions (see Observation 8 on page 165); and
state and CoreCivic correctional staff did not properly maintain class and job
documentation, such as an inmate’s documented understanding of job duties and pay
rates (see Observation 9 on page 166).
Department’s Community Supervision Responsibilities
Although we saw improvement, the Department of Correction has still not ensured the
adequate monitoring of individuals placed on parole or probation.
Offenders placed on parole or probation have been found guilty of crimes, and probation and parole
officers are charged with ensuring that offenders comply with the conditions of their release in
order to keep the community safe. The department’s Community Supervision unit is responsible
for monitoring approximately 40,0001 individuals placed on parole or probation statewide. As
noted in the previous three audits,2 supervisors and management have not fulfilled their oversight
responsibilities of the state’s probation and parole officers and have not ensured these officers
fulfilled their monitoring responsibilities (see Finding 17 on page 179 and Observation 11 on
page 182). Additionally, as a result of our review, we determined that probation and parole officers
and state and local law enforcement agencies do not have a single comprehensive resource to look
up arrests made throughout the state, which would constitute parole or probation violations. As
detailed in the Matter for Legislative Consideration on page 175, such a system would help
officers determine if an offender had any recent arrests or open arrest warrants.
COMET Implementation
After signing a $15.3 million contract, spending 3 years on development, and facing
unforeseen obstacles, the department’s vendor has been unable to implement the new
COMET system, and as of September 2019, there is no official “go-live” date.
The department currently uses the Tennessee Offender Management Information System (TOMIS)
as its primary offender management system. This system is outdated, costly to maintain, and
requires significant manual processes and outside applications to sufficiently compile and track
inmate data. The department’s new offender management system, Correctional Offender
Management Electronic Tracking (COMET), should streamline department operations, but its
implementation is 18 months behind schedule with no official start date as of September 2019 (see
Observation 12 on page 188). We provide further information on management’s production and
distribution of quality information in our Public Reporting of Inmate Deaths and Other Serious
Incidents section.
 
1

We calculated a six-month average using monthly department supervisory reports we reviewed during the audit.
2
We reported this finding in the 2012 performance audit of the Board of Probation and Parole. In 2012, the
Department of Correction became responsible for community supervision; we followed up on this finding in the
department’s 2014 performance audit follow-up and in its 2017 performance audit.

 

Public Records Management
Department of Correction management did not ensure that both department and CoreCivic
staff complied with public records regulations, resulting in lost records as well as potential
evidence.
Public records provide evidence of government operations and hold government officials
accountable for their actions. For the department and its CoreCivic contractor, such records are
also vital to review the effective operation of correctional facilities and community oversight and
may even serve as potential evidence in investigations. Based on our review, we determined the
following:
At four of six correctional facilities, state and CoreCivic management did not properly
retain, maintain, and destroy public records.
At three of six correctional facilities, state and CoreCivic staff disposed of large
volumes of files without submitting the state-required certificates of destruction.
One state correctional facility did not maintain security footage for the departmentestablished minimum of 90 days, sometimes overwriting footage within 2 weeks of
recording.
For more information, see Finding 18 on page 195. Additionally, staff at one state facility did not
follow the department’s procedure for restoring public records after a minor flood destroyed some
Fire and Safety records in spring 2019 (see Observation 13 on page 198).
Recidivism Rates for the Department’s Educational and Vocational Programs
The Department of Correction has not reported recidivism rates for inmates who
participated in educational and vocational programs, as required by statute, but has
provided other information to the General Assembly.
Section 41-21-238 et seq., Tennessee Code Annotated, requires the Commissioner of Education,
with the assistance of the Commissioner of Correction, the Board of Regents,3 and the University
of Tennessee System, to develop a plan to increase educational and vocational opportunities for
inmates. The Commissioner of Correction is required to monitor and document the plan’s
effectiveness, which includes calculating recidivism rates of inmate participants in these programs.
Although the department routinely presents other measures of educational and vocational
programs’ success to the General Assembly, the department does not currently report programspecific recidivism rates. We have included a Matter for Legislative Consideration on page 203
concerning the requirement to report these recidivism rates.

 
3

The General Assembly may also wish to amend Section 41-21-238 et seq., to include the six locally governed
institutions, which are no longer part of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
INTRODUCTION

1

Audit Authority

1

Background

1

AUDIT SCOPE

8

PRIOR AUDIT FINDINGS

9

Report of Actions Taken on Prior Audit Findings

9

Repeated Audit Findings

9

AUDIT CONCLUSIONS
Department Leadership Oversight
Finding 1

– The department’s leadership failed to provide adequate
oversight activities of department and correctional facilities
management in several areas relating to inmates,
correctional staff, and the community, thereby affecting the
department’s ability to meet its mission

Department’s Annual Inspections of Correctional Facilities
Finding 2

– The department’s overall annual compliance percentage
scores do not provide a clear measure of correctional facility
performance

11

11
21

24

Appendix A: Department’s Annual Inspections of Correctional Facilities
Appendix A-1 – Methodologies to Achieve Objective
Public Reporting of Inmate Deaths and Other Serious Incidents
Finding 3

Finding 4

Finding 5

29
31

– The department’s ability to provide accurate and complete
information relating to deaths and other serious incidents is
problematic

40

– The department did not accurately record inmates’ causes of
death in the Tennessee Offender Management Information
System, which impacted the accuracy of the death
information in the Statistical Abstract

43

– Department management did not ensure state and CoreCivic
facility staff followed incident reporting policies, entered
incident information accurately into TOMIS, and maintained
supporting documentation for incidents as required

46

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued)
Page
Finding 6

– The department did not ensure that state and CoreCivic
correctional facility and health services staff entered all
serious accidents, injuries, and illnesses in TOMIS in
accordance with department policy

50

Observation 1 – Department policy does not formally define partial or total
institutional lockdowns; therefore, correctional facility staff
may not report them consistently in TOMIS

54

Finding 7

− The Department of Correction and the Department of
Finance and Administration’s Strategic Technology
Solutions did not implement effective internal controls in
two areas, increasing the risk of errors or data loss

56

Observation 2 – The Department of Correction and the Department of
Finance and Administration’s Strategic Technology
Solutions did not provide adequate internal controls in two
areas; however, the areas noted do not pose a critical risk to
the state

56

Finding 8

− The department published inaccurate and incomplete inmate
incident data in its fiscal year 2018 Statistical Abstract

57

Appendix B: Public Reporting of Inmate Deaths and Other Serious
Incidents
Appendix B-1 – Department Policies Governing
Accidents, Injuries, and Deaths

Serious

Incidents,
60

Appendix B-2 – Summary of Class A Incidents (Those Involving Serious
Risk to the Facility or Community) Reported by Location

62

Appendix B-3 – Summary of Class B Incidents (Those Involving Possible
Risk to the Facility or Community) Reported by Location

63

Appendix B-4 – Summary of Class C Incidents (Those Involving No Risk to
the Facility or the Community) Reported by Location

64

Appendix B-5 – TDOC Incident Summary by Incident Type and Prison for
Fiscal Year 2018

65

Appendix B-6 – Detail of Testwork Related to Inmate Deaths

68

Appendix B-7 – Summary of Incident-Related Issues Found During
Correctional Facility Site Visits

68

Appendix B-8 – The Assistant Commissioner of Prisons’ Expectations for
Incident Reporting Related to Accidents, Injuries, and
Illnesses

72

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued)
Page
Appendix B-9 – Total Number of Reported Lockdowns by Correctional
Facility

73

Appendix B-10 – Methodologies to Achieve Objectives

74

Inmate Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment Investigations

77

Finding 9

− Management did not ensure that state and CoreCivic
correctional facilities staff followed policies and procedures
for investigating sexual abuse and sexual harassment
allegations and documented their results

82

Appendix C: Inmate Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment Investigations
Appendix C-1 – Additional PREA Allegation and Investigation Information

86

Appendix C-2 – Methodologies to Achieve Objective

86

Inmate Medical and Mental Health Services
Finding 10

89

− Department management disregarded controls over
statewide procurement and established its own informal
procurement and payment system without proper review and
approval by oversight authorities

96

− Centurion and Corizon did not meet contractual medical and
mental health staffing levels

98

− CoreCivic and state-managed correctional facilities did not
ensure that staff placed the required medical and mental
health documents in the inmate files or completed the
required documents in accordance with department policy

100

Observation 3 – Staff at Northeast Correctional Complex left a box
containing confidential employee and inmate health
information in an open area, increasing the risk of
unauthorized access to confidential information

102

Observation 4 – We identified concerns with medication administration
practices at two CoreCivic facilities during our site visits

103

Finding 11
Finding 12

Finding 13

− CoreCivic did not have an adequate procedure in place to
quickly access inmate medication administration records
during an outage of its new electronic medication
administration system

106

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued)
Page
Observation 5 – Management should evaluate the department’s process of
transporting inmates’ medical files and medications when
inmates are transferred between correctional facilities to
determine the risks to inmates when medical files and
medications do not arrive at the right destination

108

Appendix D: Inmate Medical and Mental Health Services
Appendix D-1 – Department’s Assessed Liquidated Damages and Offsetting
Value-Added Credits for Centurion and Corizon

109

Appendix D-2 – Analysis of Monthly Clinical Staffing Reports for Centurion
and Corizon by State-Managed Correctional Facility

113

Appendix D-3 – Analysis of Monthly Clinical Staffing Reports for
CoreCivic-Managed Correctional Facilities

116

Appendix D-4 – Detailed List of Errors Found in Inmate Medical File Review
by Correctional Facility

118

Appendix D-5 – Methodologies to Achieve Objectives

120

Correctional Staffing and Department Turnover

123

Matter for Legislative Consideration − Department of Correction Retirees

123

Observation 6 – Both CoreCivic and state-run facilities are operating with
minimal staff, resulting in increased staff overtime and/or
the temporary closure of noncritical posts

130

Observation 7 – Despite ongoing challenges, the department is working to
develop tangible strategies to retain correctional officers at
its facilities

133

Finding 14

− As noted in the prior audit, CoreCivic staffing reports still
contain numerous errors

135

Appendix E: Correctional Staffing and Department Turnover
Appendix E-1 – Fiscal Year 2020 Budgeted Positions by Correctional
Facility Location

139

Appendix E-2 – Correctional Officer Separations by Type

140

Appendix E-3 – CoreCivic Turnover

141

Appendix E-4 – CoreCivic Contract Requirements

143

Appendix E-5 – Deficiencies Noted Related to CoreCivic Monthly Staffing
Reports

144

Appendix E-6 – CoreCivic Staffing – Liquidated Damages Assessments

146

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued)
Page
Appendix E-7 – Methodologies to Achieve Objectives
Inmate Services and Support
Finding 15

147
149

– State and CoreCivic correctional facility personnel did not
consistently administer required inmate screenings that are
used to prevent sexual abuse in correctional facilities

160

− State and CoreCivic facility personnel did not perform
inmate orientation within three days of arrival at the facility
or did not consistently maintain a signed Orientation
Acknowledgement Form in the inmate institutional file

163

Observation 8 – Northwest Correctional Complex and Turney Center
Industrial Complex impeded inmates’ access to information
relating to healthcare, including access to grievance and sick
call forms

165

Observation 9 – State and CoreCivic correctional staff did not properly
maintain class and job documentation in accordance with
department policy

166

Observation 10 – Trousdale Turner Correctional Center did not conduct the
minimally required random drug screenings of the inmate
population, and Whiteville Correctional Facility, Turney
Center Industrial Complex, and Northwest Correctional
Complex did not consistently and accurately record
screening results in TOMIS

167

Finding 16

Appendix F: Inmate Services and Support
Appendix F-1 – Methodologies to Achieve Objectives
Department’s Community Supervision Responsibilities
Matter for Legislative Consideration – Single Comprehensive Resource for
Offender Arrests
Finding 17

– Community supervision supervisors, District Directors, and
Correctional Administrators did not always review case
records as required by department policy to ensure probation
and parole officers performed their required duties

169
175
175

179

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued)
Page
Observation 11 – Although department management has worked since 2014 to
ensure probation and parole officers performed their
required duties, probation and parole officers did not meet
supervision requirements for offender case plan reviews

182

Appendix G: Department’s Community Supervision Responsibilities
Appendix G-1 – Methodologies to Achieve Objectives
COMET Implementation
Observation 12 – After signing a $15,347,200 contract, spending three years
on development, and facing unforeseen obstacles, the
department’s vendor has been unable to implement the new
COMET system, and of September 2019, there is no official
“go-live” date

184
187

188

Appendix H: COMET Implementation
Appendix H-1 – TOMIS Mainframe and Processing Costs for Fiscal Years
2018 and 2019

191

Appendix H-2 – Methodologies to Achieve Objectives

192

Public Records Management
Finding 18

193

– Department management did not ensure its staff and
CoreCivic complied with the state’s public records statute
and records management standards

195

Observation 13 – Staff at the Turney Center Industrial Complex did not follow
the department’s procedure for restoring public records after
a minor flood destroyed some Fire and Safety records in
spring 2019

198

Appendix I: Public Records Management
Appendix I-1

– Methodologies to Achieve Objectives

201

Recidivism Rates for the Department’s Educational and Vocational Program

203

Matter for Legislative Consideration – Recidivism Rates for the Department’s
Education and Vocational Programs

203

Appendix J: Recidivism Rates for the Department’s Educational and
Vocational Programs
Appendix J-1 – Methodologies to Achieve Objective
APPENDICES
Appendix K-1 – Edison Business Units

205
206
206

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued)
Page
Appendix K-2 – Expenditure and Revenue Information by Fiscal Year

207

Appendix K-3 – State’s Recidivism Rates

209

Appendix K-4 – Title VI Information

210

 

INTRODUCTION

AUDIT AUTHORITY
This performance audit of the Department of Correction was conducted pursuant to the
Tennessee Governmental Entity Review Law, Title 4, Chapter 29, Tennessee Code Annotated.
Under Section 4-29-241, the department is scheduled to terminate June 30, 2020. The Comptroller
of the Treasury is authorized under Section 4-29-111 to conduct a limited program review audit of
the agency and to report to the Joint Government Operations Committee of the General Assembly.
This audit is intended to aid the committee in determining whether the department should be
continued, restructured, or terminated.

BACKGROUND
The Department of Correction was established
in 1923 under Section 4-3-601, Tennessee Code
Annotated, to operate the state’s correctional system.
As such, the department’s mission is to “operate safe
and secure prisons and provide effective community
supervision in order to enhance public safety.”  
The department ensures housing for 21,669
inmates4 at 14 correctional facilities (see Table 1). The
state owns and operates 10 facilities that house
approximately 14,000 inmates, while CoreCivic, the
state’s private prison contractor, operates 4 facilities and
provides housing for the remaining 7,700 inmates. See
Exhibit 1 on page 3 for a map with the list and locations
of the state’s and CoreCivic’s correctional facilities.
All CoreCivic facilities and 7 of the state facilities provide housing exclusively to male
inmates; the Tennessee Prison for Women and the Women’s Therapeutic Residential Center
(located at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary site)
exclusively house female inmates; and the Bledsoe
A map of the state’s correctional 
County Correctional Complex houses both male and
facilities is on page 3. 
female inmates.
The department’s Community Supervision unit supervises approximately 77,000 offenders
on probation, on parole, or in a community correction program. Table 1 illustrates the population
of inmates and offenders under the department’s jurisdiction as of August 2019.

 
4

In this report, we will use the term “inmates” to describe individuals housed in a correctional facility; the term
“offenders” will refer to individuals who are in the department’s custody but reside in the community.

1

 

Table 1
Number of Inmates/Offenders Under Department of Correction Oversight
as of August 2019
Type of Oversight
Felons Incarcerated in Correctional Facilities
Probation and Community Corrections5
Parole
Total Population

Number of
Inmates/Offenders
21,669
66,589
10,621
98,879

Source: Department of Correction’s Tennessee Felon Population Update, August 2019.

 
5

For sentenced offenders, Community Corrections programs allow nonviolent felony offenders to participate in
community-based alternatives to incarceration. The department contracts with local governments and private agencies
to develop services and resources to reduce the chances that the offender will continue criminal behavior.

2

 

Exhibit 1
Department of Correction
Map of State Correctional Facilities
 

State-Run Facilities
Correctional Facility Name
Bledsoe County Correctional Complex
Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility
Mark Luttrell Transition Center
Morgan County Correctional Complex
Northeast Correctional Complex

Shortened Facility Name
Bledsoe County
Lois M. DeBerry
Mark Luttrell
Morgan County
Northeast

Correctional Facility Name
Northwest Correctional Complex
Riverbend Maximum Security Institution
Tennessee Prison for Women
Turney Center Industrial Complex
West Tennessee State Penitentiary

Shortened Facility Name
Northwest
Riverbend
Prison for Women
Turney Center
West Tennessee State

CoreCivic Facilities
Correctional Facility Name
Hardeman County Correctional Facility
South Central Correctional Facility

Shortened Facility Name
Hardeman
South Central

3

Correctional Facility Name
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center
Whiteville Correctional Facility

Shortened Facility Name
Trousdale Turner
Whiteville

 

Department’s Organizational Structure 
The Department of Correction is organized into nine offices, whose division heads report
directly to the Commissioner.
The Chief of Staff is responsible for carrying out the
Commissioner’s strategic vision for the department. He
represents the Commissioner on various committees and
acts as a liaison with other state departments.

The department’s organizational chart 
is on page 7. 

The Office of Administration and General Counsel oversees
legal services,
human resources,
offender administration, and
policy development.
This office also oversees the department’s information systems through its partnership with the
Department of Finance and Administration’s Strategic Technology Solutions.
Operational Support is responsible for overall support to facilities, community supervision
offices, and the central office. This responsibility includes facilities planning and construction;
facilities management and maintenance; mission support; and staff development and training.
Under the leadership of the Assistant Commissioner, the Tennessee Correction Academy provides
pre-service, in-service, and specialized training schools to department staff.
The Office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) manages and oversees the department’s
annual budget and helps department management with budget management, cost benefit analysis,
forecasting needs, and securing new funding to support the department’s short- and long-term
goals. In addition, the CFO is responsible for the department’s accounting, procurement, contract
administration, payments to local jails to offset costs relating to state inmate housing and care, and
food services.
The Office of the Assistant Commissioner of Prisons oversees the operations of the
correctional facilities. The Assistant Commissioner is responsible for
the Local Jails Resources Office,
statewide correctional facility transportation,
inmate classification, and
inmate disciplinary issues and grievances.

4

 

Reporting directly to the Assistant Commissioner of Prisons are four Correctional Administrators,
who oversee the day-to-day operations of facilities within their respective regions and supervise
the facility wardens and four contract monitors at the CoreCivic facilities.
The Community Supervision unit oversees approximately 77,000 offenders within the
felony probation and parole operations and community corrections programming. The Assistant
Commissioner is responsible for providing an accountability and support structure to help
offenders achieve success in the community.
The Office of Rehabilitative Services is a team of professional educators, licensed medical
and behavioral health care providers, and administrators who enhance public safety by providing
essential, evidence-based services that prepare justice-involved individuals to lead healthy,
independent, and successful lives.
The Chief Interdiction Officer is responsible for identifying, intercepting, restricting, and
prosecuting people, including department staff, who provide contraband to the department’s
correctional facilities.
The department’s Executive Operations include the following groups:
The Office of Investigations and
Compliance is the department’s
investigative arm. It investigates a
wide range of matters that affect
inmate safety, such as homicides.
The Compliance Section is
responsible for performing internal
fiscal audits; annual inspections of
correctional facilities and probation and parole districts;6 program and fiscal reviews;
and contract monitoring.
The Decision Support: Research and Planning Division is responsible for the
department’s reporting functions, including preparing the department’s Annual Report,
Statistical Abstract, and all other publicly reported data.
Executive Operations also houses the Communications and Public Relations office; the Legislative
Liaison; and Customer-Focused Government.

Other Background Information 
American Correctional Association Accreditation
 
The American Correctional Association (ACA) is a national professional organization and
accrediting body for the correctional industry. The ACA sets the standards and practices for
 
6

The department has 13 districts that serve probation and parole offenders statewide.

5

 

correctional facilities to “ensure staff and inmate safety and security, enhance staff morale,
improve records maintenance and data management capabilities; assist in protecting the agency
against litigation; and improve the function of the facility or agency at all levels.” ACA’s roles
include developing and monitoring ACA standards and developing an accreditation process. As
of August 14, 2019, all 14 of the department’s state-run and CoreCivic correctional facilities are
ACA-accredited.
State’s Recidivism Rates
 
The department uses the federal Bureau of Justice’s definition of recidivism, which is
defined as counting the criminal acts that result in an individual’s rearrest, reconviction, or return
to a correctional facility7 with or without a new sentence for a period of three years. The
department’s Decision Support: Research and Planning Division calculates annual recidivism rates
for inmates housed in Tennessee correctional facilities and jails and posts the rates to
openmaps.tn.gov.8 In May 2018, the department published the 2017 recidivism rates for inmates
who were released from custody in 2014. See Appendix K-3 on page 209 for the most recent
recidivism data on OpenMaps.
Recidivism Calculation Formula
RECIDIVISM RATE =  
 
INMATES WHO RETURN TO PRISON OR JAIL 
WITHIN THREE YEARS 
INMATES RELEASED IN A GIVEN BASE YEAR 

To calculate recidivism rates, the
department extracts from its Tennessee
Offender Management Information System
(TOMIS) data that shows all inmates
released from custody in a given year. The
extract also lists

which of these inmates returned to custody for reasons such as violating probation or
parole conditions or committing new charges with or without a new sentence; and
whether the inmates returned to custody within one, two, or three years of their release
date.
Because the county’s courts and jails might not enter inmate-related information timely,
the department requests that Strategic Technology Solutions (STS)9 run new data extracts every
quarter to capture any new information. Based on the data, the Research and Planning Division
calculates the recidivism rate by applying the rate formula.
 

Revenues and Expenditures
For information relating to the department’s financial information for fiscal years 2018
through 2019, see Appendix K-2 on page 207.
 
7

Rearrests, even if charges are dropped, can be included in recidivism rates.
8
Created under former Governor Bill Haslam’s administration, OpenMaps is a web portal that contains interactive
data visualizations that showcase key, in-demand metrics from all corners of Tennessee state government.   
9
The Department of Correction has a partnership agreement with STS to provide information technology support and
project management services to the department.

6

 

Department of Correction
Organizational Chart
February 2019

Commissioner

Executive
Operations

Deputy
Commissioner
Administration/
General Counsel

Assistant
Commissioner
Operational
Support

Deputy
Commissioner
Chief of Staff

Assistant Commissioner
Community Supervision

Assistant
Commissioner
Prisons

Chief Financial
Officer

Source: Department of Correction management.

7

Assistant
Commissioner
Rehabilitative
Services

Chief
Interdiction
Officer

 

AUDIT SCOPE
We have audited the Department of Correction for the period October 1, 2017, through
July 31, 2019. Our audit scope included a review of internal controls and compliance with laws,
regulations, policies, procedures, and provisions of contracts. We conducted site visits at the
following correctional facilities:
State Facilities 

CoreCivic Facilities 

Northeast Correctional Complex 
Northwest Correctional Complex 
Turney Center Industrial Complex 

Hardeman County Correctional Facility 
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center 
Whiteville Correctional Facility 

We examined the following areas during the site visits or at the department level:
department leadership oversight;
department’s annual inspections of correctional facilities;
public reporting of inmate deaths and other serious incidents;
inmate sexual abuse and sexual harassment investigations;
inmate medical and mental health services;
correctional staffing and department turnover;
inmate services and support;
department’s community supervision responsibilities;
COMET implementation;
public records management; and
recidivism rates for the department’s educational and vocational programs.
Department management is responsible for establishing and maintaining effective internal control
and for complying with applicable laws, regulations, policies, procedures, and provisions of
contracts and grant agreements.
For our sample design, we used nonstatistical audit sampling, which was the most
appropriate and cost-effective method for concluding on our audit objectives. Based on our
professional judgment, review of authoritative sampling guidance, and careful consideration of
underlying statistical concepts, we believe that nonstatistical sampling provides sufficient
appropriate audit evidence to support the conclusions in our report. Although our sample results
provide reasonable bases for drawing conclusions, the errors identified in these samples cannot be
used to make statistically valid projections to the original populations. We present more detailed
information about our methodologies in the individual sections of this report.
8

 

We conducted our audit in accordance with generally accepted government auditing
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient
appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our
audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.

PRIOR AUDIT FINDINGS

REPORT OF ACTIONS TAKEN ON PRIOR AUDIT FINDINGS
Section 8-4-109(c), Tennessee Code Annotated, requires that each state department,
agency, or institution report to the Comptroller of the Treasury the action taken to implement the
recommendations in the prior audit report. The prior performance audit report was dated
November 2017 and contained five findings. The department filed its report with the Comptroller
of the Treasury on June 28, 2018. We conducted a follow-up of the prior audit findings as part of
the current audit.

REPEATED AUDIT FINDINGS
The prior audit report contained findings stating that
two CoreCivic-managed correctional facilities operated with fewer than approved
correctional staff, did not have all staffing rosters, did not follow staffing pattern
guidelines, and left critical posts unstaffed;
CoreCivic staffing reports at Trousdale Turner Correctional Center and Hardeman
County Correctional Facility contained numerous errors;
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center management’s noncompliance with contractual
requirements and department policies relating to inmate services challenged the
department’s ability to effectively monitor the correctional facility;
probation and parole officers did not always meet supervision requirements; and
probation and parole supervisors did not always meet oversight requirements.
The current audit disclosed the following results of our follow-up work.
Repeated as a Partial Finding
CoreCivic staffing reports still contain numerous errors.

9

 

Repeated Condition in a New Finding
Although the department implemented tools to improve probation and parole
supervisors’ performance, the supervisors were still not consistently performing all
their required duties; we also found that the department did not track whether District
Directors and Correctional Administrators performed their required quarterly case file
reviews.
Repeated as Observations
Although department management took steps to address staffing matters at CoreCivicand state-managed correctional facilities, all of Tennessee’s facilities are operating with
minimal staff.
Although CoreCivic corrected the issues involving inmates’ access to grievance forms
and access to healthcare information at Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, we
found these issues at state-managed facilities.
Although department management initiated corrective action to address the problems
with probation and parole officers’ supervision of offenders, the parole officers did not
meet supervision requirements in one area.

10

 

AUDIT CONCLUSIONS

 
 

 

DEPARTMENT LEADERSHIP OVERSIGHT

CHAPTER CONCLUSION
Finding 1 – The department’s leadership failed to provide adequate oversight activities of
department and correctional facilities management in several areas relating to inmates,
correctional staff, and the community, thereby affecting the department’s ability to meet its
mission (page 11)

 

 

DEPARTMENT LEADERSHIP OVERSIGHT
Background
In order to meet its mission “to operate safe and secure prisons and provide effective
community supervision in order to enhance public safety,” the Department of Correction is
responsible for approximately 98,000 individuals who are either incarcerated in state correctional
facilities or under a type of community supervision. For the department’s incarcerated population,
the department is required to ensure that it provides each inmate under its care safe and secure
accommodations and services, such as medical and mental health care, education, and job training,
so that the inmates become successful within the correctional environment and in the community
upon release.
Audit Results
Audit Objective: Did department leadership provide oversight and establish and implement
controls to ensure the central office and the correctional facilities achieved the
department’s mission through effective and efficient operations and compliance
with federal and state law and department policies and procedures?
Conclusion:

We found that department leadership did not enforce established controls or did
not implement controls to ensure the department and correctional facilities
operated effectively and efficiently and complied with laws and department
policies and procedures. See Finding 1.

Finding 1 – The department’s leadership failed to provide adequate oversight activities of
department and correctional facilities management in several areas relating to inmates,
correctional staff, and the community, thereby affecting the department’s ability to meet its
mission
As a result of our review, we determined that the Department of Correction’s leadership
failed to provide adequate oversight by establishing, implementing, enforcing key controls
governing the department’s and the correctional facilities processes. Providing clear oversight and
enforcing or establishing needed controls is not only one of management’s primary responsibility,
but it is key to successfully fulfilling the department’s mission to operate and maintain safe and
secure prisons; provide effective community supervision; and adequately track and report facility
performance and inmate statistics. We identified the following areas of concern.
Department’s Annual Inspections of Correctional Facilities
The department performs annual inspections of its correctional facilities to assess the
facilities’ operations and compliance with American Correctional Association prison operation
standards, department policies and procedures, and contractual agreements. The department’s
calculation of a facility’s inspection compliance score does not place more weight on critical
inspection findings over other findings. Without a more transparent process and without a

11

 

weighted score methodology, state decision makers cannot effectively assess the severity of issues
at a given facility based solely on the compliance score. For more information, see Finding 2.
Public Reporting of Inmate Deaths and Other Serious Incidents
During our work related to the department’s reporting of inmate deaths and serious
incidents (including accidents, injuries, and lockdowns) that occurred in the state’s correctional
facilities during our audit period, we found multiple instances where correctional staff did not enter
death and incident data in the Tennessee Offender Management Information System (TOMIS), the
department’s official record, as required by department policy. The department uses this data to
report important inmate-related safety statistics to the members of the General Assembly, inmates’
families, and the community. The deficiencies we noted, beginning with Finding 3, question the
accuracy and completeness of the department’s publicly reported information.
Inmate Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment Investigations
According to the department’s policy relating to sexual abuse and sexual harassment, the
department is to provide a “safe, humane, and appropriately secure environment, free from threat
of sexual abuse and sexual harassment for all inmates.” Although department management has
provided inmates with ways to report allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment, it is
imperative that correctional investigators in charge of investigating these serious allegations follow
department policy relating to logging and documenting the investigative process, as well as
properly concluding on the investigation based on the evidence collected. We present additional
details in Finding 9.
Inmates’ Medical and Mental Health Services
Pursuant to Section 41-1-408, Tennessee Code Annotated, the department is to provide
medical and mental health services to inmates under its care, and it does so by contracting with
Centurion of Tennessee, LLC for primary medical services and with Corizon Health for mental
health services. For these two contractors, management implemented an informal “value-added
credit system” outside the scope of the current vendor contracts; the department gives credits to
the vendors for different circumstances and allows the vendors to use the credits to offset assessed
liquidated damages resulting from noncompliance with contract requirements. See Finding 10
and Finding 11 for more information.
Correctional Staffing and Department Turnover
While CoreCivic and state correctional facilities ensured that staff covered critical posts,
both the CoreCivic and state facilities are experiencing difficulties with hiring a sufficient number
of correctional officers. In response to the staff shortage, the CoreCivic and state facilities have
temporarily closed noncritical posts and required officers to work significant overtime to ensure
staff covered critical posts, which places both staff and inmates at risk due to officer fatigue.
Overall, we found that all correctional facilities were operating with minimal staff. For more
information, see Observations 6 and 7.

12

 

Furthermore, despite management’s stated corrective action in the November 2017
performance audit report, we still found that CoreCivic facilities’ monthly staffing reports
contained the same errors noted in the prior audit, which means that department management still
cannot effectively track whether CoreCivic is meeting its required staffing levels. The details are
in Finding 14.
Inmate Services and Support
While the department has a policy in place to perform random monthly inmate drug
screenings at all correctional facilities, staff at four correctional facilities either did not enter inmate
drug screening results in TOMIS or entered inaccurate results; did not perform the minimally
required number of drug screens each month; or, for those inmates who tested positive for alcohol
and drugs, the facility staff did not hold the inmates’ disciplinary hearings timely. For more
information, see Observation 10.
Department’s Community Supervision Responsibilities
The Community Supervision unit ensures that parole and probation officers monitor both
types of offenders to ensure that the offenders comply with the conditions of their release so that
the public is protected. Parole and probation officers use TOMIS to document monitoring efforts
to ensure compliance with supervision requirements. The officers’ supervisors are also responsible
for ensuring that the officers have appropriately monitored the offenders in compliance with
policy. The department’s probation and parole supervisors continue to have issues relating to their
oversight responsibilities. See Finding 17 for additional details.
COMET10 Implementation
The department currently uses a 25-year-old system as its official record of all matters
concerning inmates and offenders in its care. Although the department signed a contract with
Abilis Solutions, Inc. in February 2016 to develop a new offender management system called
COMET, the project is approximately 18 months behind schedule. The department estimates that
COMET may go live by December 2020. Additional information can be found in Observation
13.
U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
GAO’s Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government (Green Book) sets
internal control standards for federal entities and serves as best practices for nonfederal entities.
The Green Book assigns governing bodies responsibilities for an organization’s control
environment, including making strategic decisions. In Principle 12, “Implement Control
Activities,” the Green Book states that “Management should implement internal control through
policies.” Per paragraphs 12.02 and 12.03,

 
10

COMET stands for Correctional Offender Management Electronic Tracking.

13

 

Management documents in policies the internal control responsibilities of the
organization.
Management documents in policies for each unit its responsibility for an
operational process’s objectives and related risks, and control activity design,
implementation, and operating effectiveness. Each unit, with guidance from
management, determines the policies necessary to operate the process based on
the objectives and related risks for the operational process. Each unit also
documents policies in the appropriate level of detail to allow management to
effectively monitor the control activity.
Furthermore, per paragraph 12.05,
Management periodically reviews policies, procedures, and related control
activities for continued relevance and effectiveness in achieving the entity’s
objectives or addressing related risks. If there is a significant change in an entity’s
process, management reviews this process in a timely manner after the change to
determine that the control activities are designed and implemented appropriately.
Changes may occur in personnel, operational processes, or information technology.
Finally, as presented in Principle 16 of the Green Book, “Perform Monitoring Activities,” to ensure
that internal controls are properly designed and operating effectively, “Management should
establish and operate monitoring activities to monitor the internal control system and evaluate the
results.”
Management’s Annual Risk Assessment Process
Pursuant to Section 9-18-102, Tennessee Code Annotated,
(a) Each agency of state government and institution of higher education along with
each county, municipal, and metropolitan government shall establish and
maintain internal controls, which shall provide reasonable assurance that:
(1) Obligations and costs are in compliance with applicable law;
(2) Funds, property, and other assets are safeguarded against waste, loss,
unauthorized use, or misappropriation; and
(3) Revenues and expenditures are properly recorded and accounted for to
permit the preparation of accurate and reliable financial and statistical
reports and to maintain accountability over the assets.
(b) To document compliance with the requirements set forth in subsection (a), each
agency of state government and institution of higher education shall annually
perform a management assessment of risk. The internal controls discussed in
subsection (a) should be incorporated into this assessment. The objectives of
the annual risk assessment are to provide reasonable assurance of the following:
(1) Accountability for meeting program objectives;

14

 

(2) Promoting operational efficiency and effectiveness;
(3) Improving reliability of financial statements;
(4) Strengthening compliance with laws, regulations, rules, and contracts
and grant agreements; and
(5) Reducing the risk of financial or other asset losses due to fraud, waste
and abuse.
Effect of Lack of Oversight
The department’s leadership must provide strong oversight to guide department and
correctional facility management in the administration of their duties and responsibilities. Without
such oversight, the leadership may not promptly identify issues and address key concerns and
cannot effectively manage the strategic direction of the department.
Recommendation
The Commissioner and top management should perform critical oversight responsibilities
to ensure that all levels of department and correctional staff perform their responsibilities in
accordance with federal and state law and department policies and procedures, and within a control
environment as outlined by the Green Book. This may include revising current policies; training
and re-training staff on the department’s policies; and performing additional monitoring to ensure
staff are following laws and policies.
Top management should also assess all risks in the department’s documented risk
assessment, including the risks noted in this report. In addition, top management should
adequately document and approve the risk assessment and the mitigating controls. They should
implement effective controls to ensure compliance with policies, procedures, and other
instructions; assign employees to be responsible for ongoing monitoring of the risks and any
mitigating controls; and take action if deficiencies occur.
Management’s Comment
Concur in part.
The Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) has demonstrated an unwavering
commitment to continual improvements in the process of administering prisons and supervising
offenders in the community.
Well established and highly developed internal controls, policies, and processes are in
place to protect the public and ensure the safe operations of prisons and the delivery of effective
community supervision in Tennessee.
TDOC has a long history of emphasizing internal controls, and they are integrated into our
operational processes on a daily basis as evidenced by their inclusion in every policy written and
every process implemented.

15

 

TDOC is a nationally recognized correctional industry leader having been accredited for
more than thirty years. The agency voluntarily operates under the American Correctional
Association (ACA), a private, non-profit accrediting body for the corrections industry that was
founded in 1870 and has a significant place in the history of prison reform in the United States.
TDOC was the first state system to receive the prestigious ACA Golden Eagle Award,
which represents the highest commitment to excellence in correctional operations and dedication
to enhancing public safety and the well-being of incarcerated individuals. The award is based
upon achieving accreditation in every area of operation. Currently every facility, all of community
supervision, the Tennessee Training Academy, and central office headquarters have all achieved
and maintained ACA accreditation.
In addition to ACA accreditation, TDOC maintains Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
certification at all of our facilities. Each facility is reviewed and evaluated by an independent
Department of Justice (DOJ) Certified PREA Auditor. The DOJ on-site audits occur at each
facility and include review of operations, conducting interviews with staff and inmates, observing
practices, examining policies, and evaluating compliance documentation to determine if the
facility should be issued PREA certification.
As a result of the Department of Justice certified PREA auditing process, TDOC has been
recognized by ACA as one of only six state correctional systems that have earned the Lucy Webb
Hayes Award which signifies that TDOC has achieved both department-wide ACA accreditation
and DOJ PREA certification.
While our policies, practices, and processes have been rigorously evaluated by an outside
independent correctional accrediting organization and found to meet or exceed all nationally
recognized standards of practice, it is nonetheless important to give thoughtful consideration and
provide swift action in the areas identified by the Comptroller’s Office performance report.
The Comptroller’s Office auditors have provided, and we acknowledge, that opportunities
exist to improve and further enhance performance in ways that are in keeping with the United
States Government Accountability Office’s Green Book published in 2016.
Historically, correctional administration is by its very nature compliance to expectation
business. As such, TDOC already has an established control environment as defined by the five
principals in the Green Book.

16

 

TDOC holds ethics as the critical foundation to correctional pursuits and demonstrates its
commitment to ethics through our Honor the Oath Program. The Oath requires all employees to
adhere to a code of conduct that includes following policies and exhibiting due diligence in the
performance of duties or face disciplinary processes as well as prosecution should the infraction
rise to that level.
Under the guidance of the Commissioner and executive leadership, oversight of internal
controls is assigned to the Compliance Division. The Compliance Division is comprised primarily
of individuals with more than ten years of service to the State of Tennessee, and each represent a
significant depth of knowledge regarding our processes to include Community Supervision,
Community Corrections, Fiscal, and PREA and Institutional Compliance.
The Compliance Division is tasked with a variety of functions that contribute to the internal
controls of the department to include conducting annual inspections of all of our facilities,
correctional academy, and community supervision. During these annual inspections, a thorough
review of all facility and district operations is conducted in accordance with the hierarchical
organized structure of responsibility and associated policies.
Internal audits of all of TDOC operations are also conducted annually to include all ten
TDOC facilities, the Tennessee Correctional Academy, and the central office. This includes
reviewing employment hiring, training, and retention. These annual inspections are heavily relied
upon because they are a good report card in determining the current status of internal controls
throughout the department.
The Contract Monitoring Division oversees the internal controls for the privately managed
facilities with an on-site monitor at each facility. Additional oversight is provided quarterly in the
contract areas of food service, health services, and behavioral health services by subject matter
17

 

experts employed by TDOC’s central office. Also, fiscal and program reviews are conducted of
all Community Corrections contracts.
All compliance findings require a Plan of Corrective Action (POCA) from the area or
division where the compliance issue was found. Follow-up reviews are conducted to determine the
effectiveness of the POCA. All results are reported to Executive Staff through written reports as
well as a presentation either during an executive briefing or during the Annual Commissioner’s
Tour.
Accountability for findings is primarily administered by facility or divisional staff where
the noncompliance occurred, but the Commissioner and Executive Staff are engaged in the
process. Although TDOC currently operates in a control environment as defined by the Green
Book, there are four additional components of internal controls.

In order to accomplish the component of risk assessment, a comprehensive risk assessment
is conducted annually of our operations in accordance with the Financial Integrity Act (T.C.A. 918-102). In 2018 TDOC’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) process identified 248
departmental risks in 31 different service areas. The departmental process takes approximately five
months to complete and requires all managers to evaluate their area of responsibility to determine
areas of risk.

18

 

Each Warden, District Director, and Divisional Lead is tasked with reviewing their area to
determine risks as well as a control to minimize each risk. The identification of 248 risks in 2018
required 248 controls to be implemented or maintained. Once identified, each division submits
their assessment to the Executive Leadership to include Deputy and Assistant Commissioners for
review.
A comprehensive submission is made by each division to the Director of Compliance and
included in the report that details the risk and control implemented to include the potential impact
as well as the likelihood of occurrence. The Compliance Division evaluates and compiles the
submission for the Commissioner to review and approve.
Once approved, the required forms are submitted to F&A [the Department of Finance and
Administration] and the Comptroller by December 31 of each year. The ERM process ensures that
the department has accountability for meeting objectives; promotes operational efficiency and
effectiveness; improves the reliability of financial statements; strengthens compliance with laws
regulations, rules, contracts and grant agreements; as well as reduces the risk of financial or other
asset loss due to fraud, waste and abuse.
The process helps to guide internal control activities in the department and helps to focus
internal audit and compliance activities. Control activities are built into policies and procedures
and evaluated for effectiveness at least annually. Evaluation of progress towards achievement of
objectives is a continuous process and multiple layers exist in the review of information.
Information is communicated as accurately and as clearly as possible to internal and
external stakeholders. When compliance issues are noted by the internal control process,
monitoring of the deficiency is established, plans are made for how the issue will be resolved, and
a subsequent evaluation of the effectiveness of the corrective action is performed. All deficiencies
noted, including those identified in this report, are monitored by TDOC to ensure resolution.
In summary, TDOC has an extensive internal control process in place that includes the
essential components identified by the United States Government Accountability Office’s Green

19

 

Book. Nonetheless formal leadership training for TDOC management in Green Book
implementation will be provided.
Going forward TDOC is committed to further strengthening existing internal controls and
oversight processes by taking the decisive step of hiring a senior executive official who will be
responsible for inspecting conformance to standards and contract administration and will report
directly to the Commissioner.

20

 

DEPARTMENT’S ANNUAL INSPECTIONS
OF CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES

CHAPTER CONCLUSION
Finding 2 – The department’s overall annual compliance percentage scores do not provide
a clear measure of correctional facility performance (page 24)

 

 

DEPARTMENT’S ANNUAL INSPECTIONS OF CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES
General Background
The American Correctional Association (ACA) publishes correctional operational
standards designed to enhance correctional practices for the benefit of inmates, staff,
administrators, and the public. The ACA serves as the primary accrediting association for
correctional facilities in Tennessee and the nation. ACA requires accredited facilities to be
inspected every three years by the ACA and to perform annual departmental self-reviews. This
requirement includes both state-run and CoreCivic facilities in Tennessee. Teams of experienced
Department of Correction employees, including central office employees and correctional facilities
subject matter experts, evaluate compliance levels at each facility.11 The department refers to these
self-reviews of compliance as annual inspections.
Inspection Tools
The department’s Compliance Division develops the annual inspection
tools, which incorporate ACA’s operational standards, department policies and
procedures, and contractual agreements. The Compliance Division ensures that
the inspection tool includes, but is not limited to, compliance categories for
security; safety and physical plant; facility administration; inmate education and
jobs; medical and behavioral health; and food services. The annual inspection
tools identify each compliance item subject to inspection and classify each compliance item as
either “critical” or “other.” Management updates the inspection tools annually.
The department has a separate inspection tool designed specifically for inspections at the
CoreCivic-managed facilities. This inspection tool is tailored to the language in each facility’s
contract. According to department management, they developed a different tool for CoreCivic
inspections to avoid duplicating work that the department’s CoreCivic contract monitors perform
monthly.12
During the annual inspections, the department’s team of inspectors use observations,
discussions, and sampling to evaluate the appearance, physical condition, and overall operation of
each correctional facility to determine whether the facility has achieved compliance with each of
the compliance items evaluated. According to department policy, the inspectors determine that an
inspection item on the inspection tool is compliant if the facility met the requirement at least 95%
of the time during the inspection period.
Upon completing the inspection, inspectors finalize the report, which includes information
on a facility’s totals for compliance and noncompliance. The department classifies findings as
either “critical” or “other” in its annual inspection reports. The department defines a critical
inspection finding as
 
11

According to the department, CoreCivic personnel do occasionally participate as inspectors of department-managed
facilities, but only under the supervision of department personnel, and they do not serve as subject matter experts.
12
Contract monitors are department employees who are assigned to monitor contract compliance at the CoreCivicmanaged facilities monthly.

21

 

mission  critical  to  the  safety  and  security  of  the 
operational unit, general public, and inmates/offenders. 
Examples of critical findings that the department identified during the fiscal year 2019
annual inspection cycle include, but are not limited to, the following:
security staff did not follow tier management13 protocols, which are designed to help
staff supervise inmates or perform or document counts of inmates, in accordance with
policy;
staff did not properly inventory keys, tools, equipment, kitchen utensils, or sharp
medical instruments;
facility management did not ensure security gates, sprinkler systems, heating and
cooling systems, and plumbing systems operated properly; and
correctional staff did not perform mental health monitoring checks timely.
Examples of other findings that the department identified during the fiscal year 2019 annual
inspection cycle include, but are not limited to, the following:
staff did not check and record dishwasher temperatures;
kitchen and laundry water heaters leaked;
showers were not in good and clean operating order; and
staff did not properly document medication administration records, filed items in the
wrong sections of inmate medical files, and did not sign laboratory reports.
Upon receiving inspection findings, correctional facility administrators must develop
corrective action plans for all areas of noncompliance; critical findings require expedited
corrective action plans.14 Inspectors also perform a follow-up review for all critical inspection
findings within 30 days of the annual inspection to determine if critical findings were resolved.
The inspectors also perform follow-up inspections 90 days after the initial inspection to determine
whether correctional facility administrators effectively implemented corrective actions for all other
findings; however, the inspectors do not score the follow-up inspections.
Management internally circulate the results of the facilities’ annual inspection reports,
which includes the inspector’s calculation of the facility’s overall compliance percentage score.
According to management, the department also provides the results to legislators upon request.
Based on our review of past legislative hearings, we found that department leadership quotes
overall compliance percentages during legislative hearings as indicators of correctional facility
 
13

Tier management is a supervision method that allows one half—or tier—of a medium or higher custody level group
of inmates out of their cells into the pod or unit for leisure activities.
14
Department Policy 103.07, “Annual Inspection and Compliance Reviews for Facilities,” requires the facilities to
develop corrective actions plans for critical inspection findings within seven working days and to document the plan
on the Critical Response Form.

22

 

performance. In September 2019, the department executed a new contract for the operation of the
Hardeman County Correctional Facility, which included language describing that the facility’s
overall compliance scores were a key performance indicator to measure safety and security of the
correctional facility. The contract further provides that if the facility scores 98% or above, the
department will apply a credit of $113,481.77 toward any outstanding liquidated damages. In
other words, the correctional facility has an incentive to achieve a high overall compliance score
to gain monetary credit to apply against any future liquidated damages assessed for noncompliance
or unmet performance measures.
For the following fiscal years, the inspectors used the applicable tool and reviewed a total
number of compliance items during the annual inspections:
fiscal year 2017 – 645 items reviewed for both department and CoreCivic facilities;
fiscal year 2018 – 68515 items reviewed for department facilities and 578 for CoreCivic
facilities; and
fiscal year 2019 – 69516 items reviewed for department facilities and 595 for CoreCivic
facilities.
Inspection Scoring
To determine the overall compliance percentage, the department uses the following
formula:
𝐶𝑜𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑖𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝐼𝑡𝑒𝑚𝑠
𝐶𝑜𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑖𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝐼𝑡𝑒𝑚𝑠 𝑁𝑜𝑛𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑖𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝐼𝑡𝑒𝑚𝑠

𝑂𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝐶𝑜𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑖𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑃𝑒𝑟𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑔𝑒

For example, inspectors reviewed 596 items at Northwest Correctional Complex in 2019
and found that the facility was compliant on 557 items and noncompliant on 39. The inspector
calculated the overall compliance score based on the above formula: 557 divided by 596 results in
an overall score of 93.46%. In the example, this calculated score alone does not reflect that of the
39 areas of noncompliance, 11 of the 39 noncompliant items were classified as critical findings.
Figure 1 summarizes the annual inspection results and details of the critical inspection findings
for fiscal year 2019 at Northwest Correctional Complex.
Figure 1
Example of Northwest Inspection Results From 2019 Compliance Review17

 
15

For fiscal year 2018, the department reviewed 613 items at Mark Luttrell Transition Center.
16
For fiscal year 2019, the department reviewed 680 items at Mark Luttrell Transition Center.
17
We obtained this exhibit from Northwest’s 2019 Compliance Review. The “critical” column represents critical
findings; the “finding” column represents other findings.

23

 

Audit Results
Audit Objective: Do the department’s annual inspections provide clear and useful results (overall
compliance percentage scores) for decision makers and management?  
Conclusion:

Based on our observation and review of the department’s annual inspection
process and inspection results, the department’s inspections did identify
noncompliance that required correctional facilities to submit corrective action
plans and take action to resolve noncompliance; however, we found that the
department’s calculation of an overall compliance score is potentially
misleading. Specifically, we found that the methodology to calculate the score
does not consider the severity of the noncompliance by differentiating between
critical findings of noncompliance and other findings. See Finding 2.

Finding 2 – The department’s overall annual compliance percentage scores do not provide a
clear measure of correctional facility performance
To achieve our objective, we observed the annual
See the full methodology in 
inspections performed at Whiteville Correctional Facility
Appendix A‐1 on page 29. 
(Whiteville) and Northwest Correctional Complex
(Northwest) to obtain an understanding of the inspection
process, and we examined the Department of Correction’s inspection tools. We also reviewed the
department’s annual inspection reports for all correctional facilities (state-run and CoreCivicmanaged) from fiscal years 2017, 2018, and 2019, and analyzed the scoring process.
Based on our observations of the annual inspection process at Whiteville and Northwest
and on our review of the department’s annual inspection policies, inspection tools, and inspection
reports, we found that the Compliance Division’s calculation of compliance percentages
emphasizes the number of compliant items instead of the severity of critical findings. A
compliance score in the 90s could be construed as an indicator of high performance, when in
reality, the facility may have multiple findings that are mission critical to the safety and security
of the operational unit, general public, and inmates. Table 2 shows the overall compliance
percentages for each correctional facility for fiscal years 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Table 2
Overall Compliance Percentages by State and CoreCivic Facility
Fiscal Years 2017 Through 2019
Correctional Facility
Bledsoe County Correctional Complex
Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility
Mark Luttrell Transition Center
Morgan County Correctional Complex
Northeast Correctional Complex
Northwest Correctional Complex
Riverbend Maximum Security Institution

FY 2017
99.70%
97.51%
N/A*
99.40%
99.50%
97.80%
99.50%
24

FY 2018
99.69%
95.10%
96.20%
98.48%
99.60%
95.98%
97.12%

FY 2019
99.08%
94.09%
97.99%
99.53%
99.32%
93.46%
97.76%

 

Correctional Facility
Tennessee Prison for Women
Turney Center Industrial Complex
West Tennessee State Penitentiary
Hardeman County Correctional Facility†
South Central Correctional Facility†
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center†
Whiteville Correctional Facility†

FY 2017
95.00%
96.00%
97.20%
97.50%
97.00%
85.00%
95.80%

FY 2018
95.20%
98.70%
98.08%
95.07%
95.40%
96.90%
94.57%

FY 2019
96.50%
95.95%
96.57%
98.06%
92.10%
94.96%
94.28%

*Mark Luttrell Transition Center was not inspected in fiscal year 2017 because the facility had just opened.
†Operated by CoreCivic.
Source: Auditors compiled this table from the department’s annual inspection reports.

Table 3 shows the actual number of findings by type for fiscal years 2017, 2018, and 2019;
Table 4 shows the number of findings by type and the compliance scores for all state and
CoreCivic facilities for fiscal year 2019.
Table 3
Inspection Findings by Type and by Facility
Fiscal Years 2017 Through 2019
Correctional
Facility
Bledsoe County
Lois M. DeBerry
Mark Luttrell
Morgan County
Northeast
Northwest
Riverbend
Prison for Women
Turney Center
West Tennessee State
Hardeman County†
South Central†
Trousdale Turner†
Whiteville†

FY 2017
Critical
Other
Findings Findings
0
2
4
12
N/A*
N/A*
0
3
0
3
0
14
0
4
2
23
0
10
0
15
0
15
0
20
4
62
0
21

FY 2018
Critical
Other
Findings Findings
0
2
6
24
6
14
1
8
0
3
5
20
3
14
5
24
4
4
1
12
7
15
2
23
1
14
9
17

FY 2019
Critical
Other
Findings Findings
1
5
10
24
2
9
1
2
4
0
11
28
6
8
5
17
10
14
4
18
3
7
15
28
7
19
7
22

*Mark Luttrell Transition Center was not inspected in fiscal year 2017 because it had just opened.
†Operated by CoreCivic.
Source: Auditors compiled this table from the department’s annual inspection reports.

25

 

Table 4
Fiscal Year 2019 Inspection Results – Findings and Scores Combined
State and CoreCivic Facilities
Correctional Facility
Morgan County
Northeast
Bledsoe County
Mark Luttrell
Riverbend
West Tennessee State
Prison for Women
Turney Center
Lois M. DeBerry
Northwest
Hardeman
Trousdale Turner
Whiteville
South Central

Total
Other
Findings Findings
State Facilities
3
2
4
0
6
5
11
9
14
8
22
18
22
17
24
14
34
24
39
28
CoreCivic
10
7
26
19
29
22
43
28

Critical
Findings

Overall Score

1
4
1
2
6
4
5
10
10
11

99.53%
99.32%
99.08%
97.99%
97.76%
96.57%
96.50%
95.95%
94.09%
93.46%

3
7
7
15

98.06%
94.96%
94.28%
92.10%

The U.S. Government Accountability Office’s Standards for Internal Control in the
Federal Government (Green Book) sets internal control standards for federal entities and serves
as best practices for nonfederal entities. The Green Book assigns governing bodies responsibilities
for an organization’s control environment, including making strategic decisions. In Principle 13,
“Use Quality Information,” the Green Book states that “Management should use quality
information to achieve the entity’s objectives.” Per Paragraph 13.05,
Management processes the obtained data into quality information that supports the
internal control system. This involves processing data into information and then
evaluating the processed information so that it is quality information. Quality
information meets the identified information requirements when relevant data from
reliable sources are used. Quality information is appropriate, current, complete,
accurate, accessible, and provided on a timely basis. Management considers these
characteristics as well as the information processing objectives in evaluating
processed information and makes revisions when necessary so that the information
is quality information.
In Principle 15, “Communicate Externally,” the Green Book states that “Management should
externally communicate the necessary quality information to achieve the entity’s objectives.” Per
Paragraph 15.03,

26

 

Management communicates quality information externally through reporting lines
so that external parties can help the entity achieve its objectives and address related
risks. Management includes in these communications information relating to the
entity’s events and activities that impact the internal control system.
Based on our review of legislative hearings and discussions with management and
inspection staff, we found that department leadership quotes overall compliance scores when
testifying about correctional facilities’ performance before key officials. We found, however, that
the department’s methodology to calculate the overall compliance score
does not adequately capture the severity of noncompliance (“critical” versus “other”
findings); and
is skewed given the high number of items evaluated and deemed compliant, which is
far greater than the number of critical items reviewed.
The department’s new contract with CoreCivic for the Hardeman County Correctional
Facility includes a performance measure tied to the facility’s annual inspection score that allows
CoreCivic to earn a value-added credit. Therefore, it is important that the department’s calculation
of the overall compliance percentages properly and clearly reflects the findings that are mission
critical to the safety and security of the operational unit, general public, and inmates, thereby
providing the public with an accurate picture of a correctional facility’s performance.
Recommendation
The Commissioner should create a weighted scoring methodology for annual inspection
findings that emphasizes critical findings over other findings. Alternatively, the Commissioner
could drop the overall compliance percentages and focus on evaluating and reporting the nature of
the findings, with an appropriate focus on critical findings that require immediate action.
Management’s Comment
Concur.
The agency’s extensive annual inspection process currently utilizes 27 inspection
instruments to review 713 items. The 713 items contain a total of 196 items that are labeled critical
for TDOC institutions. There are 637 items for CoreCivic institutions with 144 items that are
labeled critical.
TDOC welcomes recommendations for additional ways to improve our internal assessment
and control process, and the two alternatives suggested by this audit have been considered: a
weighted scoring system and a separate score system.
In constructing a weighted scoring system, the scoring should allow as much credit for
those items found compliant as would be deducted for the same items found to be noncompliant.
Also the value placed on critical items should be more than the value placed on noncritical items.

27

 

Using a five-point value for critical items and a one-point value for noncritical items is an example
of a weighted scoring system that places more emphasis on critical than noncritical items.
Using this weighted scoring system, each TDOC facility has the opportunity to earn a
maximum of 1,497 points (196 critical items x 5 + 517 noncritical items) and each CoreCivic
facility has the opportunity to earn 1213 points (144 critical items x 5 + 493 noncritical items).
Not all items apply to every institution, so the institution’s possible points would be adjusted
accordingly as this varies from institution to institution. Here are the scores applying this method
for the current audit cycle.
Facility18
NECX
DNSF
WTSP/WTRC
TCIX
TTCC

Original
Percentage
94.53%
93.72%
93.25%
95.55%
86.00%

Weighted Percentage
93.57%
94.93%
94.98%
95.73%
87.28%

Alternatively, the unweighted scores were calculated for each category, critical and
noncritical item, and the results are shown below.
Facility
NECX
DSNF
WTSP/WTRC
TCIX
TTCC

Old Method Score
94.53%
93.57%
93.25%
95.55%
86.00%

CRITICAL
Finding Score
92.70%
96.13%
96.59%
95.90%
88.70%

NONCRITICAL Finding
Score
95.21%
92.56%
92.02%
95.43%
85.21%

While only modest differences exist between the old method of scoring and either of the
recommended scoring systems, both recommended scoring systems will be used going forward to
ensure the highest degree of specificity and clarity in reporting critical and noncritical item scores.

 
18

The facility abbreviations stand for
NECX – Northeast Correctional Complex;
DSNF – Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility;
WTSP/WTRC – West Tennessee State Penitentiary/Women’s Therapeutic Residential Center;
TCIX – Turney Center Industrial Complex; and
TTCC – Trousdale Turner Correctional Center.

28

 

Appendix A
Department’s Annual Inspections of Correctional Facilities
Appendix A-1
Methodologies to Achieve Objective
To achieve our objective, we interviewed the department’s Director of Compliance,
reviewed the department’s policy regarding annual inspections, and observed the annual
inspections performed at Whiteville Correctional Facility and Northwest Correctional Complex to
obtain an understanding of the inspection process. We obtained and reviewed the department’s
inspection tools, we reviewed the American Correctional Association (ACA) standards, and we
interviewed an ACA accreditation specialist to determine the ACA’s expectations relating to the
inspection process. We also reviewed the department’s annual inspection reports from fiscal years
2017, 2018, and 2019 and analyzed the scoring process.

29

 

PUBLIC REPORTING OF INMATE DEATHS
AND OTHER SERIOUS INCIDENTS
CHAPTER CONCLUSIONS
Finding 3 – The department’s ability to provide accurate and complete information
relating to deaths and other serious incidents is problematic (page 40)
Finding 4 – The department did not accurately record inmates’ causes of death in the
Tennessee Offender Management Information System, which impacted the accuracy of the
death information in the Statistical Abstract (page 43)
Finding 5 – Department management did not ensure state and CoreCivic facility staff
followed incident reporting policies, entered incident information accurately into TOMIS,
and maintained supporting documentation for incidents as required (page 46)
Finding 6 – The department did not ensure that state and CoreCivic correctional facility
and health services staff entered all serious accidents, injuries, and illnesses in TOMIS in
accordance with department policy (page 50)
Observation 1 – Department policy does not formally define partial or total institutional
lockdowns; therefore, correctional facility staff may not report them consistently in TOMIS
(page 54)
Finding 7 – The Department of Correction and the Department of Finance and
Administration’s Strategic Technology Solutions did not implement effective internal
controls in two areas, increasing the risk of errors or data loss (page 56)
Observation 2 – The Department of Correction and the Department of Finance and
Administration’s Strategic Technology Solutions did not provide adequate internal controls in
two areas; however, the areas noted do not pose a critical risk to the state (page 56)
Finding 8 – The department published inaccurate and incomplete inmate incident data in
its fiscal year 2018 Statistical Abstract (page 57)

 

PUBLIC REPORTING OF INMATE DEATHS AND OTHER SERIOUS INCIDENTS
General Background
The Department of Correction uses
the Tennessee Offender Management
Information System (TOMIS) to track
information on all aspects of an inmate’s
incarceration from initial intake through
release. One important function of TOMIS
is to track significant events, or incidents,
that occur within correctional facilities and
concern the safety and security of the
facility, community, staff, and inmates.
The department requires security staff at
correctional facilities to enter all incidents
into TOMIS and to perform two levels of
review to ensure accuracy:
first by the shift captain, and
second by the warden or his/her designee.
If either party identifies any reporting errors, the warden/designee must put in a request to the
department’s central office information systems support group to modify or delete the incident.
Department management uses TOMIS to collect incident information to identify safety and
security concerns at correctional facilities, evaluate current practices, identify needs for future
training, and develop corrective action plans. Each October, the department’s Decision Support:
Research and Planning Division publishes a Statistical Abstract, which includes a summary of
incidents correctional facility staff have entered into TOMIS during the previous fiscal year. The
department also reports certain types of incidents, like inmate deaths, to the federal government
annually. Because the public and key government decision makers use this information to draw
conclusions about how correctional facilities are operating, it is vital that management ensure the
incident data in the abstract is valid and reliable. We focused our audit work on the internal
controls over data collection and reporting of serious incidents, including inmate deaths; accidents
and injuries; and facility lockdowns.
General Incident Classification and Reporting
Pursuant to the department’s Policy 103.02, “Incident Reporting,” correctional incidents
are significant events that occur within correctional facilities and are defined within one of three
classes: A, B, or C. Types of incidents include, but are not limited to,
inmates in possession of weapons;

31

 

inmate assaults on staff or other
inmates;

Types of Incident Classifications 
 
Class  A  incidents  involve  life‐threatening 
matters and breaches of security that are likely 
to  cause  serious  operational  problems, 
imminent  threat  to  the  control  and  order  of 
the  correctional  facility,  and/or  risk  to  the 
community.    Examples  include  escapes  and 
attempted  escapes,  deaths,  assaults,  hostage 
situations, total institutional lockdowns, rapes, 
certain uses of force, and various weapons. 

correctional officers’ use of
force to restrain inmates, such as
pepper spray, handcuffs and leg
irons, medical restraints (arm
and leg restraints to protect from
self-harm), deadly weapons, and
bean bag rounds;19
deaths;
discovery of contraband;

Class  B  incidents  are  less  serious  incidents 
involving injuries to staff and/or inmates that 
cause  the  disruption  of  the  normal  facility 
operation  or  that  pose  a  possible  risk  to  the 
health or general safety of the general public.  
Examples  include  bomb  threats,  drug 
confiscation,  illnesses,  partial  institutional 
lockdowns,  natural  disasters,  tobacco 
possession, and cell phone possession. 

injuries;
lockdowns; and
inmate defiance.
Department Policies Governing Incidents

When incidents occur in a
correctional facility, correctional staff at
Class  C  incidents  are  the  least  serious;  they 
both state and CoreCivic facilities are
pose no threat to the local community or to the 
required to follow several department
facility’s safe and secure operation.  Examples 
policies, including reporting to the
include  defiance,  positive  drug  screens, 
department’s Central Communication
fighting,  possession  of  intoxicants  such  as 
Center (CCC), which is a unit within the
alcohol,  sexual  harassment  and  misconduct, 
department’s central office that is
and abuse of telephone privileges. 
responsible for receiving and disseminating
 
critical incident information. In addition,
Source: Tennessee Department of Correction Policy 103.02. 
correctional staff may have to initiate
disciplinary action against the inmate(s)
involved and may have to use force in response to certain events. See Appendix B-1 on page 60
for a list of the department’s policies governing serious incidents.
CoreCivic facilities follow the department’s policies, but CoreCivic staff also use two
additional forms, the 5-1a Incident Report and the 5-1c Incident Statement, to record first-hand
accounts of incidents and to summarize all events surrounding an incident. CoreCivic staff may
also record first-hand accounts of incidents using departmental forms, such as the witness
statements found in the Use of Force packets and the disciplinary forms that record disciplinary
actions taken against an inmate as the result of an incident.
The department does not consider CoreCivic’s 5-1a and 5-1c forms part of its official
record. Staff at the state facilities do not use a standard form to record initial incidents, so the first 
19

Bean bag rounds are small fabric pillows filled with lead that an officer fires from a shotgun to briefly immobilize
an inmate without causing long-term injury.

32

 

hand accounts of incidents consist of documents from the Use of Force packets if the incident
involved a use of force.
Inmate Death, Accident, and Injury Reporting by Facility Health Services Staff
Because accidents, injuries, illnesses, and deaths occur in correctional facilities, the
department has established policies and procedures that instruct correctional facility health
services staff on the process to provide and document immediate medical attention given to
inmates, employees, and visitors who sustain injuries or suffer medical emergencies at the
facilities, as well as procedures to follow when a death occurs at a correctional facility.
The department enacted Policy 113.53, “Accident/Injury Reporting,” to establish accident
and injury reporting procedures and to facilitate the monitoring of accidents and injuries for quality
improvement and risk management purposes.
This policy defines two kinds of injuries:
injuries of greater degree or severity – a wound or other damage to the body that
requires intervention beyond first aid (such as a deep laceration, fracture, or
concussion), especially if the inmate or staff must be taken to an off-site health services
provider; and
minor self-limiting injuries – a wound or other damage to the body that will heal on
its own or can be treated with first aid (such as a bruise, abrasion, bump, or laceration
that does not require stitches).
Both departmental and CoreCivic health services staff are required to document all injuries
with a greater degree of severity, occupational injuries, injuries associated with institutional
violence, and deaths that occur within the facilities on a paper Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury
Report and then key the information into the department’s offender management system,
Tennessee Offender Management Information System (TOMIS), under the Accidents screen.20
Staff document minor self-limiting injuries on progress notes21 in the inmates medical file; these
are not required to be documented in TOMIS.
The Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Reports allow facility health services staff to
document important information, such as
the location, date, and time of the accident, injury, or death;
the type of injury or incident (work-related, sports, violence, use of force, or other);
the weapon, property, equipment, or machinery involved;
patient and witness statements of the event;
 
20

TOMIS has multiple screens where users can input data. The screens that deal with health data, like the Accidents
screen, are used by health services staff only.
21
Health services staff use progress notes to document their interactions with inmates, observations of medical
conditions, and treatment provided. These forms go in the inmate’s health file and are not in TOMIS.

33

 

the patient assessment and plan of treatment (also called SOAP)22 and/or the referral to
an outside hospital;
the date and time of treatment; and
whether the inmate died.
In most cases, if health services staff make an entry in TOMIS on the Accidents screen for
a serious injury, inmate hospitalization, work-related injury, injury associated with violence, or
death, the facility’s security staff should enter a corresponding entry on a separate TOMIS
Incidents screen. The Accidents screen contains the medical assessments of the injury or a
description of the circumstances of death, and the Incidents screen contains the narrative of the
incident (such as an assault, fight, pending investigation, work-related injury, inmate
hospitalization, or manner of death) that corresponds to the injury and lists the parties involved.
While the department includes the information for injuries of greater degree or severity
in its annual Statistical Abstract, management extracts this information from the TOMIS Incidents
screen, which correctional officers enter data for, rather than from the Accidents screens used by
facility health services staff.
Additional Procedures for Inmate Deaths
In addition to the injuries of greater degree
or severity reporting requirements (for both facility
health services and security staff), in the event of an
inmate’s death, the correctional facility security
staff enter the death as an incident in TOMIS and
select a cause of death based on the death incident
type. Furthermore, correctional facility health
services and department central office staff are
required to follow additional policies involving
inmate deaths. See Appendix B-1 on page 60 for
detailed descriptions of each policy.

TOMIS Inmate Death Incident Type 
Accident 
Execution ‐ electric chair 
Execution ‐ lethal injection 
Homicide 
Natural 
Suicide 
 
Source: Tennessee Department of 
Correction Policy 103.02. 

The facility health administrator places the
Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Report (if
applicable), the Problem Oriented Progress Report,23 the Mortality and Morbidity Summary
Report, and the original inmate death certificate in the inmate’s health record. For documented
Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Reports, health services staff also record the inmate’s death
on the TOMIS Accidents screen to document the inmate’s death. The health services staff should
 
22

SOAP is an acronym medical staff use to document a patient’s medical assessments, and, according to department
policy, this assessment is confidential. SOAP stands for
Subjective – patient-reported complaints, history, and symptoms;
Objective – exam and diagnostic tests;
Assessment – diagnostic impression, rule-outs; and
Plan – treatment plan, interventions, and follow-up.  
23
Problem Oriented Progress Reports are documents that medical personnel use to track an inmate’s medical
condition. They are a record of medical problems.

34

 

enter information contained in the Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Report that documents how
the inmate was found; the treatment provided by the facility medical staff; and whether the inmate
was transported to a local emergency room, hospital, or county medical examiner or coroner. The
death certificate documents the medical examiner’s official cause of death.
The department’s Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee reviews all data related to
an inmate’s death and illness for quality assurance purposes. The committee also identifies risk
factors related to inmate morbidity and mortality and recommends and implements strategies to
reduce risk factors, such as disease management, and improve the health of the inmate. The
committee members include the department’s Chief Medical Director, the department’s Associate
Medical Director, Centurion and Corizon’s24 Chief Medical Officer/Medical Directors, and the
facility’s health services administrators. The Death in Custody Coordinator reports inmate death
statistics to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics for publication.
The department’s Chief Medical Officer stated that department policy requires designated
health services staff at facilities (both CoreCivic and state-managed) to enter death information
into the Online Sentinel Event Log (OSEL)25 within six hours of the medical event. This webbased log is separate from TOMIS because it contains confidential health information.
When security staff enter inmate death information into TOMIS, the system limits the
available death incident codes. Staff can only enter an inmate’s death as Natural, Accident,
Suicide, or Homicide (excluding the codes for an execution).26 Because security staff must report
incidents into TOMIS within eight hours of the event, staff initially enter the cause and time of
death based on their initial observation. When the Death in Custody Coordinator sends the
inmate’s certified death certificate to the correctional facility, she sends it to health services staff
for filing in the inmate’s medical record. The department’s Chief Medical Officer stated that if
the official cause of death is different than what the security staff originally entered in TOMIS, the
security staff should update the entry in TOMIS. In order for security staff to update the entry,
health services staff have to communicate the inmate’s official cause of death to security staff
because only the facility’s security staff can update the inmate’s cause of death on the TOMIS
Incidents screen.
For inmate deaths from October 1, 2017, to May 30, 2019, security staff at the correctional
facilities classified 150 of the 171 total death incidents (88%) as Natural in TOMIS based on the
results of the initial observation when the death was discovered. See Table 5.

 
24

Centurion and Corizon are the department’s medical and mental health vendors. CoreCivic provides its own medical
and mental health care.
25
According to the department’s Policy 111.54, the department uses OSEL to report clinical decisions requiring
mediation from the central office or significant events that impact daily operations of health and behavioral health
care services within the facility. These entries would include things like medical emergencies; serious illnesses and
injuries; infirmary and hospital admissions; suicide attempts; deaths; and missing medical records.
26
The warden (or his/her designee) at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution enters execution information into
the TOMIS Incidents screen.

35

 

Table 5
Classification of Inmate Deaths in the TOMIS Incidents Screen
October 1, 2017, Through May 30, 2019
Classification of Inmate Death
Natural Death
Homicide
Accident
Suicide
Execution – Lethal Injection
Execution – Electric Chair
Total Inmate Deaths

Number of Deaths
150
4
1
12
2
2
171

Percentage
88%
2%
1%
7%
1%
1%
100%

Source: TOMIS.

Lockdown Incident Reporting
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word lockdown describes a situation
where people are temporarily prevented from entering or leaving an area or building (such as a
school) during a threat of danger. In a correctional setting, the term lockdown refers to the
confinement of inmates to their cells for a temporary period for security purposes. Department
staff described lockdowns as an appropriate security measure correctional officers use to control
the movements of inmates in response to a variety of situations, such as a major fight or infection
control.
The department’s Policy 103.02, “Incident Reporting,” outlines these procedures and
identifies two types of lockdowns that must be reported in TOMIS and to the CCC:
a partial institutional lockdown, and
a total institutional lockdown.
The department also publicly reports the number of partial and total lockdowns annually within
the incident summary table in its Statistical Abstract.
Facility Incident Reviews and TOMIS Modifications
At the facility level, the responding correctional officer completes a draft incident report
when the incident occurs, and the shift commander subsequently reviews the report before staff
enter the incident into TOMIS. Once entered into TOMIS, the warden/superintendent reviews
each incident in TOMIS for clarity and accuracy to ensure the information reflects the actual events
reported on the incident report.
According to the department’s Policy 103.02 and 502.01, when a correctional facility has
to change or delete an incident already entered into TOMIS, the warden/superintendent/designee
will submit an Incident/Disciplinary Modification or Deletion Request form to the Assistant
Commissioner of Prisons or the Deputy Commissioner of Operations. When the facility emails

36

 

the change request to the central office, the department’s Prison Operations Team reviews the
request for propriety and changes the incident in TOMIS as requested.
According to department management, central office staff do not perform any TOMIS
reviews of recorded incidents, beyond the reviews conducted at the facility level, to check for
accuracy, consistency, and compliance.
Department’s Annual Report and Statistical Abstract
Each October, as required by Section 4-4-114, Tennessee Code Annotated, the department
publishes an Annual Report that describes the department’s organization and budget; outlines
major initiatives and achievements; and provides basic demographics of incarcerated and
supervised offenders. The department’s Decision Support: Research and Planning Division
(Research and Planning) also publishes a companion report, called the Statistical Abstract, which
provides a deep dive into the various statistics that the department tracks. The most recent abstract
available during our audit period was for fiscal year 2018; it is organized into the following
categories:
Department Statistics – budget, personnel, vacancy, and turnover;
Prison Statistics – inmate population capacity at each facility, felon characteristics,
local jail population, admissions and releases, sentence length and time served, and
prison incidents;
Community Supervision Statistics – population characteristics, admissions and
releases, and supervision standards; and
Offender Accountability, Programs and Services – community service, jobs,
rehabilitative services, educational programs, drug screens, inmate health services, and
behavioral health services.
Research and Planning obtains most of the information reported in the abstract from
TOMIS. Strategic Technology Solutions is responsible for extracting information from TOMIS,
like correctional facilities’ incident data, by automatically generating and sending a Monthly
Comprehensive Incident Summary report to Research and Planning and key department
management personnel, who use this information to monitor the type and frequency of incidents
in the correctional facilities. Research and Planning then compiles all these monthly incident
reports for a given fiscal year into one table for inclusion in the annual Statistical Abstract. We
examined the correctional facilities’ reporting of incidents, including inmate deaths, and how the
department reports incident data in the annual Statistical Abstract.
Appendix B-5 on page 65 shows the prison incident summary table included in the
department’s fiscal year 2018 Statistical Abstract. The table summarizes incident data entered into
TOMIS by facility operations personnel on felony arrests (of staff, inmates, and visitors); arson;
assaults; deaths; disturbances; drugs; escapes; fires; injuries; illnesses; rapes; strikes; uses of force;
weapons; lockdowns; and other miscellaneous incidents.

37

 

Audit Results
1. Audit Objective: Did department management establish internal control processes to ensure
the department’s critical information and incident data is reliable and that
management and staff met reporting requirements?
Conclusion:

Based on our work related to inmate deaths; other serious incidents,
including accidents and injuries; and lockdowns, we found that, although
the department has policies governing data and reporting in TOMIS, the
department and correctional facility management did not ensure staff
followed all data entry policies and did not adequately review incident data
to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the data.
As a result, department management cannot rely on TOMIS, the official
system of record, to capture, track, and provide data to report critical
department and correctional facility statistics for internal and external users.
See Finding 3.

2. Audit Objective: Did staff update the causes of inmate deaths in TOMIS once they learned
the official cause of death based on the inmates’ certified death certificates?
Conclusion:

We found that, after reviewing death certificates relating to 38 inmate
deaths, the department did not accurately classify 8 inmate deaths (21%) in
TOMIS, which resulted in inaccurate reporting of death information. See
Finding 4.

3. Audit Objective: Did deceased inmates’ paper health files contain the required
documentation to support and document their deaths?
Conclusion:

Based on our review of paper inmate health files relating to 38 inmate
deaths, we found at least 14 inmate health files (37%) did not contain all
required documents, such as Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Reports,
Problem Oriented Progress Reports, Morbidity and Mortality Summaries,
and certified death certificates. See Finding 4.

4. Audit Objective: Did the correctional facilities staff appropriately document and enter Class
A (the most serious) incidents into TOMIS?
Conclusion:

Based on our audit testwork, state and CoreCivic correctional facilities staff
did not appropriately maintain original documentation of Class A incidents,
nor did they consistently enter the incidents into TOMIS. See Finding 5.

5. Audit Objective: Did department management and staff ensure that, when required by
departmental policy, health services staff entered required accidents,
illnesses, and traumatic injuries on the Accidents screen and that security
staff entered the precipitating incident on the Incidents screen in TOMIS?

38

 

Conclusion:

Based on our review of serious accident/injury reporting practices, we
found that at two CoreCivic facilities (Whiteville Correctional Facility and
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center), the health services staff had not
entered any serious accidents or injuries on the Accidents screen in TOMIS
during our audit period. We found the lack of reporting questionable given
the nature of the correctional environment.
We also found that state health services staff had not always entered serious
injuries and illnesses into TOMIS in accordance with department policy at
Hardeman County Correctional Facility, Northeast Correctional Complex,
Northwest Correctional Complex, and Turney Center Industrial Complex.
We also compared the entries health services staff made on the Accidents
screen to entries security staff made on the Incidents screen for the same
event and found instances where security staff at both state and CoreCivic
facilities failed to make the appropriate entry on the Incidents screen. This
data is important because management uses the entries from the Incidents
screen for security purposes and as the basis for publicly reporting the
incident data in the department’s annual Statistical Abstract. Management
did not ensure that both health services and correctional staff entered
accurate and complete information. See Finding 6.

6. Audit Objective: Did correctional staff consistently report partial and total lockdowns in
TOMIS in accordance with department policy? 
Conclusion:

Based on our audit work, although department policy identifies the types of
lockdowns, we found that management has not defined partial lockdowns
in the department policy, resulting in inconsistent lockdown reporting by
correctional staff. See Observation 1.

7. Audit Objective: Did the department and Strategic Technology Solutions (STS) follow state
information systems security policies regarding information systems
controls?
Conclusion:

We determined that the department and STS did not provide adequate
internal controls in two specific areas. See Finding 7. In addition, we found
minor issues in two areas. See Observation 2.

8. Audit Objective: Did the department’s Statistical Abstract provide accurate information
regarding correctional facility incidents to the public and members of the
General Assembly?
Conclusion:

Based on our review of incident data that the department included in its
fiscal year 2018 Statistical Abstract, we found that department management
did not ensure the incident information reported to the public was accurate
and transparent. See Finding 8.

39

 

Finding 3 – The department’s ability to provide accurate and complete information relating
to deaths and other serious incidents is problematic
Based on our audit work related to deaths and other serious incidents, we found that
Department of Correction and correctional facility management did not always ensure staff
followed all policies related to entering and reviewing incident information in the Tennessee
Offender Management Information System (TOMIS), the department’s official system of record.
We noted several instances where information related to incidents was incorrect, incomplete, or
not entered at all. As a result, information reported to the public, including families of inmates
and decision makers, may be incorrect. In addition, department management needs accurate
information on incidents to assess the safety and security conditions for staff and inmates.
Inmate Deaths
For eight inmate deaths that were classified as natural deaths in TOMIS, we found that five
inmates actually died due to drug overdoses, two due to homicides, and one due to suicide. We
also found that inmate health files did not contain all required department documentation that
describe the events involving the death, including certified death certificates. See Finding 4.
Serious Incidents
We found that correctional facility staff did not appropriately maintain original
documentation of Class A incidents, which are the most serious type of incidents that occur in
correctional facilities, nor did they consistently enter the incidents into TOMIS in accordance with
policy. See Finding 5.
Accident and Injury Reporting
Based on our review of serious accident/injury reporting practices, we found that at two
CoreCivic facilities (Whiteville Correctional Facility and Trousdale Turner Correctional Center),
the health services staff had not entered any serious accidents or injuries on the Accidents screen
in TOMIS during our audit period—approximately one and a half years. Given the nature of the
correctional environment and when compared to other correctional facilities, it is unlikely that a
facility would have no serious incidents to report.
We found that health services staff had not entered serious injuries and illnesses into
TOMIS in accordance with department policy at Hardeman County Correctional Facility,
Northeast Correctional Complex, Northwest Correctional Complex, and Turney Center Industrial
Complex.
We also found instances at both state and CoreCivic facilities where correctional staff did
not make the appropriate accident/injury entries on the TOMIS Incidents screen. Department
management extracts information correctional facility staff enter on the Incidents screen in TOMIS
as the basis for the statistics and information in the department’s annual Statistical Abstract. See
Finding 6.

40

 

Lockdown Reporting
Although department policy identifies the types of lockdowns, we found that management
has not defined partial lockdowns in its department policy, resulting in inconsistent reporting of
this security measure by correctional staff in the department’s Statistical Abstract. See
Observation 1.
Statistical Abstract
The department uses information from TOMIS as the basis for its annual Statistical
Abstract, which is available to the public on the department’s website. The Statistical Abstract
contains information on incidents such as assaults, injuries, rapes, lockdowns, and deaths, all of
which comes from data the correctional staff entered into TOMIS. We also found that the
department
included inactive incident codes that showed zero incidents occurring in its abstract for
fiscal years 2017 and 2018;
did not report the incident summary table by facility in fiscal year 2017, making
comparisons between facilities impossible; and
did not include a label in the incident summary tables to explain that the tables excluded
some correctional facility incidents.
These deficiencies impact management’s ability to adequately track and report critical
information and incident data used to assess conditions in its correctional facilities. See Finding
8.
Information Systems
We determined that the department and Strategic Technology Solutions did not provide
adequate internal controls in two specific areas. See Finding 7. In addition, we found minor
issues in two areas. See Observation 2.
Overall Effect and Criteria
The department relies on the information entered into TOMIS to provide a snapshot of how
its correctional facilities are operating. If that information is not entered correctly, department
management cannot rely on TOMIS to report critical department and correctional facility statistics
to internal and external users.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office’s Standards for Internal Control in the
Federal Government (Green Book) provides internal control standards for federal entities and
serves as best practices for state and other nonfederal entities. In Principle 13, “Use Quality
Information,” the Green Book dictates that management of an entity “should use quality
information to achieve that entity’s objectives.” According to the Green Book, to obtain and use

41

 

quality information, management must identify information requirements, obtain relevant data
from reliable sources, and then process data into quality information.
Management first identifies the necessary information requirements for achieving
objectives and addressing risks while also considering “the expectations of both internal and
external users.” Management then “evaluates both internal and external sources of data for
reliability,” assessing whether the sources “provide data that are reasonably free from error and
bias and faithfully represent what they purport to represent.” Paragraph 13.05 of the Green Book
adds
Quality information is appropriate, current, complete, accurate, accessible, and
provided on a timely basis. Management considers these characteristics as well as
the information processing objectives in evaluating processed information and
makes revisions when necessary so that the information is quality information.
Management uses the quality information to make informed decisions and evaluate
the entity’s performance in achieving key objectives and addressing risks.
Recommendation
Department management should ensure that staff receive proper training on entering
information into TOMIS and should stress the importance that the public and decision makers
place on the data that comes from TOMIS. Management should also review its policies to ensure
they align with current practices.
Management’s Comment
Concur in part.
All deaths in custody have been reported in accordance with statutory requirements.
It is true that some associated documents for a few of the deaths were received at a later
time and had not yet been entered into TOMIS when the audit was performed.
Nonetheless, department management stands by the process of properly reporting and
documenting the deaths in custody but remains committed to finding opportunities, such as the
adoption of an electronic medical records system, to further improve the process.
As it relates to serious incidents, department management notes that the vast majority of
incidents in the testwork were correctly entered and that the audit expectation for maintaining
documentation, in the form of incident drafts, is not required by policy. However, we will
implement policy changes to ensure the most accurate and transparent process is in place.

42

 

Finding 4 – The department did not accurately record inmates’ causes of death in the
Tennessee Offender Management Information System, which impacted the accuracy of the
death information in the Statistical Abstract
We obtained a list of 171 inmate deaths from
See the full methodology in 
October 1, 2017, through May 30, 2019, to determine the
Appendix B‐10 on page 74. 
accuracy of inmate deaths recorded in the Tennessee
Offender Management Information System (TOMIS). We
compared this list to narrative information health services staff entered in the Online Sentinel
Event Log (OSEL) to identify any natural deaths that could be misclassified. As a result of this
comparison, we identified 38 inmate deaths with questionable causes and compared the causes of
deaths in TOMIS to the inmates’ certified death certificates.
Conflicts Between Cause of Death in TOMIS and the Death Certificate
Based on our testwork, we determined that the Department of Correction did not update
TOMIS with the official cause of death for 8 of the 38 inmates tested (21%) who died in custody.
See Table 6.
Table 6
Results of Testwork – Inmate Cause of Death Comparison

Inmate Location

TOMIS
Incidents
Screen

Northwest

Natural

Northwest

Natural

Lois M. DeBerry

Natural

Turney Center
Turney Center
Morgan County

Natural
Natural
Natural

Riverbend

Natural

Lois M. DeBerry

Natural

Information by Source and Listed Cause of Death
TOMIS
Dead
Department of Health’s
Offender
Issued Death Certificate
Screen27
Overdose of fentanyl and
Natural
Accident
synthetic opioid
Overdose of fentanyl and
Natural
Accident
methamphetamine
Complications from falling
Natural
Accident
off top bunkbed
Drug
Overdose of fentanyl and
Related
Accident
methamphetamine
Natural
Accident
Fentanyl overdose
28
Natural
(Issued)
Bled out after reopening
previously self-inflicted
Suicide
Suicide
wound
Complications from serious
Natural
Homicide
assault

 
27

The Dead Offender screen is an administrative screen in TOMIS where correctional officers log the date, location,
and type of death to remove inmates from the population count of the correctional facility.
28
Although the department did not update this inmate’s cause of death in TOMIS, we cannot disclose the cause because
the department is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding this inmate’s death.

43

 

The Chief Medical Officer stated that although the TOMIS Incidents screen records events
that occur at the facility to ensure the facility’s safety and security, the Incidents screen is not
intended to capture/record the official cause of death for an inmate who dies in custody. While we
understood the Chief Medical Officer’s point, we found that the department’s Research and
Planning Division uses the TOMIS Incidents screen data to report inmate deaths by cause in the
department’s Statistical Abstract. The department’s Death in Custody Coordinator ultimately
receives the inmate death certificates and is better suited to provide accurate statistics related to
inmates’ causes of death.
To determine whether the department accurately reported inmate deaths to the U.S.
Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, we also compared the 38 inmate deaths we
tested to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ reports and found that the Death in Custody Coordinator
accurately reported the cause of death for these 38 inmates to the bureau.29 We also found that the
federal report contained more useful and accurate inmate death information than the department’s
required annual Statistical Abstract.
According to discussion with the Death in Custody Coordinator, we learned that she relies
on various sources of information, including the official death certificate,30 rather than death
information in TOMIS for federal reporting purposes.
Missing Inmate Health File Documents
Based on our testwork, we also determined that the department did not maintain the
required supporting documentation relating to inmate deaths in the inmates’ paper health files.
Specifically, we found that 14 of 38 deceased inmate health files (37%) did not contain the
documents listed in Appendix B-1 on page 60 as required by department policy. According to the
Chief Medical Officer, the facility health administrator is responsible for placing the documents
in the inmates’ health files.
Additionally, according to department policy, staff should maintain an inmate’s death
certificate in the inmate’s health file. From our initial file review, we found that management had
not ensured that staff placed 21 of 38 (55%) death certificates in the health files. When we brought
the missing documents to management’s attention and asked them to follow up on the missing
death certificates, the Death in Custody Coordinator provided the 21 death certificates.31 Given
our testwork results, management lacked an adequate control process to ensure inmates’ health
records had all the required documentation. See Table 7 for the list of documents missing from
the initial file review that the department subsequently provided. See Appendix B-6 on page 68
for testwork details.
 
29

The Death in Custody Coordinator enters the information into the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ online database after
she receives the official inmate death certificate indicating the cause of death.
30
Other sources include inmate death information provided by the Central Communication Center notifications,
information entered in OSEL, death notices from the Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility (which provides various
medical and mental health services to inmates with complex medical issues), death notices from the Assistant
Commissioner for Prisons, and death notices from Victim Services Coordinators.
31
For these 21 death certificates, the inmates passed away between November 8, 2017, and May 12, 2019.

44

 

Table 7
Results of Testwork – Missing Documentation From Deceased Inmates Health File Review

Required Death-Related
Documentation
Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury
Reports
Problem Oriented Progress Reports
Mortality and Morbidity Summaries
Death Certificates

# of Files
Missing From
Initial File
Review
12
4
23
21

# of Files
Provided After
Follow-up
Request
2
4
9
21

# of Total
Missing
Documents*
10
14
-

*We have reported for each missing document type even though the error may represent the same inmate file that
required multiple documents given the nature of the incident.

To determine whether management maintained accurate death information in TOMIS, we
also performed testwork to review both TOMIS Accidents and Incidents screens. Based on our
testwork, we found that the health services staff also did not enter 15 of 38 inmate deaths (39%)
on the TOMIS Accidents screen as required by Policy 113.53, “Accident/Injury Reporting.” Based
on discussions with the Chief Medical Officer, he could not explain why the death certificates
were not in the inmate health records when management provided us the files or why health
services staff did not enter the death information in the TOMIS Accidents screen. We also found
that correctional staff did not update the TOMIS Incidents screens for 8 of 38 inmate deaths (21%)
once the official death certificates became available.
The department prepares the Statistical Abstract based on the TOMIS Incidents screen.
Therefore, it is imperative that management ensure that correctional staff timely and accurately
update TOMIS for the inmate’s official cause of death when the death certificate becomes available
(since the cause of death is not known when staff must initially report the incident into TOMIS).
Recommendation
The Commissioner should immediately review the department’s death reporting
procedures to ensure all inmate deaths are fully and accurately documented in all sources. In
addition, the Commissioner should work to improve death reporting communication among
relevant parties, including health services and correctional facility staff, to ensure the department
reports accurate death statistics.
Given the current efforts for COMET (the new offender management system)
implementation, the Commissioner should ensure COMET is designed to provide staff with the
appropriate codes to use when classifying inmate deaths for initial death reporting while awaiting
final certified death certificates. The department should consider adding a pending death incident
status to force facility staff to update the official cause of death once it is received.
Management’s Comment
Concur.

45

 

As noted by the auditors, this Department’s Death in Custody Report, required by the U.S.
Department of Justice, is 100% accurate.
As a result of information provided during this audit and our own continuous review,
department management is creating procedures to ensure all inmate deaths are fully and accurately
documented in all sources.
We are implementing a Pending Death Investigation code in TOMIS for staff to select until
the official death certificate is received. Once received, the official manner of death will be updated
in our offender management system. Likewise, additional cause of death information will be
placed in a narrative screen associated with the death incident. This will allow the department to
maintain the manner of death and cause of death on the same narrative screen. (A matter for
clarification, TOMIS incident reporting related to deaths in custody identifies the manner of death
not the cause of death as also mentioned in this audit.)
We are also examining current policy requirements concerning inmate and health records
associated with those inmates who die in custody. Previously, these files were maintained at each
facility. We are examining the feasibility of creating a centralized records storage repository for
all inmate files that are considered “Death in Custody.” This will allow a copy of the death
certificate to be sent to a central location for inclusion in the inmate health record. At the same
time the copy of the death certificate is sent for inclusion in the health record, a copy will be
forwarded to Operations to be used to update the TOMIS incident. The department will update
policy to reflect newly established/revised procedures.
Finding 5 – Department management did not ensure state and CoreCivic facility staff
followed incident reporting policies, entered incident information accurately into TOMIS,
and maintained supporting documentation for incidents as required
From a total population of 2,271 serious (Class
For the full methodology, including the 
A) incidents recorded in the Tennessee Offender breakdown of the population and sample 
Management Information System (TOMIS) from
sizes for each correctional facility we 
October 1, 2017, through May 30, 2019, at the 6
visited, see Appendix B‐10 on page 74. 
facilities we visited, we tested a total random sample
of 156 serious incidents to determine whether
correctional staff entered the incidents into TOMIS in accordance with Department of Correction
policy.
Based on our review, we found that staff at the correctional facilities did not enter incidents
into TOMIS as required by department policy. In addition, we found that the department did not
maintain the original documentation to support incident entries into TOMIS. By policy, CoreCivic
is required to use department-approved forms and record complete incident information into
TOMIS; however, CoreCivic correctional staff did not always do so. We performed testwork
during site visits at six correctional facilities (three state-managed and three CoreCivic-operated
facilities), where we found numerous instances of noncompliance, including the following:

46

 

correctional staff involved in use of force incidents did not always submit the required
documents to the warden in accordance with policy;
wardens did not submit required documents pertaining to assaults on facility staff to
the Assistant Commissioner of Prisons and the Director of the Office of Investigations
and Compliance in accordance with policy;
correctional staff did not ensure that supporting documentation (such as 5-1a and 5-1c
forms and witness statements) for incidents matched the incident information entered
into TOMIS;
the department does not require correctional facility staff to preserve supporting
documentation of incident information (such as draft incident reports) entered into
TOMIS—in some cases, even though management did not require facilities to keep the
draft incident reports, management did provide these reports to us for our review if they
still had them;
correctional staff did not enter all required information related to incidents into TOMIS;
correctional staff could not locate supporting documentation that we requested for our
audit;
correctional staff did not hold disciplinary hearings within the required timeframe;
correctional staff did not use the incident report form or used the form incorrectly, while
staff at other facilities were not aware that the form existed; and
correctional staff did not always report incidents to the Central Communication Center
within the required timeframe.
See Chart 1 for a summary of our testwork results. The details of noncompliance for
incident reporting is located on Appendix B-7 on page 68.

47

 

Chart 1
Number of Errors by Type of Noncompliance and by Correctional Facility
For the Period October 1, 2017, to April 12, 2019
30

25

20

15
28
26

25

26
24

24

26
24

24
21

10
18

17

16

15

12
5

9 9
5

6

6
3

7

7

7

6

7

7
5

4

3

2

7

2 1

3

3

0
Incident entry not made Draft of incident does Incident not reported to Disciplinary hearing not Staff Assault Incident Use of Force Report not All required information
submitted timely
not entered into TOMIS
into TOMIS within 8
not match TOMIS
CCC
held timely
Review not completed
hours
timely
Hardeman

Whiteville

Trousdale Turner

Source: Summary of audit testwork results.

48

Northwest

Turney Center

Northeast

 
 

We noted that the majority of incidents in our testwork were the result of homemade
weapons. According to department staff, due to the high number of homemade weapons they find,
it is not always feasible to report the incident to the Central Communication Center within 30
minutes as required by policy.
Based on discussions with department staff, they believe correctional facility staff were not
adequately trained to enter incidents into TOMIS. In addition, they stated that some department
policies related to incidents may require updates to better reflect actual practice.
Correctional facility staff use TOMIS, the department’s system of record, to collect and
report incident-related information to management, state decision makers, and the public.
Management uses TOMIS to maintain records of incidents to support any disciplinary action
against inmates. Failure to accurately and consistently include incident information in TOMIS as
required by policy can result in underreporting information to the public, management, and other
stakeholders. In addition, without transparent and accurate reporting, management increases the
risk that correctional staff may not have taken appropriate actions to respond to incidents, including
proper disciplinary action. Furthermore, by not maintaining original documentation to support the
entries in TOMIS, the department has no means of determining whether staff accurately described
the events and individuals involved.
Recommendation
Department management should ensure that correctional facility staff are properly trained
and understand the importance of following all policies and procedures for completing departmentrequired incident forms, preserving original incident documentation, and accurately entering
incidents in TOMIS. If management determines the current policy does not reflect actual practice,
management should review department policies and consider appropriate changes.
Management’s Comment
Concur.
Department management agrees that TOMIS incident entries could be improved.
Several factors have contributed to the shortcomings outlined in the finding. Staffing,
training, and TOMIS access, to name a few, have an integral role in the timely, complete, and
accurate entry of incidents, as well as fulfilling requirements related to supporting documentation.
The agency has been vigorously recruiting and working to retain our valuable workforce.
We experience multiple benefits from maintaining institutional knowledge in our workforce, not
only by having staff who are capable of producing relevant and accurate work products, but also
by passing on that knowledge.
Similarly, effective training and delivery is paramount in ensuring our staff has the
requisite ability to properly perform in the area of incident entry, thereby reducing the need to
delete or modify erroneous incident entries.

49 

 
 

Lastly, appropriate access is vital in protecting the integrity of incident entries in TOMIS.
By limiting access to properly trained personnel, we can reduce errors and greatly increase the
accuracy and completeness of the incident information.
Although there currently is no policy requirement to maintain a copy of “draft” incident
information, we will implement policy changes to ensure the most accurate and transparent process
is in place. The modifications made will be based on best practices and accepted industry
standards. Reviews will also be made of the incident and timeline requirements for reporting to
the Central Communication Center. It is important for incident information to be delivered to the
appropriate leadership in a timely and accurate manner. It is also recognized that rushing the
process could result in the delivery of incomplete or inaccurate information.
Finding 6 – The department did not ensure that state and CoreCivic correctional facility and
health services staff entered all serious accidents, injuries, and illnesses in TOMIS in
accordance with department policy
For the full methodology, including 
the breakdown of the population and 
sample sizes for each correctional 
facility we visited, see Appendix B‐10 
on page 74. 

From a total population of 1,514 accident/injury
entries that health services staff entered into the TOMIS
Accidents screen from October 1, 2017, through April
12, 2019, we examined a total nonstatistical, random
sample of 100 entries at 432 of the 6 facilities we visited
and compared the information in TOMIS to the original
documentation to determine if the TOMIS entries complied with Department of Correction policy.
No Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Entries at Trousdale Turner and Whiteville
From our review of accidents,
illnesses, and traumatic injuries in TOMIS,
we found that health services staff at two
CoreCivic facilities, Whiteville Correctional
Facility and Trousdale Turner Correctional
Center, did not enter any serious accidents,
injuries, or illnesses in the TOMIS Accidents
screen for the period October 1, 2017, to
April 12, 2019. As a result, we were unable
to perform our testwork to meet our audit
objectives at these facilities.
Because we believed that, given the
correctional environment, both facilities would have experienced qualifying accidents, illnesses,
and traumatic injuries, we discussed this issue with the health services staff at Trousdale Turner
and Whiteville.
We found that health services staff completed the paper
Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Reports but did not key the reports into TOMIS as required
 
32

The four facilities are Hardeman  County Correctional Facility, Northeast Correctional Complex, Northwest
Correctional Complex, and Turney Center Industrial Complex.

50 

 
 

by policy. Management and staff at both facilities stated they were unaware of the requirement to
enter accidents, illnesses, and traumatic injuries into TOMIS. According to the Assistant Wardens
of Treatment at both facilities, key health services positions experienced turnover and new staff
were not properly trained in departmental policy or TOMIS reporting. We also informed
department management of our concerns, and the department promptly provided training to
Trousdale and Whiteville’s health services staff and told us that they would work backwards to
enter the Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Reports completed from October 1, 2017, to April
12, 2019, into TOMIS.
Testwork Results From Four Correctional Facilities
For facilities we could test, we randomly selected a nonstatistical sample of 25 accidents
or injuries from each facility based on a list of all serious accidents, illnesses, and injuries entered
in TOMIS under the Accidents screen from October 1, 2017, to April 12, 2019. Our sample
included accidents, illnesses, and traumatic injuries from Hardeman County Correctional Facility,
a CoreCivic facility, and three state-managed facilities (Northeast Correctional Complex,
Northwest Correctional Complex, and Turney Center Industrial Complex) to meet our audit
objective of determining whether health services staff properly entered accidents, illnesses, and
traumatic injuries into TOMIS in accordance with departmental policies.
Confidential Health Information Entered on the Accidents Screen
The department’s policy on accident/injury reporting requires that “Health Services staff
shall ensure that entries onto TOMIS [Accidents screen] do not contain confidential health
information (e.g., SOAP documentation,33 vital signs, diseases, illnesses, or health intervention).”
Based on our testwork at Hardeman, Northeast, Northwest, and Turney Center, we found that
health services staff at all four facilities entered confidential health information in TOMIS.
According to department management, they believe this noncompliance is the result of lost
institutional knowledge resulting from turnover and from a lack of training. See Table 8 for a
summary of our results.
Table 8
Results of Testwork – TOMIS Entries Contained Inappropriate Confidential Health
Information From October 1, 2017, to April 12, 2019
Correctional Facility
Northeast Correctional Complex
Northwest Correctional Complex
Turney Center Industrial Complex
Hardeman County Correctional Complex*
*Operated by CoreCivic.

 
33

 See footnote 23 on page 34. 

51 

Number of Errors/Total Sample
= (Error Percentage)
16/25 (64%)
19/25 (76%)
16/25 (64%)
22/25 (88%)

 
 

Other Data Entry Errors
During our review, we also found that health services staff made data entry errors at two
correctional facilities (see Table 9). These entry errors included the following:
the date, time, or location of the accident or injury listed on the
Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Report did not match the information entered in
TOMIS;
health services staff made duplicate entries for the same event; and/or
the Accidents screen entry was blank, meaning staff created an entry but failed to enter
the details of the injury.
Department management stated these mistakes were due to human data entry errors.
Table 9
Data Entry Errors
October 1, 2017, to April 12, 2019
Number of Errors/Total Sample
= Error Percentage
7/25 (28%)
17/25 (68%)

Correctional Facility
Northeast Correctional Complex
Hardeman County Correctional Facility*
*Operated by CoreCivic.

Additionally, based on our request for data, we found that health services staff at Turney
Center could not locate three of the original Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Reports in the
inmates’ medical files. The facility was able to produce duplicates of two forms but could not
locate the originals or any duplicate of one form. According to the department’s Policy 113.53,
“Accident/Injury Reporting,” staff are required to place original forms in the inmates’ medical
files.
Results of Other Audit Work
During our primary testwork to determine whether health services staff entered accidents,
illnesses, and traumatic injuries into the TOMIS Accidents screen, we also noticed that not all
accidents or injuries involving inmates had a corresponding incident entry on the TOMIS Incidents
screen. We found that facility health services staff may not have entered minor bumps, scrapes,
bruises, or handcuff checks34 into the Accidents screen because the injuries did not rise to the level
of an injury of greater degree of severity. In other situations, facility security staff did not enter
incidents on the Incidents screen when they should have. See Table 10 for instances where facility
security staff did not enter required incidents in TOMIS.
 
34

When an inmate is placed in handcuffs for an extended period of time in response to an incident, medical staff
routinely check to make sure the cuffs are not so tight that they are cutting off circulation. We found that health
services staff at Northwest use the Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Report form and Accidents screen to document
such cuff checks even though they are not required to do so by policy.

52 

 
 

Table 10
Types of Accidents, Illnesses, and Injuries Entries With No Corresponding Incident Entry
in TOMIS
Incident Type
Northeast
Use of Force (Chemical,
Physical, or Security
Restraints)
1
Assault and/or Fight†
2
Serious Hospitalization
2
Accidental Injury/Illness
4
Work-related Injury
4
Self-inflicted Injury
0
Total
13

Northwest

Turney
Center

0
4
2
2
0
1
9

Hardeman*
0
0
2
2
4
0
8

1
1
0
0
3
0
5

Total
2
7
6
8
11
1
35

*Operated by CoreCivic.
†For these items, there was not an incident for an assault/fight or a pending investigation entry for instances where it
was unclear whether an assault/fight occurred.

Reporting Expectations Not Communicated or Not Followed
We asked the department’s Assistant Commissioner of Prisons to discuss his incident
reporting expectations related to accidents, injuries, and illnesses, which we exhibit in Appendix
B-8 on page 72. Based on our discussion, the correctional facilities are not meeting the Assistant
Commissioner’s expectations for reporting workplace injuries, serious hospitalizations, selfinflicted injuries, and pending investigations when institutional violence may have been involved.
Additionally, management at the correctional facility level agreed that there were some isolated
use of force incidents that, although they should have been, were not reported.
When security staff do not enter all required incidents related to accidents, illness, and
traumatic injuries into TOMIS in accordance with policy, it lessens the department’s ability to use
the information to identify safety and security concerns at correctional facilities. Additionally, if
the facilities are underreporting incidents, it could undermine the accuracy and usefulness of
incident data provided to the public and members of the General Assembly.
Recommendation
The department should ensure that health services staff and security staff at correctional
facilities are adequately trained on accident, injury, and incident reporting policies and that staff
consistently and accurately enter such information into TOMIS so that the department can make
informed decisions for corrective action and quality improvement of the state’s correctional
system.
Management’s Comment
Concur.

53 

 
 

The Accident Injury Reports were completed. However, not all of these reports were
entered into TOMIS.
In order to protect the integrity of the information entered into TOMIS, limited staff access
is granted to staff in key positions at CoreCivic facilities. A further review of the number of staff
granted access will be conducted to determine if sufficient staff has access and if additional access
should be granted to reduce delays in entering this information. If it is determined that more access
is needed, training will be conducted with the staff to detail the steps to be completed to ensure
correct and timely entry of information.
We acknowledge there were also issues at the state-run facilities. That being noted, we are
reinforcing a top-down approach to training and accountability for TOMIS incident entries. New
employees in the basic correctional officer training program, the basic probation and parole
training program, and the basic correctional professional training program are required to complete
a week-long course on the intricacies of TOMIS. Additional training is provided, as needed.
The department is also working to include TOMIS refresher courses in its in-service
training to be delivered either electronically through the Learning Management System (LMS) or
through delivery at regional sites by institutional and community supervision instructors. This
training will allow the department opportunities to strengthen the completeness, accuracy, and
accountability that is not only required by policy but expected by our stakeholders.
A final contributing factor for the absence of the noted TOMIS entries for the Accident
Injury Report is the lack of an established protocol between the medical staff and operational staff
who both play critical roles in this process. A procedure will be formalized to outline the
responsibilities associated with each entity in the process and to ensure that collaborative
enforcement of accountability for TOMIS entries exists.
Observation 1 – Department policy does not formally define partial or total institutional
lockdowns; therefore, correctional facility staff may not report them consistently in TOMIS
Lockdowns Defined
According to correctional security staff, in the
According to correctional 
correctional environment, the term lockdown is often used to
security staff, only lockdowns 
describe when officers lock inmates in their cells to restrict
that involve multiple inmates 
inmate movement in response to an incident, such as a fight
and/or multiple buildings on the 
or a severe weather threat, or when security staff must
prison compound are reported 
perform a search for contraband. Officers lock inmates inside
as an incident in TOMIS. 
their cells to achieve routine tasks, such as during inmate
35
count times or at night, but they do not consider these
actions lockdowns. According to correctional facility security
staff, the staff formally log lockdowns that involve multiple inmates or multiple buildings on the
 
35

The department’s Policy 506.11 requires correctional officers to physically count the number of present inmates
multiple times a day. Inmates must be locked in their cells in order to maintain an accurate count.

54 

 
 

facility compound into the Tennessee Offender Management Information System (TOMIS) and
report these lockdowns to the Department of Correction’s Central Communication Center. In
TOMIS, lockdowns are classified into two categories:
partial institutional lockdown, or
total institutional lockdown.
From October 1, 2017, through April 12, 2019, the correctional facilities reported 78
combined total and partial lockdowns. See Appendix B-9 on page 73 for the total number of
reported lockdowns during this period at each correctional facility. Because the department’s
policy regarding incident reporting does not distinguish between partial and total institutional
lockdowns, we asked the security staff at the 6 correctional facilities we visited how they defined
and reported lockdowns in TOMIS. Each facility consistently defined “total institutional
lockdown” as all inmates on the compound locked in their cells for an extended period in response
to a security threat, such as an inmate escape, riot, gang activity, severe weather, institution-wide
search, or any other major incident. However, each facility defined partial institutional lockdowns
differently. See Table 11 for a summary of responses.
Table 11
Security Staff Responses on Reporting Partial Lockdowns
Correctional Facility
Hardeman County Correctional Facility*
Northeast Correctional Complex
Northwest Correctional Complex
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center*
Turney Center Industrial Complex
Whiteville Correctional Facility*

Partial Lockdowns Defined by Correctional
Security Staff
At least one entire housing pod.36
At least one entire housing unit.
Two or more housing units.
It depends on the lockdown’s length of time and the
scope of the situation.
One but up to three housing units.
At least one entire housing unit.

*Operated by CoreCivic.

Given the inconsistencies for defining partial lockdowns, correctional facility staff have
not reported partial lockdowns the same, which impacts management’s ability to adequately
monitor the use of or the number of lockdown incidents reported in TOMIS to ensure the partial
lockdown meets the intended purpose of restricting the inmates’ movement. Without consistent
partial lockdown expectations, management cannot ensure lockdown procedures are not abused.
Overall, the department should consider revising its policies to clearly define the types of
scenarios that merit the use of a partial institutional lockdown so that reporting is more consistent,
and the public understands what it means.

 
36

In a correctional setting, a housing pod can be described as one wing in a larger housing building or unit.

55 

 
 

Finding 7 – The Department of Correction and the Department of Finance and
Administration’s Strategic Technology Solutions did not implement effective internal
controls in two areas, increasing the risk of errors or data loss
The Department of Correction and the Department of Finance and Administration’s
Strategic Technology Solutions (STS) did not effectively design and monitor internal controls in
two areas. For these areas, we found internal control deficiencies related to one of the Department
of Correction’s systems where both the department and STS did not adhere to state policies.
Ineffective implementation and operation of internal controls increases the likelihood of
errors, data loss, and unauthorized access to department information. Pursuant to Standard 7.39
of the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s Government Auditing Standards, we omitted
details from this finding because they are confidential under the provisions of Section 10-7-504(i),
Tennessee Code Annotated. We provided the department and STS management with detailed
information regarding the specific conditions we identified, as well as the related criteria, causes,
and our specific recommendations for improvement.
Recommendation
The department and STS should coordinate to ensure that these control deficiencies are
corrected by the prompt development, implementation, and monitoring of effective internal
controls.
Management’s Comment – Department of Correction
Concur.
We will work with STS to implement improved internal controls.
Management’s Comment – Department of Finance and Administration’s Strategic
Technology Solutions
We concur. STS will coordinate with TDOC [the Department of Correction] to ensure the
identified weaknesses are promptly remediated with effective internal controls.
Observation 2 – The Department of Correction and the Department of Finance and
Administration’s Strategic Technology Solutions did not provide adequate internal controls in two
areas; however, the areas noted do not pose a critical risk to the state
The Department of Correction and the Department of Finance and Administration’s
Strategic Technology Solutions (STS) did not design and monitor effective internal controls in two
areas. For these areas, we found internal control deficiencies where both parties did not adhere to
state policies and industry best practices. The risk associated with these conditions was reduced
because both the department and STS implemented effective mitigating controls.

56 

 
 

Pursuant to Standard 7.39 of the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s Government
Auditing Standards, we omitted details from this observation because they are confidential under
the provisions of Section 10-7-504(i), Tennessee Code Annotated.
Finding 8 – The department published inaccurate and incomplete inmate incident data in its
fiscal year 2018 Statistical Abstract
As a result of our testwork on deaths, serious
See the full methodology in 
incidents, and lockdowns, we interviewed Department of
Appendix B‐10 on page 74. 
Correction management and reviewed the fiscal year 2018
Statistical Abstract to determine how the department compiles
Tennessee Offender Management Information System (TOMIS) data for deaths, serious incidents,
and lockdowns for the Statistical Abstract.
Incident Summary Tables in the Statistical Abstract Is Inaccurate or Incomplete
In its Statistical Abstract each year, the department publishes a table called “TDOC
Incident Summary by Incident Type and Facility” that shows how many of a given incident
occurred at each correctional facility (both CoreCivic and state-managed) during the prior fiscal
year. This table includes the type of incident (death, drugs, escape, injury, etc.); the incident code
(a three-letter abbreviation); a brief description
of the incident; and the total number of
incidents by facility. See the fiscal year 2018
incident summary table in Appendix B-5 on
page 65.
In its fiscal year 2018 Statistical
Abstract, the department included 10 inactive
incident types in the incident summary tables.
If a reader examined the inactive incident types
on the Statistical Abstract, they would see zero
incidents reported at each correctonal facility;
however, the reader may interpret the zeros to
mean zero occurrences rather than no recording
of information. See Appendix B-5 on page 65
for the 10 inactive incident types (highlighted
in yellow) on the Statistical Abstract.
In addition, readers do not know that the
department does not report all incident types on
the Statistical Abstract. The department’s
Policy 103.02, “Incident Reporting,” defines
166 incident types that facilities operations staff
are required to routinely enter into TOMIS. The department, however, only reports 104 of them
on the Statistical Abstract. Nonreported incident types include the following:

57 

 
 

Misdemeanor Arrest of Staff,
Violation of State Law,
Possession/Use/Introduction/Sale of Tobacco Products by an Employee,
Solicitation of Staff,
Weapon Discharge – Non-training,
Defiance,
Positive Drug Screen,
Refused Drug Screen,
Failure to Report as Scheduled,
Offender Injury Accident,
Possession/Selling/Use of Intoxicants,
Instituitonal Shakedowns,
Out of Place,
Refused Cell Assignment,
Sexual Harassment,
Tampering With a Security Device or Equipment, and
Use of Force – Security Restraints.
Furthermore, department management informed us that correctional facility operations
personnel use the Rape incident category only when a rape allegation is substantiated by DNA
testing and has been referred for outside prosecution. The department does not disclose this fact
in the report.
Based on our review of past legislative hearings, we found that members of the General
Assembly use the information in the Statistical Abstract to draw conclusions about prison
operations and conditions. As a result, it is important that the department be transparent about
information included in the tables.
During our audit, the department experienced turnover at the Director and Assistant
Director level within the Decision Support: Research and Planning Division. The new Director
stated that the turnover contributed to some of the issues. The Director also explained that
Strategic Technology Solutions (STS) did not adequately communicate to the Research and
Planning Division when incident categories were deactivated so that the division could exclude
them from the abstract. The Director agreed that the incident summary table could be better
labeled to clarify that it only includes certain, not all, correctional facility incidents.
In the Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government (Green Book), Principle
13, “Use Quality Information,” stresses the importance of producing and using quality information.
According to paragraphs 13.02 and 13.03,

58 

 
 

13.02 Management designs a process that uses the entity’s objectives and related
risks to identify the information requirements needed to achieve the
objectives and address the risks. Information requirements consider the
expectations of both internal and external users. Management defines the
identified information requirements at the relevant level and requisite
specificity for appropriate personnel.
13.03 Management identifies information requirements in an iterative and
ongoing process that occurs throughout an effective internal control system.
As change in the entity and its objectives and risks occurs, management
changes information requirements as needed to meet these modified
objectives and address these modified risks.
In Principle 15, “Communicate Externally,” the Green Book dictates that “Management
should externally communicate the necessary quality information to achieve the entity’s
objectives.” Paragraph 15.03 of the Green Book adds the following:
Management communicates quality information externally through reporting lines
so that external parties can help the entity achieve its objectives and address related
risks. Management includes in these communications information relating to the
entity’s events and activities that impact the internal control system.
Department management stated that correctional facility staff responsible for reporting
incidents were not appropriately trained. If staff do not report incidents consistently, it could
undermine the accuracy of incident data provided to the General Assembly and members of the
public in the department’s annual Statistical Abstract.
Recommendation
Department management should ensure that staff follow policy regarding incident
reporting to ensure that the information entered into TOMIS is complete and accurate.
Management of the department’s Decision Support: Research and Planning Division should ensure
that all data from TOMIS that is included in the Statistical Abstract is accurate, up-to-date, and
adequately labeled so that readers, including members of the General Assembly, can understand
the reported information and make appropriate decisions.
Management’s Comment
Concur.
Department management understands the importance of accurate data entry and subsequent
statistical distribution. Incident data entered into TOMIS is used by both internal and external
stakeholders. As noted in comments related to other findings, we are engaged in a review of
current policies and processes, associated with TOMIS incident entry, designed to ensure that we
provide complete and accurate information to all interested parties.

59 

 
 

Appendix B
Public Reporting of Inmate Deaths and Other Serious Incidents
Appendix B-1
Department Policies Governing Serious Incidents, Accidents, Injuries, and Deaths
Serious Incidents
Policy 103.02, “Incident Reporting,” states that, at the time an incident occurs, the
reporting staff member shall complete a draft incident report, which shall be reviewed
for accuracy, modified if necessary, approved by the shift commander or appropriate
department head, and then entered into TOMIS. The policy also requires the use of an
incident report form for incidents involving serious injury or death of an inmate. The
policy further requires the following for both CoreCivic and state-managed facilities:
o all incidents resulting in death are to be reported to the Office of Investigations
and Compliance Director immediately;
o a Staff Assault Incident Review should occur within 24 hours with a completed
written report within 72 hours of incidents involving assaults on staff;
o approved incident reports should be entered into TOMIS within 8 hours of the
incident’s occurrence/discovery and should contain the date and time of the
incident; the location of the incident; the correct name and TOMIS ID number
of each offender involved; the correct name and rank, if applicable, of each staff
member involved; the correct name and affiliation of other persons involved;
and the list of all disciplinary infractions to be issued in connection with the
incident;
o incident reports involving the death, serious injury, or escape of an inmate are
to include the inmate’s name and any aliases; TOMIS ID; date of birth; race;
date of admission to the department; county where convicted; offenses;
sentence; release eligibility date and safety valve;37 custody level; National
Crime Information Center (NCIC) number;38 and any other pertinent
information excluding confidential medical or mental health information; and
o incident reports concerning discovery of a weapon are to include specific
information as to materials used to manufacture homemade weapons, where
each weapon was found, and the circumstances of the discovery.
Policy 103.15, “Central Communication Center,” states that the correctional facility’s
shift commander or designee must report by telephone certain incidents, including
Class A and Class B incidents, to the Central Communication Center within 30 minutes.

 
37

The safety valve is the earliest possible release date for an inmate if there is an executive order regarding prison
overcrowding. Not all inmates qualify for safety valve release, including those convicted of violent offenses.
38
The NCIC is a national crime database maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All inmates are assigned
an NCIC number.

60 

 
 

Policy 502.01, “Uniform Disciplinary Procedures,” states that no inmate charged with
a disciplinary offense should be required to wait more than seven calendar days for his
or her disciplinary hearing, unless the hearing is continued.
Policy 506.08, “The Use of Force,” states that any use of force incident involving hard
empty hand control39 and above shall be reported to the department’s Office of
Investigations and Compliance within 24 hours of the incident, and the Use of Force
report must be submitted to the warden within 8 hours or by the end of the shift. When
a use of force event occurs, correctional staff must complete various required
documents including witness statements, the supervisor’s review report and checklist,
and any other supplemental reports to document the event. Management refers to these
documents collectively as the Use of Force packet.
Inmate Deaths
Policy 113.05, “Deaths and Autopsies,” indicates the following:
The health care provider who performed the initial physical assessment of the deceased
inmate at the facility completes the Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Report40 and
documents the physical observation and assessment of the deceased on the Problem
Oriented Progress Report.
The department’s Death in Custody Coordinator (the coordinator) obtains a certified
copy of the death certificate from the Department of Health’s Office of Vital Records41
and forwards the original document to the facility where the inmate was housed.
No later than seven days after an inmate’s death, the correctional facility’s health
administrator completes the Health Services Mortality and Morbidity Summary. The
facility’s medical director and the health services administrator sign the summary and
place it in the inmate’s health record.
Upon notification of a death in custody, the coordinator notifies the department’s Chief
Medical Officer and other physician reviewers42 as designated. The attending
physician at the facility that housed the inmate presents the death in custody case at the
next scheduled Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee meeting.
 
39

Policy 506.08, “The Use of Force,” describes hard empty hand control as a manual control technique characterized
by the use of an empty hand with such force that there is a potential for causing injuries, such as scratches; bruises;
soft tissue injury; or, to a greater extent, bone fractures. This would include the arm bar, wrist lock, joint manipulation,
strike, and pressure point pain compliance techniques.
40
According to the department’s Chief Medical Officer, if the inmate died at a hospital, health services staff are not
required to complete the Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Report.
41
The Death in Custody Coordinator works at the department’s central office and maintains a list of inmates who died
in custody. The coordinator submits the list to the Department of Health on Fridays. Once the coordinator receives
the death certificates from the Department of Health, she updates the list. It may take several weeks or months for the
Department of Health to issue death certificates.
42
According to the Chief Medical Officer, the physician reviewers are physicians who participate in the discussion of
inmate deaths by asking and answering pertinent questions surrounding an inmate’s death. The discussion includes
clinical factors that may have contributed to the inmate’s death.

61 

 
 

Appendix B-2
Summary of Class A Incidents (Those Involving Serious Risk to the Facility or Community) Reported by Location
October 1, 2017, Through April 12, 2019
1000
922
886

900
830

Bledsoe County

800

Hardeman
Morgan County

693

700

Mark Luttrell
Northeast

600

551

Northwest
Riverbend

485

500

South Central
Lois M. DeBerry

400

Turney Center

200

Prison for Women

288

300

Trousdale Turner
194

180

216

Whiteville
166

150

100

51
9

0

Source: Tennessee Offender Management Information System.

62 

West Tennessee State

 
 

Appendix B-3
Summary of Class B Incidents (Those Involving Possible Risk to the Facility or Community) Reported by Location
October 1, 2017, Through April 12, 2019
1000
915
900
Bledsoe County

783

800

Central Office
Hardeman

700

Morgan County
628

Mark Luttrell

574

600

Northeast
Northwest
Riverbend

500
429

408

South Central
Lois M. DeBerry

400
331

319

304

Turney Center
Prison for Women

274

300

311

Trousdale Turner
Whiteville

200
131
100
1

26

0

Source: Tennessee Offender Management Information System.

63 

131

West Tennessee State

Appendix B-4
Summary of Class C Incidents (Those Involving No Risk to the Facility or the Community) Reported by Location
October 1, 2017, Through April 12, 2019
 12,000
10,692 
Bledsoe County

 10,000

Central Office
Hardeman

 8,000

Morgan County

8,123 

7,886 

7,778 

Mark Luttrell
Northeast
Northwest

 6,000

6,078 

5,860 

Riverbend
South Central

5,031 

Lois M. DeBerry

4,580 

4,345 

Turney Center

 4,000

3,557 

Correction Academy
Prison for Women
Trousdale Turner

2,284 

Whiteville

 2,000

1,659 
1,131 

9 

155 

2 

 ‐

Source: Tennessee Offender Management Information System.

64 

West Tennessee State

Appendix B-5
TDOC Incident Summary by Incident Type and Prison for Fiscal Year 2018
Pulled from the TDOC Statistical Abstract
TDOC Incident Summary by Incident Type and Prison: FY 2018

Inc T ype
Arrest
Arrest
Arrest
Arson
Arson
Arson

Assault
Assault
Assault
Assault
Assault
Assault
Death
Death
Death
Death
Death
Death
Death
Death
Death
Death
Death
Death
Death
Death
Death
Disturbance
Disturbance
Disturbance
Drugs
Drugs
Drugs
Drugs
Drugs
Drugs
Drugs
Drugs
Drugs
Equip Prob

AFO
AFS
AFV
ARI
ARD
ARP
AOO
AOW
ASO
ASW
AVO
AVW
DEA
DEC
DEH
DEI
DES
DOA
DEG
DEF
DED
DET
DEV
DVH
DVS
DVA
DVN
DIL
DIR
DIS
DFI
DFO
DRK
DRL
DRN
DRO
DRP
DRS
IOP
EPA

Average Population
Incident Description
FELONY-OFN
FELONY-STAFF
FELONY-VISITOR
SER-INJ-PROP DM G>$500-OPER DISRUP
INJURY-PROP DM G >$500-OPR DISRUP
PROP DM G >$500 OPER DISRUP
OFN-WITHOUT WEAPON
OFN-WEAPON
STAFF-WITHOUT WEAPON
STAFF-WEAPON
VISITOR/GUEST-WITHOUT WEAPON
VISITOR/GUEST - WEAPON
OFN-NATURAL
DEATH-OFN-EXEC-ELEC CHR
OFN-HOM ICIDE
OFN-EXEC-LETH INJ
OFN-SUICIDE
OFN-ACCIDENT
STAFF-HOM ICIDE (ON DUTY)
STAFF-SUICIDE (ON DUTY)
STAFF-ACCIDENT (ON DUTY)
STAFF (ON DUTY)-NATURAL
VISITOR
VISITOR-HOM ICIDE
VISITOR-SUICIDE
VISITOR-ACCIDENT
VISITOR-NATURAL
TEM P. CONTROL LOSS
THREAT CONTROL LOSS
M INOR
INSIDE SECURE PERIM ETER-NO POSS
OUTSIDE SECURE PERIM ETER
CONFIS-SIGNIF AM T-STAFF
CONFIS-SIGNIF AM T-VISITOR
CONFISCATION-STAFF
CONFISCATION-VISITOR
PARAPHERNALIA
POSSESSION / SELLING / USE
INTOXICANTS FOUND ON PROPERTY
M AJOR DISRUPTION

BCCX

HCCF

MCCX

MLTC

NECX

NWCX

RMS I

S CCF

S PND

TCIX

TPFW

TTCC

WCFA

WTS P

Bledsoe
County
Correctional
Complex

Hardeman
County
Correctional
Facility

Morgan
County
Correctional
Complex

Mark
Luttrell
Transitio
n Center

Northeast
Correctional
Complex

Northwest
Correctional
Complex

Riverbend
Maximum
Security
Institution

South
Central
Correctional
Facility

DeBerry
Special
Needs
Facility

Turney
Center
Industrial
Complex

TN Prison
for Women

Trousdale
Turner
Correctional
Center

Whiteville
Correctional
Facility

West TN
State
Penitentiary

Total

2,370

1,968

2,111

243

1,732

2,288

779

1,626

748

1,572

733

2,476

1,499

1,800

21,945

0
2
19
0
0
1
44
5
9
26
1
0
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
49
131
0
1

0
2
2
0
0
0
24
19
18
15
0
0
3
0
2
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
4
29
1
0
0
0
0
18
120
0
1

0
5
16
0
0
0
8
7
18
9
0
0
5
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
7
0
0
0
0
0
43
160
2
0

0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1

0
2
6
0
0
0
16
22
10
1
0
0
7
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
7
3
0
0
0
0
35
99
0
0

0
1
1
0
0
0
33
15
26
9
0
0
7
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
3
7
0
0
0
1
0
66
189
0
0

0
0
0
0
0
1
6
7
9
12
1
0
3
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
3
0
0
0
0
0
25
65
0
2

0
6
2
0
0
1
33
28
69
41
0
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
4
1
0
0
0
0
15
61
0
0

0
0
0
0
0
3
12
5
13
19
0
0
61
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
6
22
0
0

0
3
10
0
0
0
13
6
9
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
45
103
0
0

0
0
1
0
0
0
7
6
4
2
0
0
4
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
3
0
0
0
0
0
1
2
34
1
0

0
1
1
0
0
0
46
21
34
39
0
0
3
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
63
184
0
0

0
7
2
0
0
1
27
5
28
10
0
0
4
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
2
0
0
0
0
0
6
61
0
0

0
1
6
0
0
0
16
4
20
12
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
14
88
0
0

0
31
66
0
0
7
285
150
268
199
2
0
102
0
3
0
12
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3
28
59
5
0
0
1
1
387
1,317
3
5

Please note that incidents reported may include more than one participant while other incidents are by definition about a single participant (ex: death or suicide).
Source: This report summarizes data entered by Facility Operations’ personnel in accordance with TDOC policy 103.02.

65

TDOC Incident Summary by Incident Type and Prison: FY 2018 (cont.)

Escape
Escape
Escape
Escape
Escape
Escape
Escape
Escape
Escape
Fire
Fire
Fire
Injury
Injury
Injury
Injury
Injury
Injury
Injury
Injury
Injury
Illness
Illness
Illness
Illness
Other
Other
Other
Other
Other
Other
Other
Other
Other
Other
Other
Other
Other
Other
Other
Other
Strike
Strike
Suicide
Suicide

ACA
ACM
ESA
ESB
ESC
ESF
ESH
ESI
ESR
FII
FIP
FIS
IHA
IHC
IHB
IJA
IJB
ILA
ILB
INB
INC
IOT
ISH
IVS
IVM
CIP
BTH
CON
PCT
PTO
PDA
SXM
RAP
RIO
SBT
HOS
EHT
PGA
PGM
ILP
ILT
SKI
SKS
SUA
SUC

Average Population
ABSCOND CUSTODY-ATTEM PT
ABSCOND CUSTODY-M IN SECURITY
SECURE SUPERVISION
M IN SECURITY-VIOLENCE
M IN SECURITY UNIT
ATT. SECURE SUPV
ATT.M IN SECURITY-VIOLENCE
ATT. M IN SECURITY
RETURN FROM ESCAPE PRIOR TO TOM IS
SER-INJ-PROP DM G>$500-OPR DISRUP
INJ-PROP DM G>$500-OPR DISRUP
PROP DM G>$500-OPER DISRUP
ACCIDENT-OFN-SERIOUS
ACCIDENT-OFN WRK RELATED
ACCIDENT-OFN
ACCIDENT-STAFF-SERIOUS
ACCIDENT-STAFF
ACCIDENT-VISITOR-SERIOUS
ACCIDENT-VISITOR
SELF INFLICTED-SERIOUS
SELF INFLICTED
OFN-SERIOUS-HOSP
STAFF-SERIOUS-HOSP(ON DUTY)
VISITOR-SERIOUS-HOSP
VISITOR
CELL INSIDE PERIM ETER-NO POSS
BOM B THREAT
CONTRABAND
POSS/USE CELLULAR TEL.
POSS/USE TOBACCO PROD.
PROP DM G>$500
SEXUAL M ISCONDUCT
RAPE
RIOT
SABOTAGE - OPR DISRUP
HOSTAGE SITUATION
EPIDEM IC PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT
PART IN STG ACTIVITY
POSSESS STG M ATERIAL
INST LOCKDOWN-PARTIAL
INST LOCKDOWN-TOTAL
INM ATE-OPER.DISRUP
STAFF-OPER DISRUP
ATT-SERIOUS INJURY
ATTEM PT

BCCX

HCCF

MCCX

MLTC

NECX

NWCX

RMS I

S CCF

S PND

TCIX

TPFW

TTCC

WCFA

WTS P

Bledsoe
County
Correctional
Complex

Hardeman
County
Correctional
Facility

Morgan
County
Correctional
Complex

Mark
Luttrell
Transitio
n Center

Northeast
Correctional
Complex

Northwest
Correctional
Complex

Riverbend
Maximum
Security
Institution

South
Central
Correctional
Facility

DeBerry
Special
Needs
Facility

Turney
Center
Industrial
Complex

TN Prison
for Women

Trousdale
Turner
Correctional
Center

Whiteville
Correctional
Facility

West TN
State
Penitentiary

Total

2,370

1,968

2,111

243

1,732

2,288

779

1,626

748

1,572

733

2,476

1,499

1,800

21,945

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
36
0
4
0
37
17
10
0
0
2
0
163
19
50
9
43
0
0
0
0
0
41
130
0
0
0
0
0
12

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
9
4
0
0
0
1
0
188
36
25
0
7
0
0
0
0
0
39
12
2
1
0
0
0
1

0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
31
0
0
49
0
1
0
3
98
15
1
0
25
0
115
292
88
6
95
0
0
0
0
0
27
50
0
0
0
0
0
1

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
6
0
0
8
0
0
0
0
4
2
0
0
0
0
1
6
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
19
0
0
0
0
0
3
0
0
13
0
80
225
46
1
132
0
0
0
0
0
21
2
0
0
0
0
0
3

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
5
0
1
0
11
28
3
0
0
14
0
207
394
120
16
140
0
0
0
0
0
17
54
2
1
0
0
0
1

0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
5
0
0
16
0
3
0
12
9
2
0
0
9
0
113
84
77
9
107
0
0
0
0
0
3
13
3
2
0
0
0
1

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
13
0
0
0
13
2
2
0
0
2
0
154
102
15
0
153
0
0
0
0
0
62
18
7
5
0
0
0
2

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
6
0
0
0
58
0
1
0
0
0
0
47
11
37
6
29
0
0
0
0
0
2
3
0
1
0
0
0
2

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
27
0
0
10
0
0
0
5
6
2
0
0
1
0
160
87
65
1
48
0
0
0
0
0
21
32
0
0
0
0
0
1

0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
6
0
3
0
11
23
1
0
0
0
0
79
6
44
9
20
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
2

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
12
58
0
0
0
1
0
129
148
55
0
254
0
0
0
0
0
23
13
2
4
0
0
0
2

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
16
0
0
0
9
36
4
0
0
2
0
143
57
12
0
23
0
0
0
0
0
23
22
2
7
0
0
0
1

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
3
0
1
0
26
40
7
0
0
1
0
78
50
44
5
259
0
0
0
0
0
8
5
0
0
0
0
0
6

0
2
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
74
0
0
187
0
13
0
206
325
52
1
0
71
0
1,657
1,517
678
65
1,310
0
0
0
0
0
287
356
18
21
0
0
0
35

Please note that incidents reported may include more than one participant while other incidents are by definition about a single participant (ex: death or suicide).
Source: This report summarizes data entered by Facility Operations’ personnel in accordance with TDOC policy 103.02.

66

.

TDOC Incident Summary by Incident Type and Prison: FY 2018 (cont.)

Use of Force
Use of Force
Use of Force
Use of Force
Use of Force
Use of Force
Weapon
Weapon
Weapon
Weapon
Weapon
Weapon
Weapon
Weapon
Weapon
Weapon
Weapon
Weapon
Weapon

Average Population
UFC CHEM ICAL AGENTS
UFD DEADLY WEAPON
UFE ELEC RESTRAINTS
UFL LESS THAN LETHAL
UFM M EDICAL
UFP PHYSICAL
WAB AM M UNITION
WAM AM M UNITION-SIGNIF AM T
WCF COM M ERCIAL FIREARM
WCK COM M ERCIAL KNIFE
WEB EXPLOSIVE
WEX EXPLOSIVE-SIGNIF AM T
WHF NON COM M ERCIAL FIREARM
WHK NON COM M ERCIAL KNIFE
WOT OTHER
WPC CLUB
WRM RAW M ATERIALS
WTA CLASS A TOOL
WTB CLASS B TOOL

BCCX

HCCF

MCCX

MLTC

NECX

NWCX

RMS I

S CCF

S PND

TCIX

TPFW

TTCC

WCFA

WTS P

Bledsoe
County
Correctional
Complex

Hardeman
County
Correctional
Facility

Morgan
County
Correctional
Complex

Mark
Luttrell
Transitio
n Center

Northeast
Correctional
Complex

Northwest
Correctional
Complex

Riverbend
Maximum
Security
Institution

South
Central
Correctional
Facility

DeBerry
Special
Needs
Facility

Turney
Center
Industrial
Complex

TN Prison
for Women

Trousdale
Turner
Correctional
Center

Whiteville
Correctional
Facility

West TN
State
Penitentiary

Total

2,370

1,968

2,111

243

1,732

2,288

779

1,626

748

1,572

733

2,476

1,499

1,800

21,945

3
0
5
0
6
13
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
5
11
0
15
0
0

76
0
0
0
0
26
0
0
0
4
0
0
0
131
1
0
1
0
0

7
0
9
0
6
31
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
76
16
0
21
0
0

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

13
0
6
0
5
9
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
173
4
1
21
0
0

3
0
15
0
5
11
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
426
6
1
45
1
0

12
0
3
0
7
25
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
37
4
0
6
1
0

79
0
0
0
0
48
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
240
1
0
0
0
0

9
0
2
0
138
20
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
1
0
0
0
0

2
0
3
0
0
23
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
96
5
0
13
0
0

0
0
2
0
2
9
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0

95
0
0
0
1
75
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
328
16
2
15
0
0

95
0
0
0
0
27
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
139
0
0
2
0
0

7
0
7
0
0
22
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
68
3
0
8
2
1

401
0
52
0
170
339
0
0
0
11
0
0
0
1,721
69
4
147
4
1

Summary
BCCX

HCCF

MCCX

MLTC

NECX

NWCX

RMS I

S CCF

S PND

TCIX

TPFW

TTCC

WCFA

WTS P

Total

TOTAL

925

825

1,348

33

990

1,887

703

1,184

519

805

289

1,626

777

819

12,730

Rate per 100 - Total

39.0

41.9

63.8

13.6

57.2

82.5

90.3

72.8

69.4

51.2

39.4

65.7

51.8

45.5

58.0

Please note that incidents reported may include more than one participant while other incidents are by definition about a single participant (ex: death or suicide).
Incident rates (per 100 inmates) are calculated on the basis of the average inmate population by facility and system wide.
Source: This report summarizes data entered by Facility Operations’ personnel in accordance with TDOC policy 103.02.

67

Appendix B-6
Detail of Testwork Related to Inmate Deaths
Our initial testwork relating to deceased inmates’ health records revealed the following
overlapping missing documents. Of the 38 files we reviewed,
12 files (32%) did not have the Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Report;
4 files (11%) did not have the Problem Oriented Progress Report;
23 files (61%) did not have the Mortality and Morbidity Summary; and
21 files (55%) did not have the inmate’s certified death certificate.
The Chief Medical Officer provided the following missing documents after we requested
them:
2 Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Reports;
3 Problem Oriented Progress Reports (1 inmate died at a hospital instead of at the
facility, so staff did not need to complete the report);
9 Mortality and Morbidity Summaries and 14 Death Summaries, which the Lois M.
DeBerry Special Needs Facility substituted for the required Mortality and Morbidity
Summary;43 and
21 missing inmate death certificates.
Appendix B-7
Summary of Incident-Related Issues Found During Correctional Facility Site Visits
At Whiteville Correctional Facility, we found the following:
For 6 of 27 items (22%), the facility staff did not enter the incident into TOMIS within
8 hours of occurrence or discovery.
For 18 of 27 items (67%), the body of the draft incident report did not match the
information in TOMIS. Because CoreCivic managed this facility, CoreCivic staff
provided us with their CoreCivic 5-1a and 5-1c forms and a few disciplinary forms that
they found in a box, which we were able to compare to TOMIS.
For 26 of 27 items (96%), facility staff did not report the incident to the department’s
Central Communication Center (CCC) within 30 minutes of occurrence or discovery.

43
The Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility did not record information on 14 of the Mortality and Morbidity
Summary forms. The Chief Medical Officer allowed the facility to prepare a Death Summary in lieu of the Mortality
and Morbidity Summary because it provided more detail than the Mortality and Morbidity Summary. Although the
intent was to be more thorough, the facility did not address the completion of the Mortality and Morbidity Summaries
as listed in policy.

68 

 
 

For 7 of 27 items (26%), facility staff did not hold a disciplinary hearing within 7
calendar days of the incident.
For 5 of 27 items (19%), staff did not submit a Use of Force report to the warden within
8 hours or by the end of the shift.
For 9 of 27 items (33%), staff did not enter all required incident inmate information in
TOMIS; specifically, they did not include descriptions of homemade weapons.
At Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, we found the following:
For 3 of 25 items (12%), facility staff did not enter the incident information into TOMIS
within 8 hours of occurrence or discovery.
For 7 of 25 items (28%), the body of the draft incident report did not match the
information staff entered into TOMIS. Because Trousdale is a CoreCivic facility, we
compared the CoreCivic 5-1a and 5-1c forms to TOMIS.
For 24 of 25 items (96%), staff did not report the incident to the CCC within 30 minutes
of occurrence or discovery.
For 4 of 25 items (16%), staff did not hold a disciplinary hearing within 7 calendar days
of the incident.
For 2 of 25 items (8%), staff could not locate the Staff Assault Incident Review Report.
For 7 of 25 items (28%), staff did not submit a Use of Force report to the warden within
8 hours or by the end of shift.
For 9 of 25 items (36%), staff did not enter all required information related to the
incident into TOMIS; specifically, staff did not include lists of disciplinary infractions,
names of all persons involved, and descriptions of homemade weapons.
At Hardeman County Correctional Facility, we found the following:
For 5 of 25 items (20%), facility staff did not enter the incident into TOMIS within 8
hours of occurrence or discovery.
For 12 of 25 items (48%), the body of the draft incident report did not match the
information entered into TOMIS. Because CoreCivic manages this facility, we
compared CoreCivic 5-1a and 5-1c forms to TOMIS.
For 24 of 25 items (96%), staff did not report the incident to the CCC within 30 minutes
of occurrence or discovery.
For 3 of 25 items (12%), staff did not hold a disciplinary hearing within 7 calendar days
of the incident.
For 3 of 25 items (12%), staff did not submit a Use of Force report to the warden within
8 hours or by the end of shift.

69 

 
 

For 16 of 25 items (64%), staff did not enter all required information related to the
incident into TOMIS; specifically, staff did not include
o lists of disciplinary infractions,
o the location of the incident,
o the time of the incident,
o the names of all persons involved, and
o descriptions of homemade weapons.
At Northwest Correctional Complex, we found the following:
For 2 of 26 items (8%), facility staff did not enter the incident into TOMIS within 8
hours of occurrence or discovery.
For 26 of 26 items (100%), because staff could not provide draft incident reports, we
could not compare them to the information in TOMIS.
For 26 of 26 items (100%), staff did not report the incident to the CCC within 30
minutes of occurrence or discovery.
For 7 of 26 items (27%), staff did not hold a disciplinary hearing within 7 calendar days
of the incident.
For 1 of 26 items (4%), staff did not complete a Staff Assault Incident Review Report
within 72 hours.
For 15 of 26 items (58%), staff did not enter all required information related to the
incident into TOMIS; specifically, staff did not include
o lists of disciplinary infractions,
o the location of the incident,
o the time of the incident,
o charges filed,
o inmate TOMIS IDs,
o the names of all persons involved, and
o descriptions of homemade weapons.
At Turney Center Industrial Complex, we found the following:
For 6 of 28 items (21%), staff did not enter the incident into TOMIS within 8 hours of
occurrence or discovery.
For 25 of 28 items (89%), because staff could not provide draft incident reports, we
could not compare them to the information in TOMIS. For 3 incidents, we compared
documentation from Use of Force packets to the TOMIS entries because the Use of
Force packets contained first-hand accounts of the incidents.
70 

 
 

For 28 of 28 items (100%), staff did not report the incident to the CCC within 30
minutes of its occurrence or discovery.
For 6 of 28 items (21%), staff did not hold a disciplinary hearing within 7 calendar days
of the incident.
For 3 of 28 items (11%), staff did not submit a Use of Force report to the warden within
8 hours or by the end of the shift.
For 17 of 28 items (61%), staff did not enter all required information into TOMIS;
specifically, staff did not include the location of the incident, the names of all persons
involved, and descriptions of homemade weapons.
At Northeast Correctional Complex, we found the following:
For 7 of 25 items (28%), staff did not enter the incident into TOMIS within 8 hours of
occurrence or discovery.
For 24 of 25 items (96%), the body of the draft incident report either did not match
what was entered into TOMIS or staff could not provide a draft incident report for
comparison to TOMIS. For 3 incidents, we compared documentation from Use of
Force packets to TOMIS entries because the Use of Force packets contain first-hand
accounts of the incidents.
For 24 of 25 items (96%), staff did not report the incident to the CCC within 30 minutes
of its occurrence or discovery.
For 7 of 25 items (28%), staff did not hold a disciplinary hearing within 7 calendar days
of the incident.
For 21 of 25 items (84%), staff did not enter all required information into TOMIS;
specifically, staff did not include the location of the incident, the names of all persons
involved, and descriptions of homemade weapons.
Staff at Northeast’s Carter County annex facility used incident report forms to record
all initial incidents.

71 

 
 

Appendix B-8
The Assistant Commissioner of Prisons’ Expectations for Incident Reporting Related to
Accidents, Injuries, and Illnesses
Code 4 Medical Emergencies44– “The reporting protocol would be dictated by the
severity of the injury or the seriousness of the illness. If the event rises to the
requirements outlined in [Policy] 103.02, ‘Incident Reporting,’ then the requirements
of that policy would be followed.”
Inmate Transports to Outside Hospitals for Injury/Illness – “An inmate could be
transported to a hospital for an illness that is not life-threatening, yet the required care
may be beyond the abilities of the infirmary. A TOMIS entry would be required.”
Work-Related Injuries – “Offender work-related injuries that have been verified by the
work supervisor should be entered on the incident screen, per Policy 103.02. The
accident, incident, and traumatic injury form should also be completed.”
Accidents With Injuries (Minor to Serious) – “Once security is notified of an inmate
injury, no matter the level of severity, an incident would be entered into TOMIS under
the appropriate incident code.”
Inmate Injuries Consistent With an Altercation (Minor to Serious) – “The initial entry,
prior to completed investigation, could be pending investigation. Depending on the
outcome of the investigation, the final entry could be one of the following: 1) assault
on offender with weapon or without, 2) fighting, 3) injury accident offender, or 4)
injury self-inflicted.”

 
44

This a radio code that correctional staff use when an inmate, staff member, or visitor is experiencing a medical
emergency, such as serious chest pains, loss of blood, or other condition that would require health services staff to
respond immediately to their location.

72 

 
 

Appendix B-9
Total Number of Reported Lockdowns by Correctional Facility
October 1, 2017, Through April 12, 2019
25

20

15

13
10
5

10

5

5

1
3
0

1

1
1

Bledsoe Hardeman* Morgan
County
County

3

3

4

8

8

2

2

Northeast Northwest Riverbend

8

0
Mark
Luttrell

South
Central*

Partial Institutional Lockdown

Lois M.
DeBerry

0
Turney
Center

Total Institutional Lockdown

*CoreCivic-managed correctional facilities.
Source: Tennessee Offender Management Information System.

73 

0
0
Prison for Trousdale Whiteville* West
Women
Turner*
Tennessee
State

 
 

Appendix B-10
Methodologies to Achieve Objectives
Death Reviews and Reporting
To achieve our objectives, we reviewed Department of Correction policies and interviewed
the department’s Chief Medical Officer and Death in Custody Coordinator to gain an
understanding of the process that correctional facility and department staff follow to record an
inmate’s cause of death in TOMIS and to document the circumstances surrounding the death in
the inmate’s health record.
To determine the accuracy of inmate deaths recorded in TOMIS, we obtained a list of 171
inmate deaths recorded by facility security staff from October 1, 2017, through May 30, 2019, and
compared it to narrative information that health services staff entered in the Online Sentinel Event
Log to identify any natural deaths that could be misclassified.
As a result of this comparison, we identified 38 inmate deaths with questionable causes
and compared the causes of deaths in TOMIS to the inmates’ certified death certificates.
To determine whether the inmate’s health record contained the proper documentation
relating to the death and subsequent reporting of the death, we reviewed the inmate’s health records
and searched for documentation required in departmental Policy 113.05, “Deaths and Autopsies.”
Other Incident Reporting
To achieve our objective, we interviewed staff at
Whiteville Correctional Facility (operated by CoreCivic),
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center (operated by CoreCivic),
Hardeman County Correctional Facility (operated by CoreCivic),
Northwest Correctional Complex,
Turney Center Industrial Complex,
Northeast Correctional Complex,
the department’s central office, and
the Tennessee Correction Academy
to gain an understanding of the process to enter incidents into TOMIS and the type of supporting
documentation that facility staff maintain. We reviewed department policies related to entering
incidents and pulled a nonstatistical, random sample of Class A incidents at each of the six prisons
we visited (see Table 12) and performed testwork to determine whether staff entered the incidents
into TOMIS according to policy. We searched for original documentation to support the incident
entries related to incidents involving staff assault, use of force, and disciplinary hearings. We also

74 

 
 

determined if facility staff reported incidents to the Central Communication Center within the
required timeframe.
Table 12
Population and Sample Sizes for Incident Testwork
Correctional Facility
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center
Hardeman County Correctional Facility
Whiteville Correctional Facility
Northwest Correctional Complex
Turney Center Industrial Complex
Northeast Correctional Complex
Total

Population Size
642
351
693
96
180
309
2,271

Sample Size Tested
25
25
27
26
28
25
156

Source: Compiled from auditor testwork.

Accident and Injury Reporting
To achieve our objective, we tested a random sample of 25 accident/injury entries made in
the Accidents screen at the following correctional facilities and populations:
Table 13
Accident/Injury Testwork Population Sizes
Correctional Facility
Hardeman County Correctional Facility
Northeast Correctional Complex
Northwest Correctional Complex
Turney Center Industrial Complex
Total

Population Size
564
566
85
299
1,514

When we attempted to pull a sample of accidents and injuries at Whiteville Correctional
Facility and Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, we found that health services staff did not make
any entries in the TOMIS Accidents screen during our audit period, so we were unable to perform
the same testwork at those facilities.
We also compared the entries that health services staff made in the Accidents screen to the
entries that security staff made in the Incidents screen to see if health services staff reported any
accidents or injuries that security staff did not.
Lockdown Reporting
To achieve our objective, we interviewed security staff at
Hardeman County Correctional Facility (operated by CoreCivic),
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center (operated by CoreCivic),
Whiteville Correctional Facility (operated by CoreCivic),

75 

 
 

Northeast Correctional Complex,
Northwest Correctional Complex, and
Turney Center Industrial Complex
to gain an understanding of each prison’s definition and reporting of lockdowns. We reviewed
department policies for any references to lockdowns. From TOMIS, we extracted and examined
a list of 74 reported lockdowns at all prisons for the period October 1, 2017, to April 12, 2019.
We also reviewed the Central Communication Center’s spreadsheet for any references to
lockdowns.
Statistical Abstract
To achieve our objectives, we interviewed the Director and the Assistant Director of the
Decision Support: Research and Planning Division; reviewed the department’s Annual Reports
and Statistical Abstracts from fiscal years 2016, 2017, and 2018; and obtained a list of current and
retired incident codes to gain an understanding of how the division compiles the statistics in the
reports. We also conducted testwork related to reporting incidents including deaths, accidents and
injuries, and lockdowns at three CoreCivic and three state correctional facilities to identify issues
with how correctional staff enter incident data into TOMIS.

76 

 
 

INMATE SEXUAL ABUSE AND SEXUAL
HARASSMENT INVESTIGATIONS

CHAPTER CONCLUSION
Finding 9 – Management did not ensure that state and CoreCivic correctional facilities
staff followed policies and procedures for investigating sexual abuse and sexual harassment
allegations and documented their results (page 82)

 

 
 

INMATE SEXUAL ABUSE AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT INVESTIGATIONS
General Background
Congress enacted the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) to
address the problem of sexual abuse of people in U.S. correctional agencies. It
applies to all public and private correctional facilities that house adult or juvenile
inmates, as well as community-based agencies. It also mandates certain standards
concerning detection and prevention of prison rape. The Tennessee Department
of Correction is required to follow federal PREA standards, issued by the U.S.
Department of Justice.
PREA seeks to eliminate sexual assaults and other sexual misconduct in correctional
facilities across the country. The Act sets nationwide standards for how correctional facilities and
jails should
identify potential victims and aggressors of sexual abuse and harassment;
limit cross-gender viewing and searches (male officers do not view female inmates in
bathrooms or shower areas or conduct body searches, and vice versa);
conduct PREA-related training and education for staff; and
receive, respond to, and investigate allegations of sexual abuse and harassment.
The law also requires audits of all correctional facilities at least once every three years by
a U.S. Department of Justice-certified PREA auditor.
Federal law describes two categories for classifying PREA allegations:
sexual harassment, and
sexual abuse.
PREA defines sexual harassment as
repeated and unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal
comments, gestures, or actions of a derogatory or offensive sexual nature by one
inmate, detainee, or resident directed toward another; and repeated verbal
comments or gestures of a sexual nature to an inmate, detainee, or resident by a
staff member, contractor, or volunteer, including demeaning references to gender,
sexually suggestive or derogatory comments about body or clothing, or obscene
language or gestures.
The definition for sexual abuse, however, is broad and includes nonconsensual sexual
contact between inmates and consensual or nonconsensual sexual contact between inmates and
staff. In the context of this law, rape is considered a form of sexual abuse. According to the
department’s Policy 502.06, “PREA Implementation, Education, and Compliance,” the

77 

 
 

department has a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual acts between staff and inmates as well as
between inmates, regardless of whether the act is consensual.
Screenings for Risk of Inmate Abuse or Victimization
The department’s Policy 502.06.01, “Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Screening,
Classification, and Monitoring,” states that the department is to provide a “safe, humane, and
appropriately secure environment, free from threat of sexual abuse and sexual harassment for all
inmates.”
To help meet these standards, the department requires that every inmate receive a PREA
screening upon entering the state’s correctional system. By asking a series of confidential
questions, the screening application helps correctional staff identify whether an inmate is at risk
of being either sexually abusive or sexually victimized. See page 153 for more information relating
to the department’s PREA screening process.
PREA Allegation Reporting
Department policy categorizes PREA allegations as
inmate-on-inmate sexual abuse,
inmate-on-inmate sexual harassment,
staff-on-inmate sexual abuse, and
staff-on-inmate sexual harassment.
Federal PREA law requires the department to provide multiple ways for inmates and staff
to privately report PREA allegations. The department’s Policy 502.06.2, “Prison Rape Elimination
Act (PREA) Allegations, Investigations, and Sexual Abuse Response Teams (SART),” makes the
following reporting methods available:
an internal correctional facility hotline;
an external advocacy groups hotline;
a PREA tip line;
reporting directly to staff either verbally or in writing; and
any other written communication.
The department created a web-based application called the PREA Allegation System (PAS)
in which the correctional facility investigators and/or the facility PREA coordinator log
allegations. According to department policy, these staff must log an allegation into PAS within
24 hours of receiving the allegation in order to initiate and track a prompt response to the
allegation. Once the allegation is logged, department management can monitor and track the
investigation’s progress, as well as report on the investigation’s findings. PAS assigns each PREA

78 

 
 

allegation a unique allegation identification number to allow department management to more
easily search and track allegations. Staff log
the date of the alleged incident;  
the date the allegation was reported;  
the type of allegation;  
the alleged aggressor and victim; 
a description of the allegation;  
a description of the actions taken to investigate the allegation; and 
the results of the investigation.  
Since staff use PAS as the primary PREA tracking system, they do not enter PREA
allegation information into the Tennessee Offender Management Information System (TOMIS)
unless and until the investigators substantiate the sexual assault, based on DNA tests, and send the
case to a third-party litigator. The department uses the PAS data to prepare its annual PREA report.
See Appendix C-1 on page 86 for the number of PREA allegations that each correctional facility
logged in PAS by type from October 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019.
The data entered into TOMIS, however, does not include the investigation’s confidential
details. We were told that staff enter the substantiated PREA cases into TOMIS as a means to
report them in the department’s Statistical Abstract.
PREA Investigations
According to the department’s Policy 502.06.2, “PREA Allegations, Investigations and
Sexual Abuse Response Teams,” management must investigate every allegation of sexual abuse
and harassment timely, efficiently, and confidentially in accordance with federal standards. When
first responding staff receive an allegation, they should
instruct inmates to not take any actions that could destroy physical evidence, such as
washing hands, showering, brushing teeth, changing clothes, or going to the restroom;
separate the alleged victim and abuser;
preserve and protect the alleged crime scene until steps can be taken to collect any
evidence;
notify the Sexual Abuse Response Team;45 and
conduct the investigation.

 
45

The Sexual Abuse Response Team is a coordinated response team of medical and mental health practitioners, facility
investigators, and facility security leadership. The department’s Office of Investigations and Compliance personnel
are not part of this team.

79 

 
 

Each correctional facility has an institutional
investigator who investigates PREA allegations and
reports investigation results. At the conclusion of the
investigation, the investigator classifies the allegation
as either substantiated, unfounded, or unsubstantiated.
Sexual Abuse Response Team Responsibilities

PREA Standards 
 
Substantiated – Based on the 
evidence, the alleged event 
occurred. 
 
Unfounded – Based on the 
evidence, the alleged event did 
not occur. 
 
Unsubstantiated – Based on the 
evidence, the investigator could 
not determine whether or not 
the alleged event occurred.  

Each correctional facility is required to have a
Sexual Abuse Response Team in place to coordinate
the correctional facility’s response to allegations. The
team ensures that alleged victims of sexual abuse
receive immediate medical and mental health
attention. The time between when an alleged incident
occurs and when it is reported is important because it
can impact the amount of physical and DNA evidence
collected. The department’s Office of Investigations
and Compliance personnel, located in field offices
throughout the state, collect the physical evidence at the scene if physical evidence is present.

If a sexual abuse allegation is reported within 72 hours, the critical time period in order to
collect evidence, as required by Policy 502.06.2, then the security shift supervisor who is notified
of the allegation is required to initiate a Sexual Abuse Incident Check Sheet. The check sheet
provides correctional facility personnel with a list of required notifications they must make, as well
as tasks the first responders, medical and mental health personnel, and other Sexual Abuse
Response Team members must perform. Management and staff use the check sheet to document
the date and time that staff perform each required task. The check sheet is not required after 72
hours of the incident because evidence collection is not viable after this point; however, the
allegation must still be reported and investigated.
At the conclusion of every substantiated or unsubstantiated sexual abuse allegation, the
facility is required to conduct and document an incident review within approximately 30 days of
the investigation’s conclusion. Unfounded allegations do not require such a review. The Sexual
Abuse Incident Review allows facility personnel to
consider whether the allegation should lead to a change in policy to prevent the incident
from occurring again or to provide better response to a similar event;
consider if the incident was motivated by race, sexual orientation, gender identity, gang
affiliation, or other motivating factors;
examine the alleged location to determine if any physical barriers could have enabled
abuse;
assess the adequacy of the staffing levels in the area; and
consider whether to deploy or change monitoring technology.  
 

80 

 
 

The Sexual Abuse Response Team is responsible for ensuring that, upon the completion of the
investigation, the required documentation is given to the institutional investigator for inclusion in
the investigation file. See Table 14 for a list of the investigation findings by allegation type for
all correctional facilities from October 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019.
Table 14
PREA Investigation Findings by Allegation Type
October 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019

Allegation
Finding
Substantiated
Unsubstantiated
Unfounded
Investigation
Ongoing46
Total

Inmate-onInmate
Sexual
Abuse
8
104
64

Inmate-onInmate
Sexual
Harassment
12
60
52

Staff-onInmate
Sexual
Abuse
32
30
76

Staff-onInmate
Sexual
Harassment
6
49
117

20
196

4
128

3
141

3
175

Total
58
243
309
30
64047

Source: The Department of Correction’s PREA Allegation System.

For additional information on the department’s PREA policies, action plan, response to
allegations,
and
investigation
information,
visit
the
department’s
website
(https://www.tn.gov/correction/sp/prison-rape-elimination-act.html), which also includes a link to
the department’s PREA Annual Report.
Audit Results
Audit Objective: Did the department and CoreCivic investigate and document PREA allegations
in accordance with department policy and national PREA standards?
Conclusion:

Based on our audit work, we found that both department and CoreCivic
correctional facilities staff did not log PREA allegations timely, and staff at two
state facilities, Turney Center Industrial Complex and Northeast Correctional
Complex, did not maintain proper investigation documentation. See Finding
9.

 
46

The “Investigation Ongoing” category represents any allegation that did not have a final finding listed with the
allegation at the time of our review.
47
This number does not include two allegations in the table in Appendix C-1 on page 86 where no type or finding
was entered into PAS.

81 

 
 

Finding 9 – Management did not ensure that state and CoreCivic correctional facilities staff
followed policies and procedures for investigating sexual abuse and sexual harassment
allegations and documented their results
To determine if the Department of Correction and CoreCivic complied with department
policy and federal PREA standards for the period of October 1, 2017, to April 11, 2019,
we obtained a total population of 108 PREA allegations at Hardeman County
Correctional Facility, Whiteville Correctional Facility, Northwest Correctional
Complex,
and
Northeast
Correctional
Complex; and
For the full methodology, including 
we selected a nonstatistical, random sample of
50 allegations from a population of 117 PREA
allegations at Trousdale Turner Correctional
Center and Turney Center Industrial Complex.

the breakdown of the population 
and sample sizes for each 
correctional facility we visited, see 
Appendix C‐2 on page 86. 

We also reviewed documentation in the department’s PREA Allegation System (PAS) and the
investigative files.
Allegations Not Entered Into PAS Timely
Based on our testwork, we found that staff at each correctional facility did not enter PREA
allegations into PAS within 24 hours of receipt, as required by the department’s Policy 502.06.2,
“PREA Allegations, Investigations and Sexual Abuse Response Teams.” According to department
management, correctional facility staff logged these PREA allegations into PAS when the
investigations were completed, rather than within 24 hours of receiving the allegation as required.
See Table 15 for a summary of our testwork results.
Table 15
Results of Testwork – Allegations Not Entered Timely

Correctional Facility
Northeast
Northwest
Turney Center
Trousdale Turner*
Hardeman*
Whiteville*

Number of
Items Tested
22
21
25
25
27
38

Number of Errors
and Error Percentage
of Allegations Logged
After 24 Hours
13 (59%)
12 (57%)
15 (60%)
18 (72%)
6 (22%)
34 (89%)

*Operated by CoreCivic.

82 

Average Number of
Days Late
15
5
5
10
3
10

 
 

Additional Concerns Identified at South Central Correctional Facility
While examining statistics relating to the number of substantiated, unsubstantiated, and
unfounded allegations, we noticed that South Central Correctional Facility staff had not entered
any investigation results into PAS from April 17, 2019, to August 6, 2019, the date we pulled the
statistics. Furthermore, using the facility’s internal PREA allegation tracking spreadsheet, we
found that staff did not enter four sexual abuse and one sexual harassment allegations made
between June 18, 2019, and July 22, 2019.
According to the department’s Director of Contract Monitoring, South Central’s assistant
warden, who was responsible for PREA reporting, transferred to the Hardeman County
Correctional Facility in April 2019 but continued to serve as the interim assistant warden at South
Central until the position was filled at the end of June. Additionally, South Central hired a new
institutional investigator at the beginning of June 2019. According to the warden, the PREA
information was not entered into PAS because no one at South Central had access to PAS during
that time period.
Investigative Documentation Incomplete or Misclassified
During our testwork, we identified issues with investigative documentation at two state
facilities, Northeast Correctional Complex and Turney Center Industrial Complex.
Northeast’s PREA Reviews and Investigation Check Sheets
At the Northeast Correctional Complex, we found the following:
For 7 of 22 PREA allegations tested (32%), staff did not complete a Sexual Abuse
Incident Check Sheet to document any abuse allegations that were reported within 72
hours after the alleged incident occurred.
For 2 of 22 PREA allegations tested (9%), staff determined that the allegations were
either unsubstantiated or substantiated but lacked a completed Sexual Abuse Incident
Review.48
The department’s Policy 502.06.2 states that
If the alleged sexual abuse occurred within a 72-hour time period of reporting, the
security shift supervisor who is notified of the allegation shall initiate the Sexual
Abuse Incident Check Sheet . . .
The facility shall conduct a Sexual Abuse Incident Review Report, at the conclusion
of every sexual abuse investigation, including investigations in which the allegation
has not been substantiated, unless the allegation has been determined to be
unfounded.
 
48

A Sexual Abuse Incident Review is not required if staff determine that the allegations of sexual abuse or harassment
were unfounded.

83 

 
 

Staff are required to use the Sexual Abuse Incident Check Sheets to document when they
take the required steps to respond to an allegation. In addition, by preparing the Sexual Abuse
Incident Review Report, management documents its evaluation of the events to help consider
whether it should implement processes to prevent similar sexual abuse or harassment incidences
from happening in the future. Based on our discussions with department management, the
department had identified concerns with the completeness of the case files at Northeast and has
appointed a new institutional investigator to conduct future investigations.
Turney Center’s Investigation Results Misclassified
Based on our testwork at the Turney Center Industrial Complex, for 8 of 25 PREA
allegations tested (32%), we found that the investigator did not include sufficient documentation
in the investigation case files to support staff’s final findings. Specifically, the institutional
investigator marked the allegations as unfounded; however, we found that staff’s descriptions of
the event used a variation of the phrase “due to the lack of evidence,” which suggested that staff
should have classified the allegation as unsubstantiated rather than unfounded.
According to Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 115, Section 5,
Unfounded allegation means an allegation that was investigated and determined
not to have occurred.
Unsubstantiated allegation means an allegation was investigated and the
investigation produced insufficient evidence to make a final determination as to
whether or not the event occurred.
For three of the eight allegations,49 correctional facility staff apparently improperly
concluded the allegations were unfounded and, based on that conclusion, did not require staff to
complete the Sexual Abuse Incident Review.
After we discussed the misclassifications with department management, they determined
that four of the eight allegations should have been classified as unsubstantiated rather than
unfounded. Management stated that the remaining four allegations were correctly classified as
unfounded, but correctional facility staff should have entered greater detail in the investigative
report to justify the findings.
Overall Effect
If correctional facility staff do not log the PREA allegations into PAS timely (within 24
hours of receiving the allegation), department management cannot effectively track and monitor
the status of investigations to ensure staff are following required policy when investigating and
documenting serious allegations of sexual abuse and harassment. When correctional facility staff
do not complete the check sheets or incident reviews when required, the department cannot ensure
 
49

For four of the allegations misclassified as unfounded, correctional facility staff conducted the Sexual Abuse
Incident Review even though it was not required. One other allegation involved sexual harassment, which did not
require a review.

84 

 
 

that facility staff took proper actions, including notifying facility management and medical and
mental health personnel to collect physical evidence if physical evidence is present.
Management’s incident review process allows department and facility management to
evaluate the events to determine if they need to make any changes to prevent an alleged incident
of sexual abuse from occurring again. Because many inmates do not report abuse out of fear of
retaliation or shame, or because they do not believe that complaints of sexual abuse will result in
any changes, the department’s incident reporting may not capture the complete picture of inmate
sexual abuse. If correctional facility staff do not properly understand how to classify allegation
investigation results, there is an increased risk that management and staff will not properly review
or even report critical sexual abuse and harassment allegations.
Recommendation
To ensure that PREA investigations are properly performed in accordance with
departmental policies and federal standards, management should educate the correctional facility
investigators and other facility personnel who are involved with PREA allegation investigations
on the requirements of the investigations. The department should also monitor the information in
PAS to ensure that correctional facilities are accurately and timely entering the required
information.
Management’s Comment
Concur.
Department management understands the importance of accurate data entry and subsequent
statistical distribution. Incident data entered into TOMIS is used by both internal and external
stakeholders. As noted in comments related to other findings, we are engaged in a review of
current policies and processes, associated with TOMIS incident entry, designed to ensure that we
provide complete and accurate information to all interested parties.

85 

 
 

Appendix C
Inmate Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment Investigations
Appendix C-1
Additional PREA Allegation and Investigation Information
Table 16
PREA Allegations by Correctional Facility and Type
October 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019
Inmate-on-Inmate
Facility
Bledsoe County Correctional Complex
Hardeman County Correctional
Facility*
Morgan County Correctional Complex
Mark Luttrell Transition Center
Northeast Correctional Complex
Northwest Correctional Complex
Riverbend Maximum Security
Institution
South Central Correctional Facility*
Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs
Facility
Turney Center Industrial Complex
Tennessee Prison for Women
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center*
Whiteville Correctional Facility*
West Tennessee State Penitentiary
Total

Staff-on-Inmate

Other
No
Sexual
Type
Harassment Entered Total
32
1
92

Sexual
Abuse
17

Sexual
Harassment
26

Sexual
Abuse
16

17
9
0
6
19

3
22
0
3
4

9
17
0
8
1

4
19
1
8
2

0
0
0
0
0

33
67
1
25
26

1
35

6
5

20
13

15
3

0
0

42
56

1
10
3
50
17
11
196

15
15
1
11
10
7
128

7
16
10
5
7
12
141

14
28
9
4
12
24
175

0
0
0
1
0
0
2

37
69
23
71
46
54
642

*Operated by CoreCivic.
Source: The Department of Correction’s PREA Allegation System.
.

Appendix C-2
Methodologies to Achieve Objective
To meet our objective, we obtained the Department of Correction’s and CoreCivic’s
policies related to Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) matters, including screenings,50
investigations, education, and monitoring. We discussed the investigative process with department
personnel. To determine if the department and CoreCivic complied with department policy and
federal PREA standards, we obtained a list of the PREA allegations for the following correctional
facilities for the period of October 1, 2017, to April 11, 2019, and tested either the population or a
nonstatistical, random sample of allegations and reviewed the documentation in the department’s
PREA Allegation System (PAS) and the investigative files.
 
50

See page 153 for information about PREA screenings.

86 

 
 

Table 17
PREA Allegation Population and Sample by Correctional Facility
Correctional Facility
Hardeman County Correctional Facility†
Whiteville Correctional Facility†
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center†
Northwest Correctional Complex
Turney Center Industrial Complex
Northeast Correctional Complex

Population
27
38
61
21
56
22

*If blank, the entire population was tested.
†CoreCivic-managed correctional facility.

87 

Sample Tested*
–
–
25
–
25
–

 
 

INMATE MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
SERVICES

CHAPTER CONCLUSIONS
Finding 10 – Department management disregarded controls over statewide procurement
and established its own informal procurement and payment system without proper review
and approval by oversight authorities (page 96)
Finding 11 – Centurion and Corizon did not meet contractual medical and mental health
staffing levels (page 98)
Finding 12 – CoreCivic and state managed correctional facilities did not ensure that staff
placed the required medical and mental health documents in the inmate files or completed
the required documents in accordance with department policy (page 100)
Observation 3 – Staff at Northeast Correctional Complex left a box containing confidential
employee and inmate health information in an open area, increasing the risk of unauthorized
access to confidential information (page 102)
Observation 4 – We identified concerns with medication administration practices at two
CoreCivic facilities during our site visits (page 103)
Finding 13 – CoreCivic did not have an adequate procedure in place to quickly access
inmate medication administration records during an outage of its new electronic
medication administration system (page 106)
Observation 5 – Management should evaluate the department’s process of transporting inmates’
medical files and medications when inmates are transferred between correctional facilities to
determine the risks to inmates when medical files and medications do not arrive at the right
destination (page 108)

 

 
 

INMATE MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
General Background
The Department of Correction is responsible for providing medical, mental health, dental,
and vision services to inmates incarcerated in the state’s correctional facilities. To provide these
services, the department contracts with the following vendors to provide services at state-run
correctional facilities:
Centurion of Tennessee, LLC., for primary medical services, and 
Corizon Health for mental health services.  
The department also contracts with Clinical Solutions to operate the central pharmacy, which is
located at the Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility and fills prescriptions for the state facilities.
CoreCivic is responsible for providing medical and mental health services to inmates
housed at its four correctional facilities. CoreCivic also contracts with Clinical Solutions to fill
prescriptions at its facilities.
Access to Medical Services
Both state and CoreCivic correctional facilities have established hours each day for medical
staff to evaluate and treat inmates for non-emergency health issues. In addition, the department
requires state and CoreCivic each facilities to provide nursing coverage, as well as an on-call
physician 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Centurion is also required to contract with specialty
care providers to ensure that inmates have access to specialized services when needed. Corizon is
responsible for providing access to mental health practitioners 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
Staffing Levels
Centurion and Corizon’s contracts include a staffing pattern that describes the medical and
mental health staffing levels required at the department’s facilities. The medical and mental health
staffing levels are subject to change when the department identifies changes in needs for clinical
staffing at its facilities. Each month, the vendors submit a clinical staff vacancy report to the
department, which denotes each vacant position for each facility the vendor operates for the
department. The reports list the dates that the positions became vacant, which the department uses
to determine when to assess liquidated damages. The department requires Centurion to fill clinical
vacancies within 14 days of the position’s vacancy, and non-clinical positions must be filled within
30 days. The department requires Corizon to fill all vacant positions within 31 days. According
to CoreCivic’s contracts, it has 45 days to fill all vacant medical and mental health positions. See
page 127 for information related to CoreCivic’s 45-day requirement, which applies to both
correctional and medical/mental health staff.
When the Centurion and Corizon do not meet staffing requirements, the department is
authorized to assess liquidated damages. Under Centurion’s contract, the department can assess
liquidated damages of $200 per day after 14 days per clinical vacancy, while the department is
89 

 
 

authorized to assess damages of $250 per day after 31 days per Corizon’s vacancies. We discuss
the department’s assessment of liquidated damages against Centurion and Corizon later in this
chapter.
Medical and Mental Health Files
Department policies require clinical personnel at all correctional facilities to
document the medical and mental health care of inmates. The correctional facilities
must maintain complete and current files on each inmate, and all documents placed
within the health record must be in chronological order in the appropriate section of
the file. The following documents are critical for providing and continuing care for
the inmates:
a health classification summary,  
a report of physical examination,  
a health history,  
a health questionnaire,  
a Health Services Major Medical Conditions Problem List,  
a medication administration record, 
physician’s orders,  
a mental health evaluation, and  
a drug screening form.  
When inmates enter the department’s custody, department personnel assess them based on
their medical and mental health appraisals, physical examinations, and health histories. The
inmates are classified as Class A, B, or C inmates for medical purposes. Class A inmates have no
restrictions and need no accommodations. Class B inmates have physical or mental conditions
that might limit certain capabilities. Class C inmates have serious physical or mental limitations.
Department personnel document their assessments on the health classification summary, report of
physical examination, and health history.
In addition, when an inmate enters a correctional facility, the health services staff must
complete the health questionnaire, which serves as a medical and mental health screening tool and
allows staff to document that they instructed inmates about the process to receive medical and
mental health care at the facility.
When an inmate’s medical and mental health diagnoses require treatment, health services
staff are required (by policy) to document this information on the Health Services Major Medical
Conditions Problem List.

90 

 
 

Health services staff use physician’s orders to record treatment orders, and the orders
provide the basis for the inmates’ prescribed medications. Treatment orders outline the steps that
staff must take to provide care to inmates with conditions serious enough to warrant care.
Health services staff complete mental health evaluations for inmates who
require mental health intervention;
have not received prior mental health treatment while in the department’s custody; or
discontinued mental health treatment and the mental health provider has no access to
the most recent evaluation.
Also, when an inmate enters the department’s custody, the inmate is required to undergo a
drug screening upon entering the correctional facility. The intake facility staff document the initial
drug screening on the Drug Screen Consent/Refusal form, which is then included in the inmate’s
medical file.
Prescribing and Filling Medications
Mid-level providers51 and physicians prescribe medications to inmates and
document these prescriptions on their physician’s orders. Department policy
requires prescriptions listed on the physician’s orders to include a diagnosis and
stop date before the pharmacy contractor, Clinical Solutions, fills them, and the
prescribing provider must document the prescribing diagnosis in the patient
record. Health services staff order the prescribed medications through the
electronic Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions System, and Clinical Solutions fills the
orders.
Each month, medical staff transcribe the information from the physician’s orders onto the
medication administration record, a form used to document the administration of prescribed
medications. By policy, this form must include the following information:
inmate name and number and current month and year;
date of order and start/stop date; 
name of drug, dose or strength, and dosage form; 
route of administration (oral, intravenous, or topical); 
time interval or frequency of administration; 
duration of order and/or automatic stop order; 
attending provider (physician, dentist, etc.); and  
 
51

Mid-level providers are clinical professionals with advanced practice training that legally authorizes them to treat
inmates and prescribe medications under protocols developed by a supervising physician. Such providers include
certified physician assistants; nurse practitioners; or clinical nurse specialists with a master’s level of training and a
certificate of fitness, or a doctorate.

91 

 
 

initials of the nurse who transcribed the order. 
Administering Medications
Each correctional facility has its own procedures for administering medications to its
inmates. Some facilities use a medication window that is open during designated times of the day
when inmates can walk up to get their medications, while other facilities deliver medications to
inmates within their housing units. For some medications, like controlled substances, the
administering medical staff must crush and/or float the medicine in small cups of water to
minimize the possibility of inmates saving the medication under their tongues for hoarding or
selling. Health services staff provide other medications, like blood pressure pills, to inmates to
keep in their possession for self-administration.
The medication administration record serves as the official record of when and how health
services staff administered each medication to an inmate. Each time a nurse administers a
medication, the nurse is required to initial the medication administration record next to each dose
provided. It is essential that staff administer medications accurately (that is, the right inmate, drug,
dose, time of administration, and route of administration) to meet inmates’ medicinal needs.
New Electronic Medication Administration Record
Between January and April 2019, CoreCivic gradually rolled out its new electronic
Medication Administration Record System, developed by Health Care Systems, at its four
Tennessee correctional facilities: Hardeman County Correctional Facility, South Central
Correctional Facility, Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, and Whiteville Correctional Facility.
CoreCivic worked with Clinical Solutions to host the electronic system through a virtual desktop,
with the software installed on each health services computer requiring access at the CoreCivic
facilities. Since the system is only accessible through a virtual desktop, it requires internet
connectivity. The system uses a scanner and barcoding system to keep track of medications
administered. It also interfaces with the Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions system to
streamline the ordering of medications.
Transfer of Inmate Medical Records 
Inmates can be transferred between correctional facilities either permanently or
temporarily for various reasons, such as medical treatment, court dates, programming needs, or
security reasons. Due to the distance between some correctional facilities, other correctional
facilities serve as transit facilities, which house inmates overnight while they are being transported
to the receiving facility.
According to department policy, when inmates are temporarily or permanently transferred
to a new correctional facility, the inmates’ individual health files transfer with them. Health
services staff must coordinate with correctional facility transportation staff to ensure that health
services staff prepare and package the health records for transfer with the inmates. The sending
facility’s health services staff must complete the following steps each time inmates and their health
records leave a correctional facility:

92 

 
 

maintain copies of the inmate’s current medication administration record, a list of the
inmate’s current medical problems, the last treatment plan note, and the most recent 48
hours of Problem Oriented Progress Records;52
complete a Transfer/Discharge Health Summary and place it in the inmate’s health
record; and
complete the Health Records/Medication
Movement Document to alert the
transportation official of the inmate’s special
medical needs.
Health services staff package the health records
and current medications in a manila envelope and tape a
copy of the Health Records/Medication Movement
Document to the outside of the package. Transportation
staff who receive the records become responsible for
ensuring the health files arrive at the final destination,
and transportation and health services staff must sign the
movement document to record the package’s chain of
custody.
Online Sentinel Event Log
The department uses a web tool called the Online Sentinel Event Log (OSEL) to report
clinical decisions requiring mediation from the central office or significant events that impact daily
operations of health and behavioral health care services within the facility. These OSEL entries
include, but are not limited to, medical emergencies; serious illnesses and injuries; infirmary and
hospital admissions; suicide attempts; deaths; and missing medical records.
If an inmate arrives at the receiving facility without his or her health records or medication,
then policy requires the receiving facility’s health services administrator to report the event in
OSEL and immediately contact the sending facility to arrange for it to send the records as soon as
possible.
Department’s Quarterly Monitoring
The department’s Office of Clinical Services performs quarterly monitoring at both the
state and CoreCivic correctional facilities to determine whether the contractors are performing
their duties in accordance with contract requirements and departmental policies. These quarterly
reviews serve as the department’s main tool to assess contractor compliance. The department uses
the number of findings from the reviews to calculate and assess liquidated damages against the
contractors. See Table 18 for the quarterly contract monitoring compliance rates for the six
facilities we visited. In addition, see Table 19 and Table 20 for the department’s assessed and
collected liquidated damages against Centurion and Corizon for areas of noncompliance during
our audit period.
 
52

Medical personnel use Problem Oriented Progress Records to track an inmate’s medical conditions and problems.

93 

 
 

Table 18
Quarterly Contract Monitoring Compliance Rates by Correctional Facility
For Fiscal Year 2019
Correctional Facility
Trousdale Turner
Whiteville
Hardeman
Northwest
Turney Center
Northeast

Compliance Percentage
(Health Services)
18 of 29 (62%)
18 of 26 (69%)
23 of 27 (85%)
28 of 39 (72%)
33 of 34 (97%)
44 of 48 (92%)

Compliance Percentage
(Mental Health)
54 of 58 (93%)
46 of 57 (81%)
34 of 39 (87%)
39 of 41 (95%)
46 of 51 (90%)
37 of 39 (95%)

Source: Auditors compiled results from the most recent quarterly monitoring reports obtained from the
Department of Correction as of March 19, 2019.

Table 19
Centurion Assessed and Actual Liquidated Damages Collected
October 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019
Contractual
Amounts Paid by
Calendar Year
Department
October to December 2017
$ 21,068,010.18
2018
$ 80,353,938.67
January to June 2019
$ 48,988,549.63
Total $150,410,498.48

Assessed
Liquidated
Damages
$
0
$ 598,600
$ 964,410
$1,563,020

Actual Liquidated
Damages
Collected
$
0
$92,020
$
0
$92,020

Source: Data extracts from Edison, the state’s accounting system, and liquidated damage assessment letters provided
by the department.

Table 20
Corizon Assessed and Actual Liquidated Damages Collected
October 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019

Calendar Year
October to December 2017
2018
January to June 2019
Total

Contractual
Amounts Paid
by Department
$ 3,527,064.57
$15,262,242.68
$10,314,455.01
$29,103,762.26

Assessed
Liquidated
Damages
$
0
$377,750
$236,750
$614,500

Actual Liquidated
Damages
Collected
$0
$0
$0
$0

Source: Data extracts from Edison, the state’s accounting system, and liquidated damage assessment letters provided
by the department.

Facility Fire and Safety Duties
Each correctional facility has a designated Fire and Safety Officer (FSO), who is
responsible for compiling monthly statistics related to any accidents and injuries that occur within
the facility. In order to create the monthly report, the correctional facility’s medical staff provides
Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Reports to the FSO.
94 

 
 

The FSOs review the monthly statistics to identify any trends related to safety at the facility.
For example, if multiple people fall and injure themselves in the same spot, the FSO would look
for an underlying issue (such as a water leak or an uneven sidewalk) and repair it to prevent further
injuries. Each FSO compiles the statistics in a spreadsheet and sends them to the department’s
Director of Safety Programs. The department’s Safety Programs Office does not collect accident
and injury statistics from any of the CoreCivic correctional facilities because CoreCivic has its
own corporate procedure for tracking accidents and injuries.
Audit Results
1. Audit Objective: Did the correctional facilities adequately staff medical and behavioral
health personnel to provide care for the inmates?
Conclusion:

Centurion and Corizon did not meet the minimum medical and mental
health staffing requirements, and the department did not adequately enforce
contract requirements related to staffing medical and mental health
positions. See Finding 11.

2. Audit Objective: Did Centurion and Corizon prepare and maintain critical medical and
mental health documentation in accordance with department policy and
contract requirements?
Conclusion:

Based on our testwork, we determined that Centurion and Corizon did not
prepare and maintain important medical and mental health documentation
in accordance with department policy and contract requirements. See
Finding 12.

3. Audit Objective: Did the department assess liquidated damages for noncompliance and
collect those damages from Centurion and Corizon for identified areas of
contract noncompliance?
Conclusion:

We found that the department assesses liquidated damages for identified
areas of contract noncompliance; however, the department does not collect
the majority of assessed monetary damages due to a value-added credit
system that offsets most of the damages. See Finding 10.
 
4. Audit Objective: Did the correctional facilities administer inmate medications in accordance
with department policy? 
 
Conclusion:
Based on our observations of nurses administering medications at multiple
correctional facilities, we identified concerns regarding the administration
of medication and recording the delivery of medications to inmates at two
CoreCivic facilities. See Observation 4.
5. Audit Objective: Is CoreCivic’s new electronic medication administration record system
operating effectively?

95 

 
 

Conclusion:

Based on our observations, CoreCivic did not have a backup plan in place
in the event its health services staff could not access the system when its
facilities lost internet connectivity. See Finding 13. We also found that
CoreCivic staff often experienced login problems and connectivity issues.
See Observation 4.

6. Audit Objective: Did the inmates experience delays in medical care when transferring from
one correctional facility to another?
Conclusion:

Although we were unable to determine if inmates experienced breaks in
medical care, the department should evaluate the inmate transfer process to
ensure inmate medical files are also properly transferred. See Observation
5.

7. Audit Objective: Did the department take proper measures to ensure that Fire and Safety
Officers secured documents containing confidential health information at
the correctional facilities?  
Conclusion:

During a walkthrough of the warehouse facility at the Northeast
Correctional Complex, we found that the Fire and Safety Officer did not
properly secure boxes containing Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury
Reports, which contain confidential health information related to serious
injuries and illnesses. See Observation 3.

Finding 10 – Department management disregarded controls over statewide procurement and
established its own informal procurement and payment system without proper review and
approval by oversight authorities
Although the Department of Correction management had formal contracts in place for two
medical service vendors, management failed to follow the state’s established contract amendment
process when it decided to informally modify the contract terms involving vendor liquidated
damages. Specifically, management designed and implemented a “value-added credit system” to
issue credits to a vendor for performance outside the scope of its formal contract with the
department. Under the modified arrangement, when the department issues credits to the vendor,
the vendor is allowed to use the credits to reduce any assessed or future liquidated damages
resulting from the vendor’s noncompliance with contract requirements.
We found that both medical services vendors, Centurion and Corizon, benefited from the
department’s value-added credit system. Although the credit system was not authorized through
proper contract amendments, the department issued each vendor credits to offset liquidated
damages. The department had assessed both vendors a combined total of approximately $2.1
million for contract noncompliance issues; however, by negating the damage assessments through
the value-added credit system, the department only collected damages of $92,020 from
Centurion and $0 from Corizon during our audit period.

96 

 
 

Value-Added Credits and Assessed Liquidated Damages
We obtained the department’s list of the vendors’ self-reported efforts for which the Chief
Medical Officer issued credits (see Appendix D-1 on page 109). Based on our review of the list,
we found instances where the department issued credits for areas not included in the contract; it
appears the department also issued credits for existing contract requirements. Given the conditions
noted in Finding 11 related to vendor nonperformance, we question management’s decision to
implement the informal value-added credit system.
We sought additional clarity from staff within the state’s Central Procurement Office
(CPO) on both of these contracts and the related liquidated damages clause. According to CPO,
Centurion’s contract, which was executed in 2013 and again in 2018, has more permissive
language in regard to assessing liquidated damages, allowing more flexibility for negotiations of
liquidated damages. Corizon’s contract, however, which was executed in 2016, is absolute and
requires the vendor to pay damages through invoice adjustments. Despite the contract language
differences regarding liquidated damages, CPO agreed that neither contract allows for the valueadded credit system.
Management’s Rationale for the Credit System
According to the department’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the contracts between
Centurion and Corizon both state that the department “may assess” liquidated damages, which he
stated means it is at the department’s discretion whether to collect any damages. Additionally,
the CFO explained that sometimes the department will pursue a contract amendment, but
sometimes the amendment process takes too long.
Criteria and Impact of Improper Contracts Terms and Condition
By creating new terms and conditions outside the normal contract process, management
has subjected the state to the risk of financial repercussions from potential litigation, including
risks associated with vendor solicitation and contract negotiations. In addition, management’s
modification to the liquidated damages process was not formally reviewed or approved by the
state’s contract oversight authorities, the Central Procurement Office, the Office of the
Comptroller of the Treasury, and the Fiscal Review Committee, all of whom protect the state’s
interests.
According to the Comprehensive Rules and Regulations of the Central Procurement Office,
Section 0690-03-01-.17(h), “Entire Agreement, Amendments, Modifications, Renewals or
Extensions,”
All contracts subject to these Rules shall contain a provision that provides that the
contract reflects the entire agreement of the parties and that there are no other prior
or contemporaneous agreements that modify, supplement or contradict any of the
express terms of the contract. All contracts shall further provide that any
amendments, modifications, renewals or extensions to the contract shall be in
writing and signed by all parties who signed the Base Contract.

97 

 
 

Recommendation
Chief executives of each state entity should take direct responsibility for issuing,
monitoring, and managing their entity’s respective vendor contracts; however, they cannot operate
outside the contracts’ authority.
Department management should review every contract currently in place and evaluate
whether management is allowing vendors to perform services outside the scope of the contract. If
so, management should amend the contract immediately to include those services in the contract.
Management’s Comment
Concur.
Department management interpreted language in the contract to be discretionary with
regard to the implemented remedies that were done in the best interest of the department and the
state.
Department management agrees that based upon the auditors’ findings and interpretation
of the contract, we will review all contracts currently in place and going forward amend contracts
to include services if they are being performed out of scope.
Finding 11 – Centurion and Corizon did not meet contractual medical and mental health
staffing levels
To determine if Centurion and Corizon complied
with contractual staffing levels, we selected a
nonstatistical, random sample of five months within the
audit period at the three state-managed correctional
facilities we visited.

See the full methodology in 
Appendix D‐5 on page 120. 

Based on our analysis of the five monthly clinical staffing reports that we obtained and
reviewed for Northwest Correctional Complex, Turney Center Industrial Complex, and Northeast
Correctional Complex, we determined that Centurion and Corizon did not meet the medical and
mental health staffing requirements outlined in their respective contracts. Specifically, Centurion
and Corizon did not always fill vacancies within the required timeframe.53 (See Tables 20-25 in
Appendix D-2 on page 113.) The vendors’ staff at the facilities are working a considerable
number of overtime hours to cover for these vacant positions. See Table 21 for an example of
total overtime hours for the five months selected at the three correctional facilities.

 
53

The department assessed Centurion and Corizon liquidated damages for contract noncompliance; however, the
department allowed for an informal value-added credit system, which offset the liquidated damages assessments. See
Finding 10 for details.

98 

 
 

Table 21
Number of Overtime Hours Per Facility54 Per Month55
Facility

Month 1
177.37
214.27
594.75

Northeast
Turney Center
Northwest

Month 2
106.58
320.25
481.65

Month 3
164.87
365.50
642.00

Month 4
196.75
492.25
895.00

Month 5
196.00
366.50
625.75

Source: Monthly medical timesheet documentation for Northeast Correctional Complex, Turney Center
Industrial Complex, and Northwest Correctional Complex obtained from the Department of Correction.

According to the contract, Centurion is “responsible for adequate staffing at each State
facility.” Corizon’s contract states that it will also “provide adequate and qualified staff to fulfill
its obligations.” Even though Centurion’s contract provides for 14 days to fill clinical vacancies,
we found that the department allows Centurion 30 days due to the difficulties in advertising the
vacancies, holding interviews, and completing the hiring process; however, this allowance is not
listed as a provision of the contract. Corizon’s contract states that all vacancies should be filled
within 31 days, its normal contract requirement. For our analysis of clinical staffing reports, see
Appendix D-2 on page 113.
According to management, the contractors experienced challenges in hiring staff,
particularly behavioral health staff, because professionals have to move to rural areas where the
facilities are located. Management stated that this is a nationwide clinical problem and is not
limited to the correctional field.
We could not determine if inmates suffered from lack of care, but potential risks exist if
facilities do not have adequate medical and mental health staff. Inmates could remain untreated
or could be treated by overworked, overly tired personnel who have to work long hours due to
vacancies.
Recommendation
The department should work with Centurion and Corizon to develop and enhance
recruiting of medical and mental health professionals to staff these positions at the correctional
facilities.
Management’s Comment
Concur.
Staff shortages exist; however, there was no determination that inmate care suffered as a
result. The “positions” that were vacant did not go unfilled. For the most part, shifts were covered
and the services were provided. In any cases where the shifts were not covered, liquidated
damages were calculated.
 
54

Based on the total number of overtime hours reported in Centurion’s timesheet documentation.
55
Months referenced in the table are the months listed in the respective correctional facility’s table in Appendix D-2
on page 113. For example, at Northeast, we analyzed staffing for the months of March, April, July, November, and
December 2018.

99 

 
 

Also, many of the things mentioned in the recommendation are things the agency already
does. Standing meetings where staffing is discussed are held regularly and frequently, at least four
times per month with our vendor partners. We meet with Centurion, on a bi-weekly basis (twice
per month) and CoreCivic and Corizon on a monthly basis (once per month).
The focus of these meetings is committed to staffing, specifically to identify strategies to
review, augment and improve staffing and personnel resources. Staffing resources, techniques and
strategies are discussed and developed.
At each of these meetings we review vacancies and collaborate with the vendor to develop
innovative strategies to enhance recruitment and retention and other techniques to attract the best
and the brightest medical providers are developed and discussed.
It is important to recognize that the staffing challenges we encounter are not solely a
contractual compliance challenge or a correctional health care problem. Hiring sufficient staff,
both medical and security, to work in a correctional setting is in fact a statewide as well as a
national challenge.
According to the Tennessee Board of Nursing Statistics, RNs not practicing in the target
counties range from 3 to 7%, likewise the percent of LPNs not practicing ranges from 3 to 7%. “A
2019 report released by Nursing Solutions, Inc. estimated the shortage of registered nurses will
reach 1.13 million by 2024. The U.S. Health Resources and Service Administration projected
Tennessee will only be able to meet half of the demand for registered nurses by next year.”
The department will continue to work with Centurion and Corizon to develop and enhance
recruiting of medical and mental health professionals to staff positions at the correctional facilities.
Finding 12 – CoreCivic and state-managed correctional facilities did not ensure that staff
placed the required medical and mental health documents in the inmate files or completed
the required documents in accordance with department policy
To determine if the inmates’ medical files have
the required medical and mental health documentation as
required by policy, we tested a nonstatistical, random
sample of 294 inmates from a total population of 726
inmates who were likely to have documented medical and
mental health conditions at the six correctional facilities
we visited from April 2019 through June 2019.

For the full methodology, including 
the breakdown of the population and 
sample sizes for each correctional 
facility we visited, see Appendix D‐5 
on page 120. 

Based on our review of the sample of inmate medical files, we found instances where health
services staff did not file medical and mental health documentation as required or did not complete
the documentation in accordance with Department of Correction policy. We performed testwork
during site visits at six correctional facilities (three state-managed and three CoreCivic-operated),
and we found numerous instances of noncompliance. Specifically, we noted the following:

100 

 
 

medical staff did not always include key information on the medical administration
records; 
medical staff did not always include initial drug screenings in the medical files;
we could not locate physical and mental health exams in all medical files we reviewed; 
we could not locate mental health evaluations for all inmates with documented mental
health conditions in our sample;
medical staff did not always include physician’s orders in patient files;
we could not locate mental health treatment plans for all inmates with documented
mental health conditions in our sample; and 
we could not locate health classification summaries in all medical files we reviewed.  
See Chart 22 for a summary of our testwork results. The detail of noncompliance for
incident reporting is located on Appendix D-4 on page 118.
Chart 22
Number of Errors by Noncompliance Type and Correctional Facility
Correctional Facilities
Whiteville

Trousdale
Turner

Hardeman

Northwest

Turney
Center

Northeast

13

13

17

19

14

6

21

1

9

14

21

10

3

-

6

-

-

-

7

-

4

2

-

2

‐ 

-

3

-

-

-

‐ 

-

3

-

-

-

‐ 

-

-

-

2

-

Missing Key
Information in Medical
Administration Records
Missing Initial Drug
Screenings
Missing Physical and
Mental Health Exams
Missing Mental Health
Evaluations
Missing Physician’s
Orders for Medications
Missing Mental Health
Treatment Plans
Missing Health
Classification Forms
Source: Auditor testwork results.

According to management, the missing or incomplete medical information is likely a result
of human error and staff not following departmental policies related to documentation of medical
and mental health assessments and treatment plans. We could not determine if patients did not
receive care; however, not ensuring that health services staff properly document inmate medical
and mental health assessments and treatment plans, including prescriptions, increases the risk that
inmates

101 

 
 

will not receive the appropriate medical and mental healthcare treatment or services;
will not receive appropriate prescriptions to achieve the desired therapeutic effect; and
could potentially hurt themselves, other inmates, and staff if ailments are left untreated.
Recommendation
Department management should immediately review its training of all staff responsible for
medical administration and its monitoring of vendors who provide medical and mental health
services at its facilities to ensure that the medication administration records contain documentation
required by the department. Furthermore, the department should review all inmate medical files
to ensure they are accurate and complete.
Given the issues identified, the department should evaluate its risk assessment and include
additional controls or process changes to reduce the likelihood of accidental medical injuries to
inmates under its care.
Management’s Comment
Concur.
The Department has an old and cumbersome paper health records system. So it is true that
required medical and mental health documents were not always in the inmate files or that staff had
not always completed the required documents in accordance with department policy. Therefore,
it is a top priority for our agency to transition from paper to electronic medical records to keep
pace with healthcare industry standards.
Department management will also review its training of all staff responsible for medical
administration and its monitoring of vendors who provide medical and mental health services at
its facilities to ensure that the medication administration records contain documentation required
by the department.
Observation 3 – Staff at Northeast Correctional Complex left a box containing confidential
employee and inmate health information in an open area, increasing the risk of unauthorized access
to confidential information
While performing a walkthrough of Northeast Correctional Complex’s warehouse on June
11, 2019, we observed a large box of paperwork in an open area. While looking through the boxes,
we found various facility-related documentation, including Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury
Reports, which contain protected health information, for both inmates and employees from
October 2017 through December 2018. Furthermore, we observed two correctional officers in and
around the warehouse area who could have accessed the files. According to the prison’s Fire and
Safety Officer, she placed the boxes in the warehouse from approximately December 2018 to June
11, 2019, to make more storage space in her office. She intended to send the boxes to the records

102 

 
 

section of the warehouse but had not at this point. After we brought the issue to her attention, she
moved the boxes to her office and secured them behind a locked door.
The department’s Policy 113-52, “Release of Protected Health Information,” states that the
protected health information of any inmate is confidential and should only be used, shared, or
disclosed in accordance with policy. It also states that
any employee who possesses confidential information in his/her office shall lock
office doors and/or filing cabinets that contain protected health information. No
information of this nature shall be stored in general view in any location within the
facility. An employee shall report any suspected tampering of files to his/her
immediate supervisor.
By not properly securing confidential documents, management increases its risk that
confidential health information and sensitive incident-related details could be seen by staff or
inmates. The Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury Reports contain incident witness statements,
increasing the risk of inmate retaliation if inmates see these reports. Furthermore, because some
documents contained health information, there is an increased risk of potential violations of the
federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.56
Department of Correction and correctional facility management should ensure that all
sensitive records are properly secured to prevent unauthorized access by facility staff or inmates.
Observation 4 – We identified concerns with medication administration practices at two
CoreCivic facilities during our site visits
The Department of Correction’s Policy 113.71, “Administration/Distribution of
Medication,” requires the following procedures when distributing medications to promote the safe
management of pharmaceuticals consistent with legal and professional standards of care:
The medication administration record is to be used as a permanent record of
medication administered/distributed to an inmate. Upon administration or
distribution of a prescribed medication, all pertinent information shall be
recorded on the medication administration record.
Nursing personnel shall verify that they have the right inmate, drug, dose, time
of administration, and route of administration before administering/distributing
a medication.
Certain medications, like those ordered to treat mental health disorders, require
direct observation therapy, which means face-to-face observation and
monitoring by a qualified health professional of an inmate taking their
medications.
 
56

The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requires health care providers and health care
insurers to maintain the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information.

103 

 
 

All
psychotropic
drugs,
controlled
medications,
[tuberculosis]
prophylaxis/treatment medication, and drugs requiring parenteral
administration are to be administered only on a dose by dose basis crushed, and
under water, unless directed otherwise by the provider.
If a medication is not administered, the nurse shall enter the appropriate code
in accordance with the legend indicated on the approved medication
administration record(s).
The department’s policy does not explicitly outline physical safety requirements regarding
medication administration; however, according to Paragraph 10.03 of the U.S. Government
Accountability Office’s Standards on Internal Controls, which serves as best practice for states,  
Management designs appropriate types of control activities for the entity’s internal
control system. Control activities help management fulfill responsibilities and
address identified risk responses in the internal control system.
The same section also lists physical control over vulnerable assets as a common control activity
category, suggesting that “Management establishes physical control to secure and safeguard
vulnerable assets.”
During our visits to correctional facilities, we observed nurses administering medications
at Hardeman County Correctional Facility, Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, Northeast
Correctional Complex, Northwest Correctional Complex, and Turney Center Industrial Complex.
Based on our observations, we identified the following medication administration concerns at two
of the CoreCivic facilities.
Hardeman
Nurses were repeatedly and unexpectedly logged out of the new electronic medication
administration records system (eMARs) and/or experienced login difficulties, which
could impact the nurses’ ability to record information regarding medication distribution
or administration.
The electronic medication administration records, which nurses use to administer
medication, did not always print correctly for the nurses; reports had intermittent blanks
rather than the department-defined codes showing that the inmate took or did not take
the medication; reports were missing KOP57 information; reports were missing
medication start and stop dates; and reports printed with undefined codes.
Although department policy requires “face-to-face observation and monitoring by a
qualified health professional of an inmate taking their medication,” we observed nurses
relying on correctional officers to ensure inmates swallowed their medications before
leaving the clinic rather than the nurses ensuring inmates swallowed their pills.
 
57

 KOP stands for keep on person, which is medication that inmates are allowed to keep in their cells rather than having
to obtain it from the nurse each day.

104 

 
 

Nurses apparently double-scanned some medications into eMARs in an attempt to get
caught up with scanning medications that had been administered earlier in the day.
Facility staff told us that the nurses were delayed in entering medication data due to a
system outage earlier in the day and had to perform duplicate scans when the system
was available. While we could not determine if this resulted in inmates not receiving
medications, management must ensure that it implements proper controls to reduce the
risk of inmates not receiving medications or receiving duplicate doses due to system
outages.
Trousdale Turner
Nurses informed us that they had difficulties logging into eMARs and often lost
connectivity to the system, which could result in medication distribution/administration
information going unrecorded.
The medication administration reports did not print correctly; reports had intermittent
blanks rather than the department-defined codes showing that the inmate took or did
not take the medication; reports were missing medication start and stop dates; and
reports printed with undefined codes.
One nurse told us that she was administering psychotropic medications and/or
controlled substances, but we did not observe her crush or float any of the medications
as required by policy.
We observed three inmates walk away with their medications without waiting for a
nurse to watch them swallow even though policy requires “face-to-face observation
and monitoring by a qualified health professional of an inmate taking their medication.”
As nurses were administering medications to a pod, several inmates entered the
common area of the unit and were allowed to stand very close to the medication cart
behind the nurses as they administered medications, posing a potential risk to the
security and safety of nursing staff and medications. While department policy does not
explicitly outline physical safety requirements for staff who administer medications,
management has a responsibility to establish physical controls to secure and safeguard
vulnerable assets, including both the medical staff and the medications.
CoreCivic’s Regional Health Services Director indicated that nurses experienced login and
intermittent connectivity issues with the new eMARs system because only 25 users across all 4
CoreCivic-managed facilities could log in to the virtual desktop concurrently. If nurses did not
log out when not actively using the system, nurses attempting to access eMARs might not be able
to log in to the system. Additionally, the department’s Associate Director of Medical Services
indicated that poor internet speeds could also cause some of the system connectivity issues. The
department’s Chief Medical Officer stated that because eMARs is so new, CoreCivic is working
through the bugs, but it intends to perfect the system at the CoreCivic facilities and eventually
transition to using it at the department-managed facilities.

105 

 
 

The department’s Chief Medical Officer indicated that some of the problems could be due
to turnover and lack of refresher training. The effects of poor physical controls surrounding the
administration of medications are wide-ranging and include increased risks of
physical harm to nurses, officers, and inmates;
inmates stealing pills;
inmates not taking critical medications; and
inmates trading or selling pills.
The Chief Medical Officer should ensure that health services staff distribute medication to
inmates in accordance with department policy and medical industry standards to ensure that
inmates receive their medications in a safe, controlled environment. The department should
continually provide training to health services staff at the correctional facilities to ensure that
knowledge is not lost when there are periods of high turnover.
Finding 13 – CoreCivic did not have an adequate procedure in place to quickly access inmate
medication administration records during an unexpected outage of its new electronic
medication administration system
During our visit to Hardeman County Correctional Facility on May 14, 2019, the facility
experienced a localized internet outage that affected the ability of staff at both Hardeman County
and Whiteville health services to log in to the electronic medication administration records system
(eMARs) to obtain records. The outage lasted from approximately 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.; as a
result, staff could not quickly identify inmates who needed morning medications. To obtain the
medication records during the outage, CoreCivic’s Regional Health Services Director emailed the
records from a remote site to the Department of Correction’s onsite contract monitor, who used
his personal cellular Wi-Fi device to access email and print the records.
Based on our real-time observations during the internet outage and review of the
instructions provided by the Regional Health Services Director, we found that CoreCivic had a
procedure in place for a nurse at each facility to save a nightly backup of inmates’ medication
administration records onto one designated desktop so the facility would be able to access and
print the files in the event staff could not access eMARs. This procedure, however, did not take
into consideration that new users who had never logged in to the desktop would not be able to log
into it. Only three users had the ability to log into the desktop to retrieve the backup, and none of
those individuals were onsite the day of the outage.
According to Critical Element CP-2, “Take Steps to Prevent and Minimize Potential
Damage and Interruption,” of the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s Federal Information
System Control Audit Manual (FISCAM),58
 
58

FISCAM provides a methodology for performing information system control audits in accordance with generally
accepted government auditing standards.

106 

 
 

File backup procedures should be designed so that a recent copy is always available.
. . . Staff should be trained in and aware of their responsibilities in preventing,
mitigating, and responding to emergency situations.
Additionally, FISCAM Critical Element CP-3, “Develop and Document a Comprehensive
Contingency Plan,” states,
A contingency plan or suite of related plans should be developed for restoring
critical applications; this includes arrangements for alternative processing facilities
in case the usual facilities are significantly damaged or cannot be accessed.
Agency/entity-level policies and procedures define the contingency planning
process and documentation requirements. Furthermore, an entity wide plan should
identify critical systems, applications, and any subordinate or related plans. It is
important that these plans be clearly documented, communicated to affected staff,
and updated to reflect current operations. . . . In addition, the plan should address
entity systems maintained by a contractor or other entity (e.g., through service level
agreements).
CoreCivic’s Regional Health Services Director stated that eMARs is brand new, and
CoreCivic had not anticipated all the scenarios that could go wrong during an internet outage. Not
having an adequate plan in place to retrieve inmate medication administration records during a
system outage increases the risk that inmates may not receive their prescribed medications. During
our audit fieldwork, the department’s Director of Contract Monitoring for CoreCivic facilities
provided us documentation that showed CoreCivic created a new, formal disaster recovery plan
for eMARs on July 1, 2019.
Recommendation
In the event of an internet outage, natural disaster, or other event that may prevent users
from accessing electronic copies of inmates’ medication administration records, the department
should be able to ensure that the right inmate gets the right medication at the right time. The
department should ensure that CoreCivic facilities follow and test their new disaster recovery
process for saving and retrieving emergency medication administration records.
Management’s Comment
Concur.
Department agrees with the audit recommendation and is requiring a revision to the
individual CoreCivic Institution’s Emergency Operations Plan, Policy #506.20, Section VI.(D)(4),
“Emergency Medical Services Plan,” to include the new disaster recovery process for saving and
retrieving EMR records that contain site specific information. This plan will be tested in
accordance with policy #506.20 and be added to contract monitoring and exam instruments to
ensure the framework of the procedure is in place to respond in the event of an emergency internet
outage.

107 

 
 

Observation 5 – Management should evaluate the department’s process of transporting inmates’
medical files and medications when inmates are transferred between correctional facilities to
determine the risks to inmates when medical files and medications do not arrive at the right
destination
While performing testwork at Northwest Correctional Complex during the week of May
20, 2019, health services staff could not find an inmate’s medical file that we requested for our
testwork. We found that the file was missing from April 14, 2019, until May 23, 2019. According
to the facility’s Health Services Administrator, this inmate had a chronic health condition and had
to be admitted to Nashville General Hospital. As a standard procedure, when inmates are admitted
into Nashville area hospitals, the facility’s health services staff temporarily transfer the inmates’
medical files to the Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility. In this instance, due to a
miscommunication, when the hospital discharged the inmate, staff at Lois M. DeBerry did not
transfer the inmate’s file back to Northwest.
To determine whether correctional facilities experienced delays in receiving inmate
medications or medical files, we reviewed all of the entries in the Online Sentinel Event Log
(OSEL) from October 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019. We identified approximately 800 instances where
facility health services staff made an entry in OSEL when inmates arrived at a receiving institution
without all of their medications; medical paperwork (such as medication administration records);
and/or medical files. We found, however, that the information in OSEL is limited because health
services staff do not always enter the name of the sending facility or update the entry when they
actually receive inmates’ medical information. Furthermore, we observed that correctional
facilities’ health services staff took alternative steps, such as creating temporary medical files and
contacting the central pharmacy or the prior facility’s staff, to obtain the necessary information in
order to serve the inmates.
Although we were unable to determine if inmates experienced a break in medical care due
to the lack of medical files, management should evaluate the entire process, identify risks to
inmates, and develop controls to mitigate those risks.

108 

 
 

Appendix D
Inmate Medical and Mental Health Services
Appendix D-1
Department’s Assessed Liquidated Damages and Offsetting Value-Added Credits for
Centurion and Corizon
Excerpts From Department-Provided Exhibit of Centurion’s Liquidated Damages
Applied to Value-Added Services
(Unaudited)

 

109 

 
 

 

110 

 
 

Excerpt From Department-Provided Exhibit of Corizon’s Liquidated Damages Applied to Value-Added Services
(Unaudited)

111 

 
 

112 

 
 

Appendix D-2
Analysis of Monthly Clinical Staffing Reports for Centurion and Corizon
By State-Managed Correctional Facility
Tables 23, 24, and 25 provide an overview of the facility vacancies under the Centurion
contract.
Table 23
Northeast Correctional Complex Vacancies (Centurion)59

Contract FTE60
FTE Filled
FTE Vacancies
% of FTE Positions Filled
% of FTE Positions Vacant
Missed Hours per Week Due
to Vacancies
# of Inmates61
# of Licensed Practical
Nurses (LPNs)
# of Registered Nurses (RNs)
Inmates per LPN
Inmates per RN

March
2018
51.20
50.20
1.00
98.0%
2.0%

April
2018
51.20
50.20
1.00
98.0%
2.0%

July
November December
2018
2018
2018
51.20
51.20
51.20
51.20
49.20
47.20
0.00
2.00
4.00
100.0%
96.1%
92.2%
0.0%
3.9%
7.8%

40
1,755

40
1,785

0
1,750

80
1,692

160
1,693

21.60
11.60
81.25
151.29

21.60
11.60
82.64
153.88

21.60
12.60
81.02
138.89

21.60
11.60
78.33
145.86

21.60
10.60
78.38
159.72

Source:Monthly medical timesheet documentation and staffing matrices for Northeast Correctional Complex
obtained from the Department of Correction.

Table 24
Turney Center Industrial Complex Vacancies62 (Centurion)

Contract FTE
FTE Filled
FTE Vacancies
% of FTE Positions Filled
% of FTE Positions Vacant
Missed Hours per Week Due to
Vacancies
# of Inmates
# of LPNs

October
February
2017
2018
46.40
46.40
44.40
44.40
2.00
2.00
95.7%
95.7%
4.3%
4.3%
80
1,625
16.80

80
1,546
16.80

June
2018
46.40
43.40
3.00
93.5%
6.5%

July
2018
47.80
43.40
4.40
90.8%
9.2%

August
2018
47.80
46.00
1.80
96.2%
3.8%

120
1,606
15.80

176
1,604
15.80

72
1,604
17.40

 
59

Includes the main site in Johnson County and the annex in Carter County.
60
FTE stands for full-time equivalent. It equals a unit that indicates the employed person’s workload. An FTE of
1.0 is equal to one full-time employee, while an FTE of 0.5 equals half the workload of a full-time employee.
61
 Based on the number of inmates listed at the facility for the month in the department’s Bed Space Report. 
62
 Includes the main site in Hickman County and the annex in Wayne County. 

113 

 
 

October
February June
July
2017
2018
2018
2018
9.40
10.40 10.40
10.40
96.73
92.02 101.65 101.52
172.87
148.65 154.42 154.23

# of RNs
Inmates per LPN
Inmates per RN

August
2018
10.40
92.18
154.23

Source: Monthly medical timesheet documentation and staffing matrices for Turney Center Industrial Complex
obtained from the Department of Correction.

Table 25
Northwest Correctional Complex Vacancies (Centurion)

Contract FTE
FTE Filled
FTE Vacancies
% of FTE Positions Filled
% of FTE Positions Vacant
Missed Hours per Week Due to
Vacancies
# of Inmates
# of LPNs
# of RNs
Inmates per LPN
Inmates per RN

January
2018
62.70
53.30
9.40
85.0%
15.0%

May
2018
62.70
56.50
6.20
90.1%
9.9%

July September
2018
2018
68.00
68.00
61.50
63.30
6.50
4.70
90.4%
93.1%
9.6%
6.9%

376
248
260
2,319 2,354 2,342
21.20
21.20 24.00
9.4
12.6
12.8
109.39 111.04 97.58
246.70 186.83 182.97

188
2,362
25.40
14.60
92.99
161.78

January
2019
68.00
60.10
7.90
88.4%
11.6%
316
2,008
25.00
10.8
80.32
185.93

Source: Monthly medical timesheet documentation and staffing matrices for Northwest Correctional Complex
obtained from the Department of Correction.

Tables 26, 27, and 28 provide an overview of the hours missed each month for behavioral
health employees under Corizon’s responsibility. It is important to note that although Corizon
provides the service, it uses a number of state-employed clinical staff who have continued to
work at the state-run facilities. In the event the state employees end state service, Corizon will
assume the responsibility to fill the vacancy as stated in the contract.
Table 26
Northeast Correctional Complex Analysis (Corizon)63

Required Hours
Worked Hours
Missed Hours
Missed 8-hour Days
Percentage of Hours Worked
Percentage of Hours Missed

March
2018
2,279.20
1,772.00
507.20
63.40
78%
22%

April
November
2018
July 2018
2018
2,175.60
2,279.20
2,103.20
1,560.75
1,957.75
1,672.25
614.85
321.45
430.95
76.86
40.18
53.87
72%
86%
80%
28%
14%
20%

 
63

Includes the main site in Johnson County and the annex in Carter County.

114 

December
2018
2,175.60
1,750.75
424.85
53.11
80%
20%

 
 

March
2018
16
16
0

Positions Required
Positions Filled
Positions Vacant

April
November
2018
July 2018
2018
16
16
15
14
15
13
2
1
2

December
2018
15
14
1

Source: Monthly behavioral health timesheet documentation and staffing matrices for Northeast Correctional
Complex obtained from the Department of Correction.

Table 27
Turney Center Industrial Complex Analysis (Corizon)64

Required Hours
Worked Hours
Missed Hours
Missed 8-hour Days
Percentage of Hours Worked
Percentage of Hours Missed
Positions Required
Positions Filled
Positions Vacant

October
2017
2,235.20
1,894.75
340.45
42.56
85%
15%
16
15
1

February
2018
2,032.00
1,522.50
509.50
63.69
75%
25%
15
14
1

June
July
2018
2018
2,301.60 2,235.20
2,089.00 2,058.25
212.60
176.95
26.58
22.12
91%
92%
9%
8%
16
15
16
15
0
0

August
2018
2,520.80
2,202.50
318.30
39.79
87%
13%
15
15
0

Source: Monthly behavioral health timesheet documentation and staffing matrices for Turney Center Industrial
Complex obtained from the Department of Correction.

Table 28
Northwest Correctional Complex Analysis (Corizon)

Required Hours
Worked Hours
Missed Hours
Missed 8-hour Days
Percentage of Hours Worked
Percentage of Hours Missed
Positions Required
Positions Filled
Positions Vacant

January
2018
3,256.80
2,639.48
617.32
77.17
81%
19%
21
21
0

May
2018
3,256.80
2,549.25
707.55
88.44
78%
22%
19
19
0

July
2018
2,763.20
2,374.50
388.70
48.59
86%
14%
20
19
1

September
2018
2,672.00
2,328.00
344.00
43.00
87%
13%
21
20
1

January
2019
2,888.80
2,458.00
430.80
53.85
85%
15%
20
19
1

Source: Monthly behavioral health timesheet documentation and staffing matrices for Northwest Correctional
Complex obtained from the Department of Correction.

 
64

Includes the main site in Hickman County and the annex in Wayne County.

115 

 
 

Appendix D-3
Analysis of Monthly Clinical Staffing Reports for CoreCivic-Managed
Correctional Facilities
Table 29
Whiteville Correctional Facility Vacancies (CoreCivic)

Contract FTE
FTE Filled
FTE Vacancies
% of FTE Positions Filled
% of FTE Positions Vacant
Missed Hours per Week Due
to Vacancies
# of Inmates
# of LPNs
# of RNs
Inmates per LPN
Inmates per RN

November
2017
25.85
16.05
9.80
62.1%
37.9%

March
2018
25.85
17.05
8.80
66.0%
34.0%

392
1,499
4
2
374.75
749.50

352
1,510
9
6
167.78
251.67

August September
2018
2018
26.05
28.25
24.25
27.25
1.80
1.00
93.1%
96.5%
6.9%
3.5%
72
1,527
10
5
152.70
305.40

December
2018
25.50
25.50
0.00
100.0%
0.0%

40
1,518
10
7
151.80
216.86

0
1,501
9
6
166.78
250.17

Source: Monthly medical and behavioral health staffing documentation for Whiteville Correctional Facility obtained
from the Department of Correction.

Table 30
Hardeman County Correctional Facility Vacancies (CoreCivic)

Contract FTE
FTE Filled
FTE Vacancies
% of FTE Positions Filled
% of FTE Positions Vacant
Missed hours per Week Due to
Vacancies
# of Inmates
# of LPN
# of RN
Inmates per LPN
Inmates per RN

September
2018
37.05
35.15
1.90
94.9%
5.1%
76
1,998
13
8
153.69
249.75

October
November
2018
2018
37.05
36.05
36.05
36.15
1.00
-0.10
97.3%
100.3%
2.7%
-0.3%
40
1,983
13
9
152.54
220.33

-4
1,989
13
9
153.00
221.00

March
April
2019
2019
31.15
31.05
36.15
36.15
-5.00
-5.10
116.1% 116.4%
-16.1% -16.4%
-200
1,977
13
9
152.08
219.67

-204
1,976
13
9
152.00
219.56

Source: Monthly medical and behavioral health staffing documentation for Hardeman County Correctional Facility
obtained from the Department of Correction.

116 

 
 

Table 31
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center Vacancies (CoreCivic)

Contract FTE
FTE Filled
FTE Contract Vacancies
% of FTE Contract Positions Filled
% of FTE Positions Vacant
Missed Hours per Week Due to
Vacancies
# of Inmates
# of LPNs
# of RNs
Inmates per LPN
Inmates per RN

June
2018
45.91
45.63
0.28
99.4%
0.6%
11.2

July
2018
45.91
45.63
0.28
99.4%
0.6%
11.2

2,552 2,549
15
15
10.28 10.28
170.13 169.93
248.25 247.96

August
November
2018
2018
49.93
51.83
52.88
49.28
-2.95
2.55
105.9%
95.1%
-5.9%
4.9%
-118
102
2,549
20
11.28
127.45
225.98

2,507
16
11.28
156.69
222.25

December
2018
51.83
51.28
0.55
98.9%
1.1%
22
2,523
19
10.28
132.79
245.43

Source: Monthly medical and behavioral health staffing documentation for Trousdale Turner Correctional Center
obtained from the Department of Correction.

117 

 
 

Appendix D-4
Detailed List of Errors Found in Inmate Medical File Review by Correctional Facility
At Whiteville Correctional Facility,
in 13 of 16 medical files we reviewed (81%), medication administration records did
not contain key required information about the inmates’ prescribed medication,
including start dates, order dates, number of KOP pills given,65 and departmentapproved codes;
for 3 of 60 medical files tested (5%), staff did not provide inmates instruction on how
to receive medical care and staff did not document the physical and mental health exam
for the inmates’ duration of their time served; and
for 7 of 60 medical files tested (12%), staff did not document that they performed a
mental health evaluation for inmates with known mental health conditions.
At Trousdale Turner Correctional Center,
we determined that for all 13 medical files tested (100%), health services staff did not
include key information about inmates’ medication on the medication administration
record, including the start and stop date, dosage, order date, number of KOP pills given,
name of the prescribing doctor, and discontinue date.
At Hardeman County Correctional Facility,
for 17 of 18 medical files tested (94%), staff did not include key information about
inmates’ medication on the medication administration records, including the dosage
information, number of KOP pills given, order date, and start date;  
for 6 of 60 medical files tested (10%), staff did not instruct inmates on how to receive
medical care and did not document that they performed the inmates’ physical and
mental health exams for the duration of their time served;
for 3 of 60 medical files tested (5%), we could not find a physician’s order to
corroborate prescriptions listed on the medication administration records;
for 4 of 60 medical files tested (7%), we could not find a mental health evaluation for
inmates with documented mental health conditions; and
for 3 of 60 medical files tested (5%), we could not find a mental health treatment plan
for inmates with documented mental health conditions.
At Northwest Correctional Complex,
for 19 of 25 medical files tested (76%), health services staff did not include key
information about inmates’ medication on the medication administration records,
 
65

KOP stands for keep on person, which is medication that inmates are allowed to keep in their cells rather than having
to obtain it from the nurse each day.

118 

 
 

including the dosage information, start date, number of KOP pills given, order date,
correct number of pills, and frequency of administration;
for 2 of 60 medical files tested (3%), staff did not document in the files that they
performed a mental health evaluation for inmates with known mental health conditions;
and
for 1 of 60 medical files tested (2%), we could not locate the mental health treatment
plan for an inmate with a documented mental health condition.
At Turney Center Industrial Complex,
for 14 of 27 medical files tested (52%), health services staff did not include key
information about inmates’ medication on the medication administration records,
including the start and stop date, number of KOP pills given, and prescriptions that
were listed on a physician’s order;
for 2 of 27 medical files tested (7%), we could not locate the inmate’s health history;
for 1 of 27 medical files tested (4%), we could not locate a physical examination for
the inmate; and
for 1 of 27 medical files tested (4%), staff did not instruct the inmate on how to receive
medical care and staff did not document that they performed the inmate’s physical and
mental health exam for the duration of the inmate’s time served.
At Northeast Correctional Complex,
for 6 of 25 medical files tested (24%), health services staff did not complete key
information about inmates’ medication on the medication administration records,
including the start and stop date, dosage information, and prescriptions that were listed
on a physician’s order; and
for 2 of 60 medical files tested (3%), we could not locate a mental health evaluation for
inmates with known mental health conditions.
Additionally, at each facility tested, we identified several instances where health services staff did
not place the inmate’s initial drug screening in the inmate’s medical file.

119 

 
 

Appendix D-5
Methodologies to Achieve Objectives
To meet our objectives, we obtained and reviewed the department’s contracts with
Centurion and Corizon to ascertain their contractual obligations for staffing and filling vacancies
and providing medical and mental health services. We reviewed applicable department policies
related to maintaining and organizing health records, specifically
physician’s orders; 
medical and mental health screenings;  
medication administration records;  
mental health evaluations and treatment plans; 
initial inmate drug screenings; and  
health classifications.  
We obtained the department’s last four clinical quarterly monitoring reports for the
correctional facilities listed in Table 32 to determine the areas the department identified as the
main issues in the audit. To determine the facilities’ compliance with department policy and
contractual requirements and to determine a level of assurance on the quality of care that the
inmates are receiving in Tennessee’s correctional facilities, we obtained reports generated from
the Tennessee Offender Management Information System. We specifically targeted inmates who
were listed as Class B or “limited duty”66 who were likely to have documented medical or mental
health conditions. Using these reports as our populations, we tested a nonstatistical, random
sample of inmates at the six correctional facilities during our site visits. We then obtained the
inmates’ medical files (including old volumes) to identify if the facility staff were following
department policies and contract requirements by maintaining the required documentation in the
files.
Table 32
Medical and Mental Health Testwork Sampling Plan
Correctional Facility
Whiteville Correctional Facility*
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center*
Hardeman County Correctional Facility*
Northwest Correctional Complex
Turney Center Industrial Complex
Northeast Correctional Complex

Population Size Sample Size
76
60
203
25
189
60
138
60
29
29
91
60

*CoreCivic-managed facilities.

To determine Centurion’s and Corizon’s compliance with staffing requirements, we
obtained their contract staffing requirements. During our site visits, we selected a nonstatistical,
 
66

Class B or “limited duty” indicates inmates with physical or mental conditions that place certain restrictions on their
capabilities.

120 

 
 

random sample of five months within the audit period. We obtained and analyzed the staffing
reports and timesheet documentation for each month sampled to determine
the number of staff vacancies for each month; 
whether Centurion and Corizon adequately staffed the required positions; and  
whether the department assessed liquidated damages where appropriate. 
We interviewed health services staff at Whiteville Correctional Facility, Hardeman County
Correctional Facility, Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, Northwest Correctional Complex,
Turney Center Industrial Complex, and Northeast Correctional Complex and spoke with the
department’s Director of Clinical Quality Assurance and the Chief Medical Officer to determine
the general procedures for inmate health care, as well as the process for moving inmates and their
medical files and medications between facilities. We also reviewed entries made in the
department’s Online Sentinel Event Log that involved missing medical records or medications to
determine whether inmates who were transferred arrived at other facilities with their medical
records and medications.
We visited three state correctional facilities (Northeast, Northwest, and Turney Center) and
three CoreCivic-managed facilities (Hardeman County, Trousdale Turner, and Whiteville) and
observed each facility’s medication administration process and spoke with various nurses and
health administrators. We also met with CoreCivic’s Regional Health Services Director to discuss
the eMARs system.
To determine the amount of medical and mental health liquidated damages the department
assessed and collected, we interviewed the department’s Chief Financial Officer and the Chief
Medical Officer to gain an understanding of the process the department uses to identify areas of
contract noncompliance, assess liquidated damages, and collect damages. We also reviewed
assessment letters issued to Centurion and Corizon;
payments made to Centurion and Corizon; and
invoices where liquidated damages had been deducted from October 1, 2017, to July
31, 2019.

121 

 
 

CORRECTIONAL STAFFING AND
DEPARTMENT TURNOVER

CHAPTER CONCLUSIONS
Matter for Legislative Consideration – Department of Correction Retirees (page 123)
Observation 6 – Both CoreCivic and state-run facilities are operating with minimal staff,
resulting in increased staff overtime and/or the temporary closure of noncritical posts (page 130)
Observation 7 – Despite ongoing challenges, the department is working to develop tangible
strategies to retain correctional officers at its facilities (page 133)
Finding 14 – As noted in the prior audit, CoreCivic staffing reports still contain numerous
errors (page 135)

 

 
 

CORRECTIONAL STAFFING AND DEPARTMENT TURNOVER
MATTER FOR LEGISLATIVE CONSIDERATION – DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION
RETIREES
A provision of state law may warrant further study. Section 41-24-112(c), Tennessee Code
Annotated, the Private Prison Contracting Act of 1986, states, “In no event will a department
employee be allowed to retire and receive benefits while continuing employment with a facility
contractor.” This law raises the question about whether a department retiree receiving state
retirement benefits can accept a position with any CoreCivic-managed correctional facility.67
Based on our discussion with management, the department does not have any procedures
to ensure that department retirees collecting state retirement benefits do not accept positions with
CoreCivic. Furthermore, based on discussion with department management, we found that the
department believes that the Private Prison Contracting Act only applies to the South Central
facility because the state contracts directly with CoreCivic for this one facility; the department
believes the act does not apply to the other three CoreCivic facilities because the state contracts
directly with the local government that then subcontracts with CoreCivic.
According to department management and the Comptroller of the Treasury legal staff,
based on the statute as currently written, we are uncertain if department employees can retire and
accept positions with CoreCivic-managed state facilities or other CoreCivic-managed institutions.
Correctional Facility Staffing Levels
State contracts with both CoreCivic (South
Critical posts must be staffed regardless of 
Central Correctional Facility) and local
the correctional facility’s circumstances; 
governments (which subcontract with CoreCivic
failing to do so jeopardizes the safety and 
for facility management of Trousdale Turner
security of inmates, staff, and the 
Correctional Center, Whiteville Correctional
community. 
Facility, and Hardeman County Correctional
Facility) require each facility to submit to the state
an operations plan that addresses how each facility will meet contract requirements, including but
not limited to the following:
Contract staffing patterns – the staffing patterns list the designated posts and the
number of officers CoreCivic will use per shift per post. The Department of Correction
approves CoreCivic’s proposed staffing pattern.68
Staffing rosters (i.e., daily shift rosters) – daily personnel assignments are authorized
 
67

We compared a department retirement list and CoreCivic rosters to a list of department retirees receiving retirement
benefits for the audit period. We noted one individual who worked for the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center and
received State of Tennessee retirement benefits between October and November 2018. We also noted one individual
who is receiving retirement benefits while working for a CoreCivic-run detention center, Silverdale, in East Tennessee.
68
 To manage each facility, CoreCivic also uses “operational” staffing patterns, which list the designated posts and
number of officers per shift approved by the department and also list additional posts and staff per shift that are not
contracted positions and are not necessarily on the daily shift rosters.

123 

 
 

for each shift. The rosters show the active officer posts, the officers scheduled per post,
and the officers’ attendance.
o

Critical posts – facility management decides whether posts are critical and lists
them in bold on the staffing rosters. According to the department’s Policy 506.22,
critical posts must be staffed regardless of institutional circumstances because
leaving the posts unstaffed would jeopardize the security or safety of the facility,
staff, inmates, or community.

o

Noncritical posts – facility management decides which posts can be left unstaffed
without jeopardizing security and lists them on the staffing rosters. According to
the department’s Policy 506.22, management may leave noncritical posts unstaffed
in lieu of authorizing overtime.

The operations plans establish the policies and procedures the facilities are required to
follow in all areas covered by the contract. The department’s Policy 506.22 states that the “plan
shall not be altered, amended, modified, revised or supplemented without the prior written
approval by the State.” For each CoreCivic-operated facility, the warden must obtain prior
approval from the department’s Assistant Commissioner of Prisons for each contract budget
staffing pattern and the corresponding daily staffing rosters.
The CoreCivic facilities have an operational budget that includes the positions required by
the contract, as well as other supplemental positions that exceed the contract requirement for
number of staff.
The department requires its own facilities to follow the same standards as CoreCivic and
to obtain approval from the Assistant Commissioner of Prisons prior to making any changes to the
daily staffing rosters. Noncritical posts can be closed to move correctional officers to critical posts
without prior approval when staff call in or do not show up for work. Like CoreCivic facilities,
state facilities must send copies of the daily staffing rosters for each shift to the department’s
Assistant Commissioner of Prisons for review. The department initiated this process in response
to the November 2017 performance audit.
Results of Prior Audit
In the department’s November 2017 performance audit, we reported that shortages in
correctional officer staffing may have prevented the Trousdale Turner and Whiteville facilities
from meeting staffing obligations and may have limited their ability to effectively manage the
inmate populations assigned to them. Both facilities operated with fewer than the approved
minimum number of correctional officer staff and did not follow staffing pattern guidelines.
Trousdale Turner did not have all staffing rosters and left critical posts unstaffed on several days.
In response to the prior audit, the department submitted its corrective action plan to the
Comptroller’s Office in 2018. The department’s plan included efforts to add two contract monitors
to perform on-site monitoring at each of the CoreCivic-operated facilities to ensure CoreCivic
complies with the state and local government contracts. We observed the monitors and their
process for writing Noncompliance Reports (NCRs) to note any CoreCivic facility noncompliance
identified during the monitoring reviews. The department uses the NCRs to assess liquidated
124 

 
 

damages against CoreCivic for identified noncompliance.
Current Audit
During the current audit, we performed site visits at the Trousdale Turner and Whiteville
facilities to determine if department and CoreCivic management corrected the issues noted during
the prior audit. We also extended our work to another CoreCivic-operated facility, Hardeman
County, as well as the state-operated facilities: Turney Center, Northwest, and Northeast.
Department Staffing Statistics and Turnover
The department has 6,440 approved full-time positions according to the state’s fiscal year
2020 budget; as of July 22, 2019, 5,450 positions were filled. As shown in Chart 2, the majority
of the department’s workforce—4,724 positions, or 73%—is located at the facilities. For a
breakdown of fiscal year 2020 positions at each state-managed correctional facility, see Appendix
E-1 on page 139.
Chart 2
Department of Correction
Fiscal Year 2020 Budgeted Positions by Business Unit
Contracted Prisons
0%
Administration 4%
Correction Academy 1%

Institutional 
Operations 73%

Major Maintenance
1%

Probation and 
Parole Field 
Supervision 20%

Office of 
Investigations and 
Compliance 1%

Source: Tennessee State Budget, Fiscal Year 2019–2020.

Department Separation Statistics
We analyzed the department’s separation data for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 (through
December 31, 2018); see Table 33. Management of the facilities monitors turnover on a monthly
125 

 
 

and fiscal-year basis. In addition, the department participates in the Tennessee Department of
Human Resources’ exit survey program and receives feedback from exit surveys to enhance the
department’s retention efforts.
Table 33
Department of Correction Turnover Rates
Fiscal Years 2018 to 2019 (Through December 31, 2018)
Fiscal
Average Employees Turnover
Year Separations
per Year
Rate
2018
1,676
6,601.0
25.4%
2019
861
6,611.5
13.0%
Source: Edison, the state’s enterprise management system.

Based on our analysis of department turnover, Table 34 shows the top 10 positions with
the highest turnover for fiscal years 2018 through 2019 (through December 31, 2018).
Table 34
Top 10 Positions with Turnover
Fiscal Years 2018 to 2019 (Through December 31, 2018)
Positions
Correctional Officer
Probation/Parole Officer
Correctional Corporal
Correctional Counselor
Correctional Sergeant
Correctional Clerical Officer
Probation/Parole Manager
Secretary
Registered Nurse
Correctional Teacher
Source: Edison, the state’s enterprise management system.

Our review showed that approximately 70% of the separations during this period were entrylevel security staff, known as correctional officers, who primarily resigned from or abandoned
their positions (see Appendix E-2 on page 140 for more details). According to management, most
correctional officers leave after one year of service; from years two
For the CoreCivic facilities’ 
to five, the turnover rate decreases. In April 2018, the
turnover statistics, see 
Commissioner created the Retention Task Force to develop
Appendix E‐3 on page 141. 
strategies to retain correctional officers. For more information
about the task force’s strategies, see Observation 7 on page 133.
CoreCivic Staffing Oversight
CoreCivic is a private prison contractor that operates 4 of the state’s 14 correctional
facilities for the Tennessee Department of Correction. The four private prisons are

126 

 
 

Hardeman County Correctional Facility,
South Central Correctional Facility,
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, and
Whiteville Correctional Facility.
As a contractor, the department requires CoreCivic to submit staffing reports to the
department’s contract monitors at the facilities each month; the staffing reports must include
names of the new hires and terminations,
the position numbers associated with positions,
reasons for terminations, and
all vacant positions within their staffing patterns and the number of days each position
has been vacant.
The correctional facilities use monthly staffing memos to report information on new hires,
terminations, and staffing vacancies to the department. The information reported within each
memo should accurately reflect the staffing activities within the CoreCivic facilities to ensure
compliance with the terms set in each contract. The monthly staffing memos also allow the
department to determine the security needs for the CoreCivic facilities.
CoreCivic Contract Requirements
For staffing and vacancies, we summarized CoreCivic’s contractual responsibilities in
Appendix E-4 on page 143. With the exception of Hardeman County, CoreCivic must fill
vacancies within 45 days and provide the department with reports showing new hires, terminations,
and position vacancies with the number of days vacant.
Department Oversight and Liquidated Damages
The positions reported within the monthly staffing reports could contain all positions
within each job class of contract-approved positions. Some examples of job classes include
correctional officers,
academic/vocational instructors,
administrative clerks,
licensed practical nurses, and
registered nurses.
Each contract, excluding Hardeman County’s contract, also requires CoreCivic to fill all
vacant staffing positions within 45 days if the position is an approved contracted position. Because
the CoreCivic facilities hire more staff than their approved staffing pattern to cover for the

127 

 
 

continuous turnover they experience, CoreCivic is not required to report or track extra positions
with the other contracted positions.69 See the Staffing Levels section beginning on page 123 for
more information on approved and operational staffing patterns.
The contract monitors for the department
review the monthly staffing reports for accuracy,
use the reports to ensure compliance with the contract staffing requirements, and
issue any notices of noncompliance for contract violations.
As a result of their review of the compliance instruments,70 department policies, and contract
provisions, the contract monitors issue notices of noncompliance to the facility. Department
management meets monthly to discuss the areas of noncompliance noted and the seriousness of
the deficiency and to calculate liquidated damages.
The department has the discretion to alter the damage amounts it assesses for
noncompliance. According to the department’s General Counsel, if the damages are not
proportionate to the costs CoreCivic incurred, such as salaries, benefits, and overtime, the
department cannot enforce the damages pursuant to case law. For instance, for areas of
noncompliance such as staffing vacancies and critical posts, the department considers the
percentage of time a post was vacant and the amount of overtime CoreCivic paid to keep the critical
posts staffed as a way to offset the amount of liquidated damages owed for that period.
Furthermore, when the department issues a damages assessment letter, CoreCivic can appeal the
assessment within 30 days of receiving the letter.
Results of Prior Audit
In the department’s November 2017 performance audit, we found that Trousdale Turner’s
and Hardeman County’s staffing reports contained numerous errors, rendering the reported
staffing information unreliable. We noted the following issues in the staffing reports:
missing position numbers for vacancies;
vacancies carried over to subsequent months without adding the additional number of
vacant days;
positions left vacant for more than 30 days that were not listed on previous month’s
report;
different job titles with the same position number;
 
69

CoreCivic is required to meet specific staffing patterns, which list the designated posts and number of correctional
officers per shift; the department approves the staffing patterns. CoreCivic may hire additional staff beyond the
approved staffing pattern to manage each facility.
70
Compliance instruments are the standards set for CoreCivic operations that contract monitors review to ensure
compliance. The instruments are generated from a mixture of American Correctional Association (ACA) accreditation
standards, departmental policies, and contract provisions.

128 

 
 

hires and terminations that did not reconcile to the number of vacancies; and
reports that did not contain the number of filled positions, the inmate population, and
the officer-to-inmate ratio.
In response to this finding, department management stated that it instructed Trousdale
Turner to include position numbers as recommended in the audit report as the best mechanism for
reporting vacancies.
Current Audit Work
To follow up on the prior finding, to verify that CoreCivic included contractually required
reporting requirements and to verify the overall accuracy of the staffing reports, we reviewed
staffing reports at four CoreCivic facilities for the period October 2018 through January 2019.
Audit Results
1. Audit Objective: Did department management correct the prior audit finding by ensuring that
CoreCivic staffed critical posts?
Conclusion:

Based on our review, we found that the department added monitors at each
CoreCivic facility and CoreCivic had improved its critical post staffing.

2. Audit Objective: Did department management ensure that all state facility posts were staffed
appropriately?
Conclusion:

Based on our review, department management did not ensure that wardens
at both the state and CoreCivic facilities staffed all approved posts. See
Table 36.
While both the state and CoreCivic facilities covered critical posts, both still
were unable to hire a sufficient number of correctional officers. As a result,
facilities have temporarily closed noncritical posts and required staff to
work overtime to cover critical posts. See Observation 6.

3. Audit Objective: Did department management make any changes in the way posts are
designated as critical or noncritical?
Conclusion:

Based on our review, department management made reasonable changes in
the way posts are designated as critical or noncritical.

4. Audit Objective: Are there any notable differences in staffing patterns between CoreCivic
and state-run facilities?
 

Conclusion:

Based on our review, staffing patterns at CoreCivic facilities and state-run
facilities are very similar in regard to the number of correctional officers for
each post. One difference we found was that the CoreCivic facilities have
129 

 
 

supplemental security staff positions on their operational staffing pattern.
This means they have staff in excess of the contract requirement for staffing.
Overall, we found that facilities were operating with minimal staff given the
facilities’ needs. We also noted a difference between how the state and
CoreCivic facilities complete the daily staff rosters. State facilities do not
include the time staff arrive at each post, whereas CoreCivic’s facilities do.
We believe documenting staff arrival times provides management with
better data for monitoring the sufficiency of staffing.
 
5. Audit Objective: Did the department experience any turnover that affected the department’s
ability to meet its mission?  
Conclusion:

Although the department is relying on overtime to maintain correctional
facility staff levels (see Observation 6 on page 130), management is
working to improve its efforts to recruit and retain correctional officers to
alleviate the overtime burden on current correctional staff, thereby allowing
the department to continue to meet its mission. See Observation 7.

6. Audit Objective: Did the department correct the prior audit finding by ensuring that
CoreCivic’s monthly staffing reports accurately reflected correctional
officer vacancies and turnover rates?
Conclusion:

Despite the department’s corrective action and its efforts to accurately track
staffing positions month-to-month, we once again found errors in CoreCivic
facilities’ monthly staffing reports. See Finding 14.

7. Audit Objective: Did department management appropriately assess and collect liquidated
damages due to CoreCivic’s failure to staff vacancies at its correctional
facilities?
Conclusion:

Based on our audit work, management appropriately assessed and collected
liquidated damages against CoreCivic for staffing vacancies at its facilities.
See Appendix E-6 on page 146 for assessment amounts per correctional
facility.

Observation 6 – Both CoreCivic and state-run facilities are operating with minimal staff, resulting
in increased staff overtime and/or the temporary closure of noncritical posts
While department management took steps to address the staffing of critical posts at both
state and CoreCivic facilities, the department and CoreCivic have had to increase overtime for
correctional officers and/or temporarily close noncritical posts, such as recreational posts, which
may negatively impact inmate behaviors. These measures are at best temporary, and without a
long-term solution to hire and retain officers, the department and CoreCivic increasingly risk
losing existing staff whose long hours have affected their physical and emotional health. See
Table 35.

130 

 
 

Table 35
Inmate and Correctional Officer Staffing Data

Facility

Inmate
Population (as of
June 30, 2018)

Northwest
Northeast
Turney Center

2,363
1,795
1,606

Trousdale Turner
Hardeman
Whiteville

2,552
1,991
1,519

Ratio of
Average Number
Correctional
of Monthly
Average
Officer Series71
Overtime
Monthly
to Inmates
Hours72
Overtime Costs73
State Facilities
1:10
10,073
$205,049
1:06
11,495
$240,508
1:08
8,737
$173,478
CoreCivic Facilities
1:14
15,771
$282,676
1:09
10,344
$147,326
1:09
8,986
$130,229

Source: TDOC Budget and Fiscal Office; CoreCivic, Human Resources Director.

At the facilities we visited, we found that, on average, the facilities operated with fewer
than the approved number of correctional officers (see Table 36). In most cases, recreation and
transportation posts were consistently under-staffed or closed. These positions are designated as
noncritical; however, if these noncritical positions are not properly staffed, the facilities may not
be able to provide inmates with programming and services like recreation time or transportation
to and from medical appointments, which may negatively impact inmate behaviors. See Table 36
for a summary of approved correctional officer posts for each shift and the average number of
filled posts we observed as filled. 

 
71

 “Correctional Officer Series” includes correctional officers and senior correctional officers only.
72
Average monthly overtime hours were calculated for the months of October 2018 through January 2019.
73
Average monthly overtime costs were calculated for the months of October 2018 through January 2019.

131 

 
 

Table 36
Summary of Correctional Officer Posts on Approved Daily Rosters
October 2018 to January 2019

Facilities
Northwest (Site 1)
Northwest (Site 2)
Northeast
Turney Center
Trousdale Turner
Hardeman
Whiteville

Average
Approved
Correctional
Officer Posts74
1st
2nd
Shift
Shift
98
29
115
99

45
29
47
27

51
77
60

36
51
40

Average Number of
Average Filled
Correctional Officer
Correctional
Posts Unfilled
75
Officer Posts
(per Shift)
1st
2nd
1st
2nd
Shift
Shift
Shift
Shift
State Facilities
60
34
38
11
19
19
10
10
86
39
29
8
67
24
32
3
CoreCivic Facilities
42
32
9
4
77
44
0
7
42
32
18
8

Average Number
of Correctional
Officer Posts
Unfilled
Average Total
49
20
37
35
13
7
26

Source: TDOC and CoreCivic facility daily shift rosters and logbooks.

Realities of Correctional Facility Staffing
Wardens must deal with emergencies during daily facility operations. Inmate altercations
between staff or other inmates, medical issues with inmates, and discovery of contraband may
require the warden to close critical posts for short periods to move correctional officers from one
area to another. But we found that the department allows management to make emergency staffing
changes differently at state versus CoreCivic facilities. For example, all facilities may restrict
inmate movement (generally known as a “lockdown”) in a specific area so that officers can help
transport inmates to a hospital. This restriction can result in closing critical posts for a short time.
However, the department automatically penalizes CoreCivic when it does not maintain critical
posts during a lockdown but does not penalize state facilities for the same deficiency. In effect,
the department has not afforded CoreCivic the same flexibility when responding to emergencies.
In certain non-emergency circumstances, both state and CoreCivic facilities commonly
move security staff from noncritical posts to help cover critical posts. Some facilities use
supervisory and/or supplemental staff to cover noncritical posts as an extension of their daily
duties. For example, a facility may use unit management staff to escort and monitor their unit’s
inmates during recreation periods. In this situation, the recreation post shown on the roster is
designated closed, but the service is still provided, and the post is temporarily covered by unit
supervisory staff.

 
74

 First and second shifts are 12 hours long. Each facility also has an eight-hour day shift that we included in the firstshift figures.
75
Our observations are based on a review of correctional officers on the approved staffing rosters and the posts
designated on the rosters. If a post is not reflected on the approved roster or if the roster does not reflect the filling of
that post, we are not able to account for it.

132 

 
 

Responsibilities of Correctional Officers
Given that correctional officers experience higher stress levels due to the potential for daily
violence and confrontations with inmates, the department and CoreCivic must strive for increased
pay and benefits for staff filling this position. Correctional officers are required to maintain order
and provide for the safety, security, care, and direct supervision of inmates during all phases of
activity in a facility. To fulfill these job duties, correctional officers need to be able to think on
their feet in order to determine the best way to approach and solve problems in their units, including
using interpersonal, critical-thinking, and negotiation skills to defuse issues between inmates.
Officers also need to be intuitive and able to interpret behavioral patterns to anticipate likely
problems before they escalate.
As of July 1, 2019, the department’s starting pay for correctional officers was
approximately $32,500 annually; the correctional officers receive a 5% increase after completing
one year of service. With the new starting salary, the state implemented an across-the-board 7%
increase to existing employees to align their salaries with the new starting salaries. For more
information about the department’s efforts to retain correctional officers, see Observation 7.
The Negative Effect of Overtime on Both Officers and Inmates
Regularly requiring staff to work overtime can lead to lower morale, compromised critical
thinking skills, and increased staff turnover, which put staff, inmates, and the community at risk.
Without sufficient staff to cover posts so that facilities can provide inmates with recreation time
and/or transportation to medical services, inmates may experience low morale, heightened
frustration, and denial of medical treatment, which may lead to increased behavioral issues and
unmet medical needs.
Observation 7 – Despite ongoing challenges, the department is working to develop tangible
strategies to retain correctional officers at its facilities
According to the department’s human resources (HR) management, the HR team spends a
significant amount of funds and effort toward recruiting and retaining correctional officers. Table
37 shows the number of separations and turnover rates at each facility for fiscal years 2018 and
2019 (through December 31, 2018).
Table 37
Turnover Rates by Correctional Facility Location
Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 (Through December 31, 2018)
Facility Location
Bledsoe County
Lois M. DeBerry
Mark Luttrell
Morgan County
Northeast

Fiscal Year 2018
Separations Turnover Rate
216
30.2%
156
30.7%
42
26.3%
233
33.9%
105
21.3%
133 

First 6 Months of Fiscal Year 2019
Separations
Turnover Rate
104
14.5%
61
12.0%
27
16.9%
120
17.4%
61
12.4%

 
 

Facility Location
Northwest
Riverbend
Prison for Women
Turney Center
West Tennessee State

Fiscal Year 2018
Separations Turnover Rate
207
32.2%
122
35.1%
0
0.0%
125
28.7%
117
17.5%

First 6 Months of Fiscal Year 2019
Separations
Turnover Rate
75
11.7%
74
21.3%
59
24.3%
60
13.8%
78
11.7%

Source: Edison.

Recruiting
According to HR management, recruiting efforts take place near the facilities. The
department draws candidates from the correctional facility’s home county as well as neighboring
counties. To be considered, a candidate must have a high school diploma. HR management also
stated that it takes a certain type of person to handle the work of a correctional officer. To expand
their reach, management recruits at the following locations and uses the following methods:
Fort Campbell, Kentucky;
Tennessee Department of
Labor and Workforce
Development career centers;
colleges and universities;
career fairs (offsite or at the
facilities);
churches;
county fairs and barbeque
festivals;
high schools;
radio;
the department’s website
and social media accounts;
billboards; and
placing flyers on vehicles in
parking lots.
HR management stated that
economic development can negatively Source: Department of Correction Twitter feed. Posted July
impact the department’s ability to 11, 2019.
successfully recruit. If businesses move
into an area and can match the department’s starting salary for correctional officers, candidates
may choose to accept a position at a company that offers a better work environment. Management

134 

 
 

also stated that the department has a difficult time recruiting in Davidson County, primarily due to
pay and the county’s current construction boom. Furthermore, compared to the state’s current
starting salary of $32,500, Davidson County government offers a higher salary—$37,177.61 per
year—to correctional trainees, with an increase to $40,542.65 after completing eight weeks of
training.
Staff Retention
The department’s HR management uses employee exit surveys to enhance staff retention
efforts, especially for correctional officers. Through the Commissioner’s Retention Task Force,
the department developed the following strategies to retain correctional officers:
The correctional officer starting salary increased to $32,500,76 effective July 1, 2019.
After one year, the correctional officer is given an additional 5% salary increase.
According to HR management, this starting salary increase moved Tennessee from the
bottom to nearly the top of correctional officer pay among Tennessee’s contiguous
states.
Existing employees received a 7% across-the-board pay increase to bring their salaries
in line with the new starting salaries.
As of July 15, 2019, the department is working with the Tennessee Department of
Human Resources to develop staff supervisor training and on-the-job training for new
correctional officers.
Management should continue its efforts to recruit, hire, and retain correctional officers. As
part of its retention efforts, the department should work with current correctional officers to
determine if the newly implemented strategies are working and make adjustments or implement
additional strategies as needed to maintain facility safety and to meet its mission.
Finding 14 – As noted in the prior audit, CoreCivic staffing reports still contain numerous
errors
We reviewed each CoreCivic facility’s monthly
See the full methodology in 
staffing report for the period October 2018 through
Appendix E‐7 on page 147. 
January 2019, including Hardeman County Correctional
Facility, Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, South
Central Correctional Facility, and Whiteville Correctional Facility.
The prior audit identified multiple inconsistencies with CoreCivic staffing reports. As part
of its corrective action, the department redesigned the monthly staffing reports that CoreCivic
submits to contract monitors for review that addressed some of these issues by adding position
numbers and hire/termination dates. Although we recognize that CoreCivic management
improved the monthly staffing reports since the prior audit, we still found errors on the staffing
 
76

According to salary.com, as of July 30, 2019, the average correctional officer annual salary in the United States was
$44,872, with wages ranging from $39,950 to $49,799.

135 

 
 

reports even though correctional facility contract members review them weekly. Based on our
review during the current audit, we found that the reports
showed positions on the monthly staffing memos that did not reconcile to the monthly
staffing reports;
had duplicate entries for vacant positions;
listed positions with the same position numbers (each position should have a unique
position number); and
did not always have hiring dates associated with the filled positions.
Furthermore, we reviewed the staffing reports and noted numerous positions that were
vacant for over 45 days, which directly correlate to the correctional officer staffing and overtime
issues:
Whiteville – 75 vacant positions;
South Central – 67 vacant positions; and
Trousdale Turner – 83 vacant positions.
For Hardeman, the department provided us with two sets of monthly staffing memos and
vacancy reports for November and December 2018 that contained discrepancies in the staffing
information reported for those months. Due to the discrepancies between the two reports, we could
not conclude on relevant staffing information for those two months, including whether positions
were vacant for over 45 days (although, according to its contract, Hardeman is not required to fill
vacancies within 45 days). As a result, although CoreCivic reported 95 vacant positions that
exceeded 45 days from October 2018 through January 2019, we could only review vacancies for
the months of October 2018 and January 2019, which showed 91 vacant positions that exceeded
45 days.
We found one instance with Whiteville where the department did not assess damages for a
vacant position that was over the 45-day fill requirement. We summarize our review of monthly
staffing reports for each facility in Chart 3.77

 
77

 We generated the error totals based on the number of errors we noted within each CoreCivic facility monthly staffing
report.

136 

 
 

Chart 3
Summary of Staffing Report Errors by Facility
Whiteville

South Central

Trousdale Turner

Hardeman

140

131

120

100

80

60

40

20

30
22

19

15
8
1

1

1 3 2

2

4

1

0
Positions Not
Reconciled

 

Positions Not
Assessed

Missing Hire Dates

Vacancy/Hired
Count Did Not
Match

Source: Results of audit testwork.

 

137 

Missing Position
Numbers

Duplicate Entries Positions With Same
Position Numbers

 

 
 

See Appendix E-5 on page 144 for a list of specific deficiencies relating to our review of
the monthly staffing reports.
Based on our discussions with CoreCivic management, their facility human resources staff
cannot easily copy and paste or move the staffing information into the forms the department
requires them to use. Staff must manually enter the information each month, which could lead to
errors when reporting newly hired or vacant positions.
Inaccurately reporting and/or omitting staffing and vacancy information on the monthly
staffing reports increases the risk that the department may not be able to track CoreCivic’s vacant
correctional officer positions to meet the security needs of its correctional facilities, thereby
preventing the department from properly overseeing CoreCivic’s contract requirements.
Recommendation
The Department of Correction should ensure that CoreCivic’s monthly vacancy and
staffing data for all CoreCivic correctional facilities are complete and accurate, as required by the
facility’s contract. If the reports are not accurate, the department should issue CoreCivic a report
of noncompliance until CoreCivic resolves the errors and should assess the appropriate amount of
liquidated damages.
Management’s Comment
Concur.
The Department continues to pursue more suitable report structures that the contractors
will provide to improve month to month vacancy and staffing data reporting and monitoring
processes.
The Department of Correction has issued noncompliance reports for inaccurate monthly
staffing reports to contractors of Hardeman Correctional Facility (HCCF), Trousdale Turner
Correctional Center (TTCC) and Whiteville Correctional Facility (WCFA). South Central
Correctional Facility (SCCF) has been issued noncompliance reports for vacancies over 45
days. Contractors for all four of the facilities have been assessed liquidated damages.

138 

 
 

Appendix E
Correctional Staffing and Department Turnover
Appendix E-1
Department of Correction
Fiscal Year 2020 Budgeted Positions by Correctional Facility Location
Correctional Facility Location
Bledsoe County Correctional Complex
Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility
Mark Luttrell Transition Center
Morgan County Correctional Complex
Northeast Correctional Complex
Northwest Correctional Complex
Riverbend Maximum Security Institution
Tennessee Prison for Women
Turney Center Industrial Complex
West Tennessee State Penitentiary

Number of Positions
691
497
157
658
474
615
335
231
414
652
Total
4,724

Source: The Budget document, Fiscal Year 2019–2020.

139 

 
 

Appendix E-2
Department of Correction
Correctional Officer Separations by Type

Retirement
2.6%

Death
0.3%

Disability Retirement
0.1%

Dismissed
5.9%

Gross Misconduct
0.8%
Health Reasons
0.1%
Job Abandonment
16.1%

Other
0.1%
Probationary 
Dismissal
8.7%
Resignation
58.3%
Qualifications Not 
Met
7.1%

Source: Edison, the state’s enterprise management system.

140 

 
 

Appendix E-3
CoreCivic Turnover
We also analyzed CoreCivic’s separation data for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 (through
December 31, 2018); see Table 38. Similar to the state, CoreCivic experienced high turnover in
correctional staff; however, CoreCivic’s turnover at the facility level is significantly higher than
the state-managed facilities. At CoreCivic, most of the separated employees abandoned their jobs,
were terminated, or resigned. See Table 39 for a full list of separation reasons during this period.
Table 38
CoreCivic Turnover Rates
Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019 (Through December 31, 2018)

Facility Location
Hardeman County Correctional
Facility
South Central Correctional Facility
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center
Whiteville Correctional Facility

2018
Turnover
Separations
Rate
207
289
241
233

Source: CoreCivic management.

141 

53%
95%
78%
76%

2019
Turnover
Separations
Rate
92
151
125
83

25%
47%
25%
26%

 
 

Table 39
CoreCivic Reasons for Separation
Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019 (Through December 31, 2018)
Separation Reasons
Job Abandonment - No Rehire
Terminated for Cause - No Rehire
Resigned - Other
Resigned - No Rehire
Personal Reasons
Other Employment
Failed to Give Notice
Failed to Give Notice - No Rehire
Resigned Under Investigation - No Rehire
Resigned - No Reason Given
Failed to Return From Leave
Retirement
Policy/Contraband
Job Dissatisfaction
Policy/Procedure Violation
To Attend School
Relocation
Dissatisfied With Pay
Death
Leave - Max Leave Expired
Unsatisfactory Performance
Failed Background Screening
Leave - Military (After 30 Days)
Layoff/Facility Closure
Terminated - Prison Rape Elimination Act
Violation - No Rehire
Resigned During Prison Rape Elimination Act
Investigation - No Rehire
Failed Background Screening - No Rehire
Unsatisfactory Performance - No Rehire
Falsification of Records
Grand Total
Source: CoreCivic Management.

142 

Number of Separations
330
241
189
146
103
100
49
48
36
26
21
20
17
14
14
10
10
8
7
7
6
6
3
3
2
2
1
1
1
1,421

 
 

Appendix E-4
CoreCivic Contract Requirements
Table 40
Staffing and Vacancy Due Dates for Each Correctional Facility
Correctional Facility
Hardeman
South Central
Trousdale Turner
Whiteville

Vacancy Fills
No contract requirement
45 days
45 days
45 days

Contract Requirements
Monthly Staffing Assignments
15th of every month
5th of every month
15th of every month
By the 15th of prior month

Position Information
5th & 15th of every month
5th of every month
15th of every month
15th of every month

Source: Respective CoreCivic contracts.

Table 41
CoreCivic’s Contractually Required Position Information
Correctional Facility
Hardeman

Reporting Requirements
Report the previous month’s
compliance with the staffing pattern,
security post assignments, and
monthly post assignments.

Trousdale Turner and
South Central

Report the previous month’s
names of employees hired, including positions;
number of employees voluntarily or involuntarily terminated, with the reason and position; and
number of positions vacant and number of days.

Whiteville

Report the previous month’s
names of employees hired, including positions; and
number of employees voluntarily or involuntarily terminated, with the reason and position.

Source: Respective CoreCivic contracts.

143 

 
 

Appendix E-5
Deficiencies Noted Related to CoreCivic Monthly Staffing Reports
Whiteville Correctional Facility
Although CoreCivic reports both new hires and terminations monthly, we could not
reconcile 19 positions reported on the monthly staffing memo over a 4-month period
to positions on the monthly staffing report that tracks the days vacant for each position.
On the monthly staffing memos, staff did not list hire dates associated with the 22
positions that were filled.
South Central Correctional Facility
Although CoreCivic reports both new hires and terminations within a reporting period,
we could not reconcile eight positions reported on the monthly staffing memos to the
monthly staffing report that tracks the days vacant for each position.
During the month of November 2018, the total reported vacancies did not match the
number of employees reported on the monthly staffing memo.
One new-hire position on the monthly staffing report did not list the termination date
or days vacant count associated with the position.
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center
Although CoreCivic reports both new hires and terminations within a reporting period,
we could not reconcile 30 positions reported on the monthly staffing memos to the
monthly staffing report that tracks the days vacant for each position.
In October 2018 and January 2019, CoreCivic reported a total number of employees
that did not match the number of employees reported on the monthly staffing memo.
For two new-hire positions on the monthly staffing memos, staff did not list position
numbers associated with the positions being filled.
During January’s reporting period, CoreCivic reported four duplicate entries for the
same positions becoming vacant.
Hardeman County Correctional Facility
Although CoreCivic reports both new hires and terminations within a reporting period,
we could not reconcile 15 positions reported on the monthly staffing memo to the
monthly staffing report that tracks the days vacant for each position.
On the monthly staffing memos, staff did not list positions numbers associated with the
131 new-hire and terminated positions.

144 

 
 

In November and December 2018, CoreCivic reported a total number of employees
that did not match the number of employees reported on the monthly staffing memo.
We found one instance where two different positions shared the same position number
in the same reporting period.

145 

 
 

Appendix E-6
CoreCivic Staffing
Liquidated Damages Assessments
Whiteville Correctional Facility
Oct. 2018
Nov. 2018
Original Assessment
$160,893.60 $150,616.80
Adjusted Assessment
$44,169.67 $26,190.55
Difference
$116,723.93 $124,426.25
% of Original
Assessment*
27%
17%
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center
Oct. 2018
Nov. 2018
Original Assessment
$166,450.64 $104,220.64
Adjusted Assessment
Difference
$166,450.64 $104,220.64
% of Original
Assessment*
100%
100%
South Central Correctional Facility
Oct. 2018
Original Assessment
$25,655.32
Adjusted Assessment
Difference
$25,655.32
% of Original
Assessment*
100%

Dec. 2018
$190,566.60
$91,916.44
$98,650.16
48%

Jan. 2019
Total
$191,572.40 $693,649.40
$97,059.63 $259,336.29
$94,512.77 $434,313.11
51%

Dec. 2018
Jan. 2019
Total
$54,716.80 $120,751.50 $446,139.58
$54,716.80 $120,751.50 $446,139.58
100%

100%

Nov. 2018 Dec. 2018 Jan. 2019
$27,727.24 $61,902.28 $77,316.20
$27,727.24 $61,902.28 $77,316.20
100%

37%

100%

100%

100%
Total
$192,601.04
$192,601.04
100%

* “% of Original Assessment” is the percentage of the adjusted assessment against the initial assessed liquidated
damage total.
Source: Noncompliance Reports and the legal Adjusted Assessment Letters issued to the CoreCivic facilities by the Department of
Correction.

146 

 
 

Appendix E-7
Methodologies to Achieve Objectives
For this audit, we analyzed correctional officer staffing for three state-operated facilities:
Northeast Correctional Complex,
Northwest Correctional Complex, and
Turney Center Industrial Complex,
and three CoreCivic-managed facilities:
Hardeman County Correctional Facility,
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, and
Whiteville Correctional Facility.
To achieve our objectives, we gained an understanding of the staffing-level requirements;
reviewed applicable policies and state and federal guidance; interviewed applicable personnel and
management; and performed walkthroughs of the facilities. To determine if each facility warden
properly staffed posts as required by the approved staffing pattern, we tested a random,
nonstatistical sample of 240 daily staffing rosters, 40 rosters at each of the six facilities visited
from October 2018 to January 2019. We randomly selected five days from each month and tested
the daily rosters for both day and night shifts. To determine whether the wardens made any
changes in the way posts are designated, we reviewed the request for post changes and the daily
rosters that department management approved for the period October 2017 through May 2019.
We also analyzed the staffing patterns between CoreCivic and state-run facilities to determine if
there were any noticeable differences in the number of required staff.
We reviewed the department’s turnover rates to gain an understanding of turnover trends.
We compared the department’s turnover rates to national rates obtained from the U.S. Department
of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. We analyzed turnover rates at the department level, as well
at each facility location to examine trends by location. We interviewed department human
resources staff to gain an understanding of their process to monitor turnover and to determine its
impact on the department’s mission.
To meet the objectives and gain an understanding of CoreCivic’s efforts to correct the prior
audit finding relating to correctional officer vacancies and turnover rate, we interviewed the
Director of Contract Monitoring and the Correctional Administrator responsible for the CoreCivic
facilities. We also obtained the contract monitors’ training plan and department policies, as well
as the April 2018 monthly staffing report for each CoreCivic facility.
For testwork, we examined each CoreCivic facility’s monthly staffing report for the period
October 2018 through January 2019, including Hardeman County Correctional Facility, Trousdale
Turner Correctional Center, South Central Correctional Facility, and Whiteville Correctional
Facility, to determine if CoreCivic’s reports accurately reflected correctional officer vacancies and

147 

 
 

turnover rates. We compared the staffing reports to each other for reporting consistency, to the
monthly staffing memos, and to the operating contract requirements.
To determine if the department accurately assessed liquidated damages against CoreCivic
for failing to fill vacancies within 45 days, we obtained the noncompliance reports for each facility
(except Hardeman County) associated with the sample of monthly staffing reports we tested, as
well as the original and revised liquidated damages assessments (if CoreCivic appealed the
assessment).78 We also reviewed CoreCivic invoices in Edison to determine if the department
recouped the assessments.

 
78

 According to the contract with Hardeman County, this facility is not contractually required to fill vacancies within

45 days.

148 

 
 

INMATE SERVICES AND SUPPORT

CHAPTER CONCLUSIONS
Finding 15 – State and CoreCivic correctional facility personnel did not consistently
administer required inmate screenings that are used to prevent sexual abuse in correctional
facilities (page 160)
Finding 16 – State and CoreCivic facility personnel did not perform inmate orientation
within three days of arrival at the facility or did not consistently maintain a signed
Orientation Acknowledgement Form in the inmate institutional file (page 163)
Observation 8 – Northwest Correctional Complex and Turney Center Industrial Complex
impeded inmates’ access to information relating to healthcare, including access to grievance and
sick call forms (page 165)
Observation 9 – State and CoreCivic correctional staff did not properly maintain class and job
documentation in accordance with department policy (page 166)
Observation 10 – Trousdale Turner Correctional Center did not conduct the minimally required
random drug screenings of the inmate population, and Whiteville Correctional Facility, Turney
Center Industrial Complex, and Northwest Correctional Complex did not consistently and
accurately record screening results in TOMIS (page 167)

 

 
 

INMATE SERVICES AND SUPPORT
Inmate Admission and Intake Process
 

Per the department’s policies and its Classification User’s Guide, TDOC accepts all
inmates into physical custody at one of two classification
diagnostic centers: the Bledsoe County Correctional The department uses several 
Complex or the Tennessee Prison for Women. These processes, such as inmate 
centers also function as correctional facilities with their assessments, inmate classification, 
own assigned inmate populations.
Risk Needs Assessments, sexual 
Both centers receive and process inmates sent from
the state’s 95 counties. These inmates may be first-time
convicted felons, former felons returning to TDOC on a
new conviction, parole violators, or probation or
community correction violators.
The counties are
responsible for transporting these inmates to the diagnostic
centers.79

abuse risk screenings, and random 
drug screenings, to ensure inmates 
are placed in a correctional setting 
and are provided with the 
appropriate services that allow the 
inmates to become successful 
within the correctional 
environment and upon release. 

Upon the inmate’s arrival at a diagnostic center, diagnostic center personnel review the
inmate’s paperwork for authorization of the inmate’s confinement. This authorization may be
either a copy of the judgment order, a copy of the parole violation warrant and/or revocation, or a
probation revocation order. If a county jail originally housed the inmate, jail personnel will also
provide the state’s diagnostic personnel with an Inmate Admissions Assessment form. Once
diagnostic personnel confirm the authorizing paperwork, the inmate proceeds to intake.
Every inmate must pass through the department’s intake process, called an initial
diagnostic or initial classification, at one of the two diagnostic centers. TDOC policies require
diagnostic personnel to complete this intake process within 14 business days of the inmate’s
arrival. Classification begins with inmate orientation, continues with several inmate examinations
and assessments, provides for establishing inmate files to memorialize the examinations and
assessments (including the inmate’s understanding), and concludes with the inmate’s first
incarceration classification hearing. A panel appointed by the warden of the diagnostic center
determines which TDOC facility will house the inmate.80

79

 
  The only exceptions to this are TDOC backup inmates, inmates returning from a court appearance or medical

facility, or escapees. Backup inmates are TDOC sentenced felons who serve their sentences at local jails under a
contractual agreement between the county and TDOC, a practice that partially relieves overcrowding at TDOC
facilities. Inmates returning to TDOC from a court-ordered appearance or medical facility return to their assigned
facilities. Tennessee law enforcement agencies transport escapees to the nearest TDOC facility, pending further
transfer to the institution where the escape occurred. Female escapees must go to the Tennessee Prison for Women.  
80
 The panel consists of the Associate Warden of Treatment as chairperson (the Chief Correctional Counselor serves
as the alternate chairperson when the Associate Warden is unavailable), a ranking correctional officer to represent the
security team, a correctional counselor to represent the treatment team, a clinical services professional, and the
institutional inmate job coordinator if needed. Per TDOC policy, the Contract Monitor of Operations serves as the
alternate chairperson at private facilities.  

149 

 
 

The following activities do not need to occur in a certain order, so long as diagnostic
personnel perform them before the classification hearing:
Orientation – TDOC policies mandate that each inmate must undergo a thorough
orientation program within three days of arrival at any TDOC facility. This is to ensure
the inmate learns the rules and procedures of that facility, what sanctions exist for
unsatisfactory behavior, and what programs are available that can provide new job,
educational, and behavior skills.
Testing – The inmate receives medical and dental examinations, a drug screening, an
educational assessment, and a mental health appraisal. The inmate must also receive a
Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) screening within 72 hours of arrival and a Risk
Needs Assessment to help management devise a program for the inmate.
Initial Custody Assessment – Diagnostic personnel complete this at initial intake to
determine whether an inmate should live alone in a cell or with other inmates, and
whether to hold the inmate in maximum, close, medium, or minimum custody. This
assessment considers such factors as the inmate’s history of violence, severity of the
current offense, and prior convictions or disciplinary hearings.
Programs and Placement – Diagnostic personnel use the classification process to
create appropriate facility placement and program recommendations for the panel to
consider based on inmate information gathered during the initial diagnostic. These
recommendations help determine what jobs and classes provided by TDOC might be
best for the inmate.
These initial classification efforts give diagnostic personnel the tools to build a
comprehensive account of each inmate that will best inform the panel’s choice of facility for that
inmate. Personnel gather all possible information about the inmate for review and consideration
in case any material is missing or incomplete in one source.
Inmate Admissions Assessment Forms (Inmate Intake)
The Tennessee Department of Correction’s Division of Prisons Classification User’s
Guide requires diagnostic personnel to use the Inmate Admissions Assessment form to help the
panel determine whether to house an inmate in a single cell or with another inmate.81 The form
has two parts, A and B. County jail personnel must complete part A of this form before the inmate
transfers to TDOC custody, to provide the diagnostic receiving facility with information regarding
an inmate’s circumstances and behavior while at the jail. This is the only form carrying
information about the inmate that originates with jail personnel.
Part A of the Inmate Admissions Assessment has 11 questions for jail personnel to answer:
how long the jail housed the inmate;
 
81

 Other documentation considered for this question includes the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) report,
classification scale, pre-sentence investigation, and the inmate’s file from any previous TDOC incarceration, sexual
behavior, or victims of sexual assault (all are described later in this chapter). 

150 

 
 

whether the inmate was the victim or perpetrator of violence or rape while in the jail;
whether the jail housed the inmate in a single or double cell;
if there were other inmates with whom this inmate was incompatible;
if the inmate tried to escape while at the jail;
if jail personnel suspected the inmate of trafficking drugs while in jail;
if the inmate was violent while in the jail;
if the inmate has known medical or mental health problems;
whether the inmate smokes;
if jail personnel suspect the inmate is a gang member;
and whether jail personnel think this inmate should be in a double cell.
The warden’s designee at the diagnostic receiving facility completes part B of the form and
signs it to indicate that facility personnel received and reviewed the information and determined
the inmate’s cell arrangement (single or double). This form serves as critical documentation of
the inmate’s behaviors or tendencies while housed in a local jail prior to entering TDOC custody
and the facility’s basis for housing decisions. Finally, facility staff file the form in the inmate’s
institutional file as part of the inmate’s institutional record.
The inmate’s institutional file follows the inmate throughout his or her time served in
TDOC facilities and is not considered complete without a full record of the inmate’s conduct while
incarcerated, including time spent in jail.
Inmate Classification Process
General Background
TDOC Policy 401.08, “Classification Hearing Process,” and the Division of Prisons
Classification User’s Guide define classification as an ongoing inmate evaluation process that
considers the behavior, circumstances, and needs of individual inmates as they progress through
the justice system. In other words, the department’s goal is to place an inmate in the best possible
environment where he or she will cope best with the reality of incarceration. The two diagnostic
centers, Bledsoe and Tennessee Prison for Women, are responsible for the inmate classification
process.
Classification and Reclassification Process
The diagnostic center’s warden must establish a classification panel that is responsible for
reviewing an inmate’s circumstances to determine the best environment during the incarceration
period.

151 

 
 

Each classification panel consists of a chairperson, a ranking correctional officer, a
correctional counselor, a clinical services professional,82 and an institutional inmate job
coordinator83 (if needed), who are responsible for making recommendations concerning inmate
custody levels84 as well as the facility location and programs85 to which the inmate is assigned.
The panel makes these recommendations by majority decision during a hearing with the inmate.
Before making their decision, the panel considers several factors during the inmate’s initial
classification review, including
inmate criminal history;
court recommendations;
disciplinary records;
staff observations of the inmate; and
jail assessments.
Each classification review culminates in a hearing with the inmate and the panel. The
facility must notify the inmate in writing at least 48 hours before the date of the scheduled hearing;
however, the inmate can waive his or her right to notification. The hearing must occur within 14
business days of the inmate’s admission into the state correctional system.
Annual reclassification hearings allow for regular custody assessment of inmates to ensure
they receive the proper facility restrictions, programs, services, and resources paired to their
circumstances. The classification panel will reassess the inmates at each annual
hearing and make recommendations for custody level changes, programs, and
facility assignments as it sees fit. The counselor or case manager that prepares
the reclassification should record the conclusions of the panel and any significant
remarks in the Tennessee Offender Management Information System (TOMIS),
along with the date of the hearing.
The panel documents its classification and reclassification decisions with the Offender
Classification Summary, which captures the hearing information, panel participation, and inmate
awareness. This summary document also serves as a record of the panel’s comments, justification
of its recommendations, and final approval as evidenced by the panel member’s signatures. The
inmate must also sign the Summary to document his or her presence at the hearing. If the inmate
refuses to sign the Summary, a member of the panel notes the inmate’s refusal on the Summary.
An inmate’s refusal to sign does not invalidate the hearing or the panel’s recommendations.
 
82

A member of the medical team that provides physical and behavioral health services at the facility.
83
Institutional staff person responsible for assigning inmates to programs, maintaining job registers and descriptions,
and coordinating sentence credit policy requirements, among other duties.
84
Custody level refers to the level of inmate supervision necessary for the protection of inmates, staff, and the
community. Levels range from least restrictive (minimal trustee) to most restrictive (maximum).
85
The term “program” describes a range of vocational and academic opportunities the department makes available to
inmates based upon an assessment of their needs. Depending on their classification, inmates may have access to an
array of programs, including farm and livestock operations; various industries; institutional and community service
work assignments; and mental health, treatment, and social services.

152 

 
 

The presence of this signed and completed form in the inmate’s institutional file confirms
the inmate was present at the hearing, given the opportunity to participate, and made aware of the
panel’s final decision. While the panel’s classification decision is recorded in TOMIS, the actual
Summary document is the department’s official record of the inmate’s participation in the process.
Risk Needs Assessments (RNAs)
TDOC Policy 513.09, “Risk Needs Assessments (RNA) for Institutions and Transition
Centers,” defines an RNA tool as an assessment instrument completed by an RNA-certified user86
who uses face-to-face “motivational interaction and interview techniques” to collect useful
information about an inmate to identify the inmate’s characteristics, traits, problems, or issues that
may increase the risks that the inmate will commit another crime. Using this tool, correctional
personnel design the inmate’s case management plan to reduce those risks.
RNA-certified users at the department’s intake facilities87 must give every inmate an
assessment as part of the initial classification process. Users at all facilities perform reassessments
of inmates every 12 months.
RNA-certified users administer the inmate’s assessment by using the Static Risk Offender
Needs Guide – Revised (STRONG-R) as an assessment tool. Specifically, certified users, trained
by software provider Vant4ge, use the STRONG-R to assess inmate needs and predict recidivism
based on inmate responses and criminal history. Users complete, save, and print the STRONG-R
results using the software application, Vant4gePoint. The inmate signs the printed report, known
as an RNA Needs report, and facility staff file it in the inmate’s institutional file.
The certified user notes the inmate’s signature in TOMIS. If the inmate refuses to sign, a
facility staff member will sign and date the RNA Needs report to acknowledge the inmate’s refusal
to sign, and facility staff will enter the notation in TOMIS. The certified user also marks the
proposed STRONG-R assessment in Vant4agePoint as unable to complete. According to facility
staff, however, inmates still receive programming if they refuse to sign and date the RNA Needs
report.
A signature on the RNA Needs report from either the inmate or the certified user confirms
the inmate was present for the assessment and given the opportunity to participate and is the
supporting evidence for the accompanying entries in TOMIS and for programming placement.
Should Vant4gePoint be unavailable for any reason in the future, a physical copy of the inmate’s
most recent assessment may be retrieved from the inmate’s institutional file.
PREA Screenings
Congress enacted the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) to address the problem
of sexual abuse of persons in U.S. correctional agencies. It applies to all public and private
correctional facilities that house adult or juvenile inmates as well as community-based agencies.
 
86

 A certified user is an individual who has successfully completed a user certification course for the STRONG-R,
facilitated by a trainer certified by Vant4ge.
87
The department’s intake facilities are Bledsoe County Correctional Complex and the Tennessee Prison for Women.

153 

 
 

It mandates certain standards concerning detection and prevention of prison rape. The Tennessee
Department of Correction must follow federal PREA standards issued by the United States
Department of Justice.
TDOC Policy 502.06.01, “Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Screening, Classification,
and Monitoring,” states that the department is to provide a “safe, humane, and appropriately secure
environment, free from threat of sexual abuse and sexual harassment for all inmates.”
To help meet these standards, the department requires that every inmate receive a PREA
screening upon entry into the state’s correctional system. Classification teams and health services
staff at each correctional facility perform the PREA screenings using the department’s PREA
Screening application. Through a series of questions, the screening application helps staff identify
whether an inmate is either at risk of being sexually abusive or sexually victimized. Pursuant to
federal PREA standards, these questions are confidential. Using the screening results, staff make
informed decisions concerning inmate housing, cell assignments, work, education, and other
program assignments. The goal of the screening is to separate those inmates with a high risk of
committing sexual abuse from potential victims.
Staff administer these screenings when an inmate first enters department custody at an
intake correctional facility (or diagnostic center) and again when the inmate arrives at the assigned
correctional facility.
Once the inmate arrives at the assigned facility, a PREA screening must take place within
72 hours. Facility staff screen the inmate again within 30 days to consider any additional
circumstances or information that may have come to light since the inmate first arrived.
See additional results of PREA testwork in the Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment
section of this report.
Orientation Process at Assigned Correctional Facility
TDOC Policy 404.05, “Orientation Unit,” mandates that every inmate must participate in
a cognitive orientation program within three calendar days of arrival at a correctional facility. A
cognitive orientation program is an informational program designed to familiarize an inmate with
the rules of the institution, such as expectations, procedures, and levels of disciplinary action. The
Division of Prisons Classification User’s Guide defines orientation as the basis for making inmates
aware of available programs that can provide new job, educational, and behavior skills. Facility
staff also use the orientation to observe inmate behavior and identify any special problems.
Information provided to the inmate at orientation includes a copy of the institutional or department
inmate handbook, Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) awareness literature, a description of
programs and services available at the prison, an explanation of the TDOC disciplinary and
security threat group (STG) procedures, and a brief explanation of the major aspects of a felony
sentence.
Correctional facility staff use the Orientation Acknowledgement Form to document the
completion of the inmate’s orientation. It is the responsibility of the designated orientation unit

154 

 
 

staff at the prison to perform the orientation within the three-day limit and to record the orientation
in TOMIS. The Orientation Acknowledgement Form includes signatures of the inmate, the inmate
representative if present, the Correctional Counselor, the Classification Coordinator, the Health
Services Designee, and the Associate Warden of Treatment or Chief Counselor. Once completed,
the orientation unit staff will place the form in the inmate institutional file as proof the inmate
acknowledged receipt of orientation materials.
Access to Grievance Forms and Required Informational Postings at the Assigned Correctional
Facility
According to Tennessee Department of Correction Policy 501.01, “Inmate Grievance
Procedures,”
inmates can file grievances, or written complaints, concerning
the substance or application of a written or unwritten department policy or
practice;
any single behavior or action toward an inmate by staff or other inmates; or
any condition or incident within the department or correctional facility that
personally affects the inmate.  
The policy also states,
Access to the grievance procedure: Inmate Grievance, and locked grievance
depositories,88 shall be made available for use by all inmates. Inmates shall
have unimpeded access to these grievance forms. For general population
inmates, the grievance forms shall be openly available for pickup without
the need for a request to staff.
The inmates are also permitted to inquire about and request healthcare services, including
scheduled and unscheduled sick call.89 According to Policy 113.30, “Access to Health Care,”
“Written instructions explaining access to health care services shall be posted in all living areas
and shall be in terms that can be understood by all inmates.”
The correctional facilities must also post the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) hotline
numbers in the inmate common areas (i.e., living areas where inmates socialize, play games, make
calls, etc.) so that inmates may report allegations of sexual abuse and harassment to the department;
inmates also receive this information in an inmate handbook when they arrive at the facility, as
required by department Policy 502.06.3, “Medical, Mental Health, Victim Advocacy and
Community Support Services for PREA Victims.”

 
88

A grievance depository is a locked box where inmates can insert their grievance forms.
89
A sick call is an organized method by which inmates are evaluated and treated for non-emergency health care
requests by qualified health care professionals.

155 

 
 

Results of Prior Audit Regarding Grievance Forms
During the November 2017 performance audit, we found that Trousdale Turner
Correctional Center management did not provide grievance forms in one housing pod90 and sick
call request forms in two pods. Inmates had to request these forms from the correctional officer
on duty. We also found that the officer in one of those units did not have sick call forms for
approximately four hours. In addition, only one pod out of four we visited had posted instructions
for obtaining medical care.
Management concurred with the finding and stated that the facility contract monitor noted
multiple deficiencies, leading the department to increase the number of audits conducted at
Trousdale.
Current Audit Follow‐up 
We returned to Trousdale and extended our work 
at the following CoreCivic and state‐managed 
correctional facilities: 
 
Hardeman County Correctional Facility 
(CoreCivic‐managed);  

Inmate Classes and Jobs Documentation
Classes and Jobs

The Tennessee Department of Correction
provides inmates with opportunities to complete
their education while they are incarcerated. The
educational system is fully accredited by the
Whiteville Correctional Facility (CoreCivic‐
Tennessee Department of Education to ensure
managed); 
the highest level of education for incarcerated
Northwest Correctional Complex; 
individuals. A variety of academic and career
technical programs, such as Adult Basic
Turney Center Industrial Complex; and  
Education (high school equivalency), Career
Northeast Correctional Complex.  
Management Success, and Career and Technical
Education allow inmates to obtain an education
and learn a skill that will translate to employment upon their reentry into society.
The correctional facilities have licensed instructors and a principal on
staff who work with the inmates to provide educational services. Inmates are also
paid by the hour to attend these classes. Attendance records act as the primary
source of information to document inmates’ class attendance hours as well as the
inmates’ wages for attending class. Department Policy 117.01 requires facility
management to “maintain accurate educational records. . . .”
The department also provides inmates the opportunity to have jobs while incarcerated.
Correctional facilities offer a number of different types of jobs, depending on the inmate’s skill
level, work history, disciplinary history, and other factors, such as medical qualifications or job
availability. For example, Turney Center Industrial Complex and Hardeman County Correctional
Facility provide well-behaved inmates the opportunity to work in the Retrieving Independence
Program, where the inmates work with and train puppies to become specially trained service dogs.
For each inmate with a job, the department maintains a job file that contains all of the
 
90

A pod is a smaller area within a housing unit where inmates with similar custody levels and programming needs
live.

156 

 
 

documentation for the inmate’s work history while incarcerated. The file includes job register
requests, job interview documents, job recommendations, job acknowledgment forms, and other
job-related items, such as medical documentation to qualify or disqualify the inmate for a job.
Department Policy 505.07 requires inmates to sign job acknowledgment forms to show that they
understand the requirements and duties of each job, to whom they report, the amount of money the
inmate will earn for the job, and where to report to work. The correctional facility’s job
coordinator is responsible for placing the required forms in inmate job files.
Results of the Prior Audit Regarding Inmate Classes and Jobs Documentation
In the department’s November 2017
performance audit report, we reported that
CoreCivic did not properly document attendance
for inmates housed and assigned to classes or
jobs at Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, a
CoreCivic-managed facility. We also found that
when CoreCivic facility staff were able to
provide the inmate attendance records, facility
staff had inaccurately recorded inmates’
attendance.

Current Audit Follow‐up 
We returned to Trousdale Turner and extended our 
work at the following CoreCivic and state‐managed 
correctional facilities: 
 
Hardeman County Correctional Facility 
(CoreCivic‐managed);  
Whiteville Correctional Facility (CoreCivic‐
managed); 
Northwest Correctional Complex; 
Turney Center Industrial Complex; and  

Management concurred with the finding
Northeast Correctional Complex.  
and stated that the facility contract monitor
noted multiple deficiencies at this facility,
leading the department to increase the number of audits conducted at Trousdale.
Random Drug Screenings

To combat inmate alcohol and drug use, the Tennessee Department of Correction and
CoreCivic conduct random drug screenings each month. The department’s central office selects a
monthly random sample of inmates from each correctional facility and sends to the facilities a
listing that includes the names of approximately 5% of the facility’s population. According to
department Policy 506.21, “Inmate Drug Testing,” “At a minimum, each correctional facility shall
test 2.5 percent of the institution’s in-house population each month.”
The facility’s drug screening coordinator then determines when during the month the
facility will perform the drug screen of the selected inmates. If an inmate’s specimen tests positive
for alcohol and drugs, the drug testing coordinator must send positive field screenings to a thirdparty lab for analysis to confirm the test results and identify the types of drugs in the specimen.
If an inmate tests positive for drugs or alcohol or refuses a random drug screening, the
inmate faces potential disciplinary action, such as fines, loss of privileges, and mandatory drug
testing. In fact, the facility drug screening coordinator enters an incident in the Tennessee Offender
Management Information System (TOMIS), to initiate the process of disciplinary action including
actions taken. According to department Policy 502.01, “Uniform Disciplinary Procedures,” the
department has seven calendar days to hold a disciplinary hearing.

157 

 
 

Audit Results
1. Audit Objective: Did the department ensure that correctional facility staff completed the
required Inmate Admissions Assessment form?
Conclusion:

Based on audit work performed, we found that facility staff completed the
Inmate Admissions Assessment forms.

2. Audit Objective: Did the department ensure inmates received a classification hearing as
required by department policy?
Conclusion:

Based on testwork performed, we found that inmates received a
classification hearing as required by department policy.

3. Audit Objective: Did the department ensure inmates received written notice of their
classification hearing at least 48 hours in advance?
Conclusion:

Based on testwork performed, we found in either the inmate institutional
files or in TOMIS, the department provided inmates with 48-hour notice of
the upcoming hearing.

4. Audit Objective: Did the department ensure Offender Classification Summaries were present
in inmate institutional files?
Conclusion:

We found at the Trousdale Turner facility that the Chief Counselor kept six
Offender Classification Summaries on a shelf in her office rather than in the
inmate’s institutional files as required by policy.

5. Audit Objective: Did the department ensure Risk Needs Assessments were filed in inmate
institutional files?
Conclusion:

Based on our review, correctional facility staff placed the Risk Needs
Assessments in the inmate institutional files.

6. Audit Objective: Did the department consistently screen inmates for histories of aggressive
sexual behavior or sexual abuse/victimization within 72 hours and again
within 30 days of arrival to their assigned correctional facility?
Conclusion:

Based on testwork performed, we found that several inmates at both state
and CoreCivic facilities did not receive a PREA screening within the 72hour and/or 30-day deadlines set by policy. See Finding 15.

7. Audit Objective: Did the department ensure inmates received orientation within three days of
their arrival at a correctional facility, and that staff signed and completed
orientation forms and filed the forms in the inmate institutional files?

158 

 
 

Conclusion:

From our review of inmate institutional files at the four facilities (state and
CoreCivic), we found inmates who did not receive orientation within the
required three-day limit, and whose signed orientation forms were not on
file. See Finding 16.

8. Audit Objective: Did CoreCivic’s management correct the prior audit finding by providing
inmates with unimpeded access to grievance and sick call forms,
information relating to medical care access in living areas, and access to
PREA hotline numbers at its correctional facilities?
Conclusion:

Based on our walkthroughs of the housing pods at Trousdale Turner
Correctional Center, Whiteville Correctional Facility, and Hardeman
County Correctional Facility, CoreCivic management corrected the prior
audit finding by providing inmates with unimpeded access to grievance and
sick call forms.

9. Audit Objective: Did department management provide inmates at its state-run correctional
facilities with unimpeded access to grievance and sick call forms,
information relating to medical care access in living areas, and access to
PREA hotline numbers?
Conclusion:

Based on our observations of the housing pods at the state correctional
facilities, we noted a few instances where inmates did not have unimpeded
access to grievance forms and information relating to access healthcare. See
Observation 8. We did observe that the facilities posted PREA hotline
information in the inmates’ living areas.

10. Audit Objective: Did correctional facilities maintain the required documentation for inmates
attending classes and assigned to jobs to support the inmates’ pay and job
responsibilities?
Conclusion:

Based on our testwork, we found that state and CoreCivic facilities did not
maintain adequate inmate class attendance records to support inmate pay
for attending classes or maintain inmate job documentation in accordance
with department policy. See Observation 9.

11. Audit Objective: Did the correctional facilities perform the required random drug screenings
and enter the results into TOMIS as required by policy?
Conclusion:

Based on our review, we found that facilities did not comply with the
department’s policy regarding required random drug screenings and did not
enter the results into TOMIS as required. See Observation 10.

159 

 
 

Finding 15 – State and CoreCivic correctional facility personnel did not consistently
administer required inmate screenings that are used to prevent sexual abuse in correctional
facilities
Based on testwork performed to determine if correctional facility staff screened inmates
upon arrival for sexual abuse risks in accordance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
standards, we found that staff at 5 facilities did not complete most initial PREA screenings upon
arrival, and staff at all 6 facilities did not complete some 30-day screenings after arrival, as required
by department policy. See Table 42 for results.

160 

 
 

Table 42
Prison Rape Elimination Act Standards’ Required Screening Not Performed
Correctional
Facility
Northeast
Northwest
Turney Center
Hardeman*
Whiteville*
Trousdale Turner*

Inmate Sample
Size
60
25
25
60
60
60

72-Hour Screenings
Not Performed
Not Performed
Timely
At All
16
1
11
–
3
–
3
–
2
–
No Issues

Source: Inmates’ institutional files.
*CoreCivic-managed facilities.

161 

30-Day Screenings
Not Performed Not Performed
Timely
At All
9
–
13
3
9
8
5
5
1
4
2

 
 

According to Department Policy 502.06.1, “Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
Screening, Classification, and Monitoring,”
All inmates shall be screened, using the PREA Screening Application, upon
arrival at a facility for their risk of being sexually abused by other inmates or
sexually abusive toward other inmates. This screening shall ordinarily take
place within 72 hours of arrival at the facility.
Within 30 days of the inmate’s arrival at a facility, staff will again screen, using
the PREA Screening Application, the inmate for risk of victimization or
abusiveness to include any additional relevant information received by the
facility since the intake screening.
In our discussion with department management, they stated that they did not dispute the
fact that the facilities either did not complete the screenings or completed them late; they believe
the issues likely occurred due to staffing shortages or simple human error. Furthermore,
management stated that sometimes inmates may be unavailable for the screening due to a court
hearing, medical reasons, or a transfer.
The Department of Justice’s May 2019 PREA Audit Report on the Northwest facility found
similar problems. The report stated that “the initial PREA risk screening was conducted past 72
hours, past 30 days and/or not at all.”91 When the department does not conduct timely and accurate
risk screenings, the risk of inmates being abused or abusing others increases.
Recommendation
Management should ensure that all relevant correctional staff tasked with performing
PREA screenings perform the screenings within the required timeframes. Management should
implement effective controls to ensure compliance with applicable requirements, assign
employees to be responsible and accountable for ongoing monitoring of risks and any mitigating
controls, and act if deficiencies occur.
Management’s Comment
Concur.
PREA compliance is a priority for our Department.
PREA screenings are an important tool to ensure sexual safety at all of our facilities. All
offenders are screened as part of the diagnostic process and any risks for sexual victimization are
identified and documented as well as any proclivities to act as a sexual aggressor.
In a recent DOJ audit of our diagnostic facility, Bledsoe County Correctional Complex, the
DOJ auditor noted that TDOC not only met the standard for initial screenings, but exceeded the
 
91

The Department of Justice PREA audits issued from October 2017 through July 2019 on the Turney Center and
Northeast facilities found no problems with screenings.

162 

 
 

standard because they were conducted immediately upon arrival rather than waiting the allowable
72 hours. The results of these screenings are documented and available for approved users in the
Tennessee Offender Management Information System (TOMIS) thereby allowing us to
communicate the results statewide.
Prior to housing assignment at any facility, the results of prior screenings are reviewed. In
addition to the initial diagnostic screening, an offender should be screened within 72 hours of
arrival to each facility in our system and also subsequently screened within 30 days. As the issues
with timeliness of screenings were discovered internally, they were corrected prior to the audit.
Of the 290 initial screenings reviewed during the audit, 36 were noted to be deficient. Of the 36
noted to be deficient, 35 of them were completed prior to the audit review. Of the 290 thirty-day
reviews evaluated during the audit, 59 were noted to be deficient. Of the 59 noted to be deficient,
40 of them had been completed prior to the audit review.
Although the internal process did resolve 93% of the errors, the issues with timeliness of
PREA screenings have already been addressed at the facilities noted with a comprehensive agency
approach being developed and implemented.
Finding 16 – State and CoreCivic facility personnel did not perform inmate orientation
within three days of arrival at the facility or did not consistently maintain a signed
Orientation Acknowledgement Form in the inmate institutional file
Department Policy 404.05 states that inmates must receive orientation within three
calendar days of arrival, and that the Orientation Acknowledgement Form is the document of
record for the completed orientation; the form serves as the department’s record that the
correctional facility informed the inmate about the rules of the facility in order to assist the inmate
with integration into the new environment. Policy 512.01, “Maintenance and Safeguarding of
Inmate Institutional Records,” states that the correctional staff should file the completed form in
the inmate’s institutional file.
To determine if
For the full methodology, including 
correctional staff at the 6 facilities we visited obtained
the breakdown of the population and 
Orientation Acknowledgement Forms, we selected a
sample sizes by correctional facility we 
total nonstatistical random sample of 250 inmate files
visited, see Appendix F‐1 on page 169. 
from a total population of 5,232 files.
Based on testwork performed during our facility visits, we tested a sample of inmates
assigned to the four correctional facilities on and after October 1, 2017. We found that the facilities
either did not conduct orientation for their assigned inmates in a timely manner or did not obtain
Orientation Acknowledgement Forms as documentation that inmates received orientation.

163 

 
 

Table 43
Results of Testwork – Late Orientations and
Missing Orientation Acknowledgement Forms
Inmate Sample
Size

Number of Orientations
Performed Past the
3-Day Limit

Number of Missing
Orientation Forms

Northeast

60

8

28

Northwest

24

11

8

Turney Center

60

1

8

Whiteville*

60

2

2

Correctional Facility

Source: Inmate institutional files.
*CoreCivic-managed facility.

Whiteville and Turney Center personnel could not explain why they conducted orientation
late or account for the missing forms. At Northwest, the Director of Compliance explained that,
during a U.S. Department of Justice PREA audit in December 2018 and May 2019, the federal
auditor requested a random sample of inmate Orientation Acknowledgement Forms as part of the
facility’s PREA audit. In both audits, Northwest’s personnel could not provide the auditor with
the Orientation Acknowledgement Forms. As a result of this audit, Northwest personnel were
retrained on the orientation process. As part of the follow-up corrective action plan for the May
2019 audit, all inmates received orientation again. Northwest personnel did not have these new
orientation forms in the files.
According to Northeast personnel, they documented orientation in TOMIS. We found,
however, that the TOMIS contact notes stated “to complete the orientation process/paperwork with
the Sgt [Sergeant]” and did not indicate that personnel provided orientation within the required
three days. Additionally, Northeast personnel could not find the Orientation Acknowledgement
Forms for some inmates and could not explain why they conducted the orientations late.
Orientation is designed to make inmates aware of institutional and department policies they
are expected to adhere to during their stay. It also provides inmates entering the system with
information including, but not limited to, clothing issuance, family visitation and telephone
privileges, inmate funds, disciplinary procedures, and access to health and mental health care.
Completed and signed Orientation Acknowledgement Forms confirm that offenders received
orientation upon arrival at a facility and the information they need to successfully integrate into
the correctional environment. Signed, completed forms are proof the inmate acknowledged receipt
of orientation materials.
Recommendation
Management should ensure that all correctional staff are conducting inmate orientations
and completing and filing the appropriate forms as required by policy and should provide
additional training to ensure correctional facilities comply with department policy.

164 

 
 

Management’s Comment
Concur.
Orientation of inmates is an important step to ensure an individual’s successful integration
into the period of confinement.
Although inmate orientation could be delayed by a number of factors, the process itself is
expected to progress within the allotted timeframe.
We further acknowledge that proper documentation is necessary to create the historical
record relevant to an inmate’s arrival processing at the receiving facility.
The facility internal review process will be utilized to reinforce this policy requirement by
conducting training and enforcing accountability.
Observation 8 – Northwest Correctional Complex and Turney Center Industrial Complex
impeded inmates’ access to information relating to healthcare, including access to grievance and
sick call forms
Based on our observations while touring five housing pods at the correctional facilities we
visited, we found that CoreCivic had corrected the issues involving access to grievance and sick
call forms and had posted written instructions for inmates to access medical care in inmate living
spaces; however, we found that two state-managed facilities—Northwest Correctional Complex
and Turney Center Industrial Complex—had actually impeded the inmates’ access to forms and
healthcare instructions. Specifically, we found the following:
At Northwest Correctional Complex, in 3 of the 5 pods we visited (60%), facility
management placed the grievance and sick call forms in the cages used by the
correctional officers. Inmates had to ask a correctional officer for the forms.
In one of the 10 pods at Turney Center (10%), we found that inmates did not have ready
access to grievance forms. Additionally, in one pod, facility management did not post
the required information regarding inmates’ access to medical care.
According to department staff, correctional officers and housing supervisors92 did not
promptly replace grievance and sick call forms as needed and did not replace the posted
instructions to access medical care that had been removed. We discussed with department staff
the location of grievance and sick call forms locked in cages, and staff stated they placed the forms
in the cages because the inmates used the forms to draw on or for illicit drug activity or had merely
ripped the forms up. While we understand the challenges facilities’ staff face in providing full
access to these forms, without access to grievance and sick call forms, inmates cannot file a
complaint or obtain medical care without assistance from facility staff, which may potentially
 
92

Housing supervisors are correctional officers who supervise the regular correctional officers and inmates in the
housing units and pods.

165 

 
 

delay an inmate’s grievance resolution or ability to receive medical care promptly. Additionally,
without access to the posted information concerning how to obtain medical care, inmates may not
fully understand how to obtain the medical care they need.
We recommend management and staff continue to find ways to make the required forms
and information readily available to the inmates.
Observation 9 – State and CoreCivic correctional staff did not properly maintain class and job
documentation in accordance with department policy
Classes
To determine if correctional staff maintained the required documentation for inmates
attending classes, we tested a sample of inmates at six correctional facilities and examined
attendance records for 13 randomly selected days for the period, as described in Appendix F-1 on
page 169. Because class instructors did not complete attendance sheets or maintain other clear
documentation to support inmate class attendance, we found that staff at each facility could not
fully support class attendance for the inmates we tested. We also determined that department
management did not ensure that all attendance entries in TOMIS agreed with the correctional
facility’s attendance records that were provided. Our testwork results are shown in Table 44.
Table 44
Results of Testwork – Inmates with Class Attendance Record Issues

Facility
Northeast*
Northwest
Turney Center
Whiteville†
Trousdale Turner†

Attendance Records Not
Complete or Clear
11 of 60 (18%)
6 of 25 (24%)
6 of 25 (24%)
1 of 60 (2%)
1 of 60 (2%)

Attendance Records Do Not
Agree with TOMIS
2 of 60 (3%)
7 of 25 (28%)
12 of 25 (48%)
8 of 60 (13%)
4 of 60 (7%)

Attendance
Records Not
Maintained
9 of 25 (36%)
9 of 25 (36%)
9 of 25 (36%)
No Issues
No Issues

*Due to numerous issues found in the initial sample of 25, we expanded the sample for some testwork to 60.
†CoreCivic-managed facilities.
Source: Department of Correction class attendance records.

According to department management, the issues noted related to oversight and human
error. In the instances where instructors at Northeast and Turney Center did not complete
attendance records, the inmates in question were in special housing units and were not required to
attend class to complete class-related work. The class instructors gave the inmates homework for
class credit. However, we could not verify the inmates actually completed the homework or the
instructors maintained documentation for inmates they saw on those days. When department and
CoreCivic management do not ensure that staff maintain accurate attendance records, the risk
increases for improper payments to inmates for attending classes.

166 

 
 

Jobs
We found that for five of the six correctional facilities visited, the department and
CoreCivic did not have the required documentation, such as the inmates’ signed job
acknowledgment forms. See Table 45. Agreements for job positions and inmate-acknowledged
responsibilities provide the department and CoreCivic with transparency and documentation to
prevent possible disputes regarding job responsibilities and inmate pay.
Table 45
Results of Testwork - Job Acknowledgment Forms
No Inmate Acknowledgement
Form
15 of 25 (60%)
16 of 60 (27%)
18 of 60 (30%)
8 of 25 (32%)
8 of 60 (13%)

Facility
Northeast
Northwest
Turney Center
Hardeman*
Trousdale Turner*

Source: Department of Correction inmate job files.
* CoreCivic-managed facilities.

According to the department, the job acknowledgment forms were likely with the inmates’
job supervisors, instead of in the inmates’ job files. However, we requested the forms multiple
times, and facility staff could not locate them while we were on site.
These job acknowledgement forms are important because they document that the inmate
understands the duties of his or her job, the pay rates for the job, and who the job supervisor is.
The management and staff of the department and CoreCivic should ensure the job coordinators are
aware of the requirement for the job agreements to be signed by the inmates and the need for the
signed agreement to be maintained in the job files. The department should continue to work with
educators at the facilities to ensure they follow departmental policies for attendance recordkeeping
and entry into TOMIS.
Observation 10 – Trousdale Turner Correctional Center did not conduct the minimally required
random drug screenings of the inmate population, and Whiteville Correctional Facility, Turney
Center Industrial Complex, and Northwest Correctional Complex did not consistently and
accurately record screening results in TOMIS
Based on our testwork at the six correctional facilities, we found that four facilities did not
conduct the required random drug screenings each month and did not enter the results in TOMIS.
Specifically, we found the following:
The facility personnel at Whiteville Correctional Facility did not record the inmates’
random drug screen results in TOMIS for 3 of 60 inmate drug screens we reviewed
(5%). Although the staff should have recorded the results in TOMIS, we found that,
because the results of all three drug screens were negative, facility personnel did not

167 

 
 

need to pursue disciplinary action for these inmates. According to department
management, this issue was due to an oversight; staff should have entered the
information into TOMIS as negative drug screens.
Based on our interview with the drug testing coordinator at Trousdale Turner
Correctional Center, the coordinator informed us that he did not test the minimally
required 2.5% of the inmate population for either March or April 2019.  According to
the drug testing coordinator, when he was given the responsibility for conducting the
drug screenings in March 2019, he received on-the-job training from the former drug
testing coordinator. He went on to state that he did not have access to TOMIS at that
time and had to attend a critical incident response team class.
We found that the Turney Center Industrial Complex drug testing coordinator did not
enter 3 of 60 screenings (5%) in TOMIS accurately for drug screens conducted in
February and March 2019. Specifically, the coordinator did not enter one test result
and incorrectly entered information on the remaining two drug screenings. For the two
incorrectly entered tests, the inmates refused to take the drug screen, but the coordinator
entered in TOMIS that the test results were “Negative”; according to the drug screening
coordinator, he mistakenly clicked on the wrong TOMIS prompt. For the drug screen
that the coordinator did not enter, the sample tested positive for alcohol and drugs;
however, the coordinator stated he missed entering the information.
Based on discussion with the drug screening coordinator and the disciplinary board
sergeant and our review of drug screening documentation, we found that facility
personnel at Northwest Correctional Complex
were approximately three months behind on
“No inmate charged with a 
holding disciplinary hearings for inmates with
disciplinary offense should be 
positive drug screens and those inmates who
required to wait more than seven 
refused to take the drug screens. Northwest’s
days for his/her disciplinary 
Disciplinary Board Sergeant stated that the
hearing to be held.” 
relevant policy, TDOC Policies 502.01 and
502.02, states that disciplinary hearings should
Source: TDOC Policy 502.01.
be performed in a reasonable time.
By not performing the minimum number of monthly random drug screenings, facility
management faces an increased risk that inmate alcohol or drug use could go undetected, creating
an environment for increased violent behavior. The department and CoreCivic management
should continue to educate and work with the facilities’ drug testing coordinators to ensure the
facilities meet the 2.5% random drug testing requirement and that staff enter the drug screening
results completely and accurately into TOMIS. By doing so, the department and CoreCivic can
better track the number of positive drug results occurring at each facility, allowing them to address
facilities with the greatest risk of alcohol and drug abuse. The department and CoreCivic can also
offer inmate referrals to the facilities’ substance abuse treatment programs, if the facilities conduct
the appropriate screenings and accurately enter the results in TOMIS.

168 

 
 

Appendix F
Inmate Services and Support
Appendix F-1
Methodologies to Achieve Objectives
To achieve our objectives, we selected a nonstatistical random sample of inmates at the
following correctional facilities to determine if they completed the Inmate Admissions Assessment
forms.
Correctional Facility
Northeast
Northwest
Turney Center
Hardeman*
Whiteville*
Trousdale Turner*
Total

Inmate Population
168
476
246
332
1,496
2,514
5,232

Inmate Sample Size
58
24
58
25
25
25
215

* CoreCivic-managed facilities.
Source: Department of Correction inmate rosters pulled from INFOPAC reports generated on June 6, 2019
(Northeast), May 15, 2019 (Northwest), May 30, 2019 (Turney Center), May 9, 2019 (Hardeman), April 11, 2019
(Whiteville), and May 2, 2019 (Trousdale Turner).

We reviewed files for inmates assigned to each facility on or after October 1, 2017, which
is the beginning of the audit period. We inspected the files to determine if correctional facility
personnel consistently checked the Inmate Admissions Assessment form for completeness and
filed it as required by policy.
We selected nonstatistical random samples of inmate files assigned the following
correctional facilities on or after October 1, 2017, to determine if the inmates received written
notice at least 48 hours in advance of any classification panel hearing or if the inmates waived this
notice instead.

169 

 
 

Inmate File
Inmate File
Sample Size for
Inmate File
Sample Size for
Missing
Sample Size for
Late
48-Hour
Missing
Correctional
Inmate File
Classification
Notifications
Classification
Facility
Population Size
Hearings
and Waivers
Summaries
Northeast
168
24
25
58
Northwest
476
23
59
24
Turney Center
246
23
58
24
Hardeman*
332
25
25
25
Whiteville*
1,496
60
60
60
Trousdale Turner*
2,514
60
25
60
Total
5,232
215
252
216
*CoreCivic-managed facilities.
Source: Department of Correction inmate rosters pulled from INFOPAC reports generated on June 6, 2019
(Northeast), May 15, 2019 (Northwest), May 30, 2019 (Turney Center), May 9, 2019 (Hardeman), April 11, 2019
(Whiteville), and May 2, 2019 (Trousdale Turner).

In addition, we tested inmate files to determine if the inmates received a classification
hearing within 14 days of their arrival for processing at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex
and whether the files contained signed Offender Classification Summaries. We then compared the
files to corresponding dates, entries, and contact notes in TOMIS.
We selected a nonstatistical random sample of inmate files assigned to the following
correctional facilities on or after October 1, 2017, and we inspected these files to determine if the
they contained a signed Risk Needs Assessment report.
Correctional Facility
Northeast
Northwest
Turney Center
Hardeman*
Whiteville*
Trousdale Turner*
Total

Inmate File
Population Size
168
476
246
332
1,496
2,514
5,232

Inmate File
Sample Size
58
24
24
25
25
60
216

*CoreCivic-managed facilities.
Source: Department of Correction inmate rosters pulled from INFOPAC reports generated on June 6,
2019 (Northeast), May 15, 2019 (Northwest), May 30, 2019 (Turney Center), May 9, 2019 (Hardeman),
April 11, 2019 (Whiteville), and May 2, 2019 (Trousdale Turner).

We compared the files to corresponding dates, entries, and contact notes in TOMIS.
From the following populations, we selected a nonstatistical random sample of inmates
assigned to the following correctional facilities on or after October 1, 2017, to determine if the
inmates received the appropriate Prison Rape Elimination Act screenings upon arrival at the
facility.
170 

 
 

Correctional Facility
Northeast
Northwest
Turney Center
Hardeman*
Whiteville*
Trousdale Turner*
Total

Inmate Population Size
168
476
246
332
1,496
2,514
5,232

Inmate Sample Size
60
25
25
60
60
60
290

*CoreCivic-managed facilities.
Source: Department of Correction inmate rosters pulled from INFOPAC reports generated on June 6,
2019 (Northeast), May 15, 2019 (Northwest), May 30, 2019 (Turney), May 9, 2019 (Hardeman), April
11, 2019 (Whiteville), and May 2, 2019 (Trousdale).

We examined dates listed in TOMIS to determine whether facility staff screened the
inmates for a history of aggressive sexual behavior or sexual abuse and victimization within 72
hours after their arrival at the facilities and rescreened inmates within 30 days.
We selected a nonstatistical random sample of inmate files assigned to the following
correctional facilities on or after October 1, 2017, to determine if each inmate had a completed and
signed Orientation Acknowledgement Form in the inmate’s institutional file.
Correctional Facility
Northeast
Northwest
Turney Center
Hardeman*
Whiteville*
Trousdale Turner*
Total

Inmate File
Population Size
168
476
246
332
1,496
2,514
5,232

Inmate File
Sample Size
58
24
58
25
60
25
250

*CoreCivic-managed facilities.
Source: Department of Correction inmate rosters pulled from INFOPAC reports generated on June 6, 2019
(Northeast), May 15, 2019 (Northwest), May 30, 2019 (Turney Center), May 9, 2019 (Hardeman), April
11, 2019 (Whiteville), and May 2, 2019 (Trousdale Turner).

We compared the files to corresponding dates, entries, and contact notes in TOMIS.
We obtained and reviewed department policies related to grievances and access to
healthcare at all six correctional facilities:
Northeast Correctional Complex (state-managed);
Northwest Correctional Complex (state-managed); 
Turney Center Industrial Complex (state-managed);  
Hardeman County Correctional Facility (CoreCivic-managed);  
Whiteville Correctional Facility (CoreCivic-managed); and 

171 

 
 

Trousdale Turner Correctional Center (CoreCivic-managed).  
During each visit we performed walkthrough procedures in five housing pods at each facility,
expanding to five additional pods at Turney Center due to issues we found, to determine if
department and CoreCivic management provided inmates with unimpeded access to grievance
forms and posted instructions for inmates to access medical care and the Prison Rape Elimination
Act (PREA) hotline numbers in the pods’ living areas.
We reviewed departmental policy related to inmate classes and jobs. We obtained
INFOPAC reports from TOMIS related to inmate pay and attendance for different pay periods. At
each facility we visited, we selected the following nonstatistical random samples of inmates from
the following populations. To test inmate class requirements, we haphazardly selected 13 days for
each inmate.
Correctional
Facility
Northeast
Correctional
Complex

Period
April 26-May
25, 2019

Northwest
Correctional
Complex

March 26-April
25, 2019

Turney Center
Industrial Complex

March 26-April
25, 2019

Hardeman County
Correctional
Facility*

March 26-April
25, 2019

Whiteville
Correctional
Facility*

February 26March 25, 2019

Trousdale Turner
Correctional
Center*

March 26-April
25, 2019
Total

Population Size
1,245 inmates
assigned to jobs
and 262 inmates
assigned to classes
1,733 inmates
assigned to jobs
and 671 inmates
assigned to classes
1,770 inmates
assigned to jobs
and 160 inmates
assigned to classes
1,600 inmates
assigned to jobs
and 464 inmates
assigned to classes
1,119 inmates
assigned to jobs
and 319 inmates
assigned to classes
1,745 inmates
assigned to jobs and
364 inmates
assigned to classes
9,212 inmates
assigned to jobs
and 2,240 inmates
assigned to classes

Maximum Sample
Size Tested
25 inmates
assigned to jobs
and 60 inmates
assigned to classes
60 inmates
assigned to jobs
and 25 inmates
assigned to classes
60 inmates
assigned to jobs
and 25 inmates
assigned to classes
25 inmates
assigned to jobs
and 60 inmates
assigned to classes
25 inmates
assigned to jobs
and 60 inmates
assigned to classes
60 inmates
assigned to jobs
and 60 inmates
assigned to classes
255 inmates
assigned to jobs
and 290 inmates
assigned to classes

*CoreCivic-managed facilities.
Source: Offender Pay Attendance reports generated from INFOPAC for the periods listed above.

172 

 
 

For the inmates sampled, we obtained educational attendance records for each class to
determine which inmates attended. We haphazardly sampled 13 days from the pay period93 prior
to our facility visit to determine if the inmates’ attendance records agreed to the inmates’ pay. We
obtained the job files for each inmate sampled to determine if the job files contained the required
acknowledgment forms signed by the inmates.
We obtained and reviewed the department’s policy for required random drug testing. We
conducted site visits and performed testwork at the six correctional facilities we visited.
We obtained the department’s monthly drug screening listing from each facility’s drug
testing coordinator for approximately one to two months prior to the date of the site visit. Using
the listings, we selected the following nonstatistical random sample from each facility to determine
if the facility performed drug screenings on 2.5% of inmates each month. We also determined if
the facility entered the drug screening results in TOMIS; for any positive screenings, we
determined if the facility initiated disciplinary action, as required by department policy.
Correctional Facility
Site Visit Date
Northeast
June 10-14, 2019
Northwest
May 20-24, 2019
Turney Center
June 3-7, 2019
Hardeman*
May 13-17, 2019
Whiteville*
May 15, 2019
Trousdale Turner*
May 6-9, 2019
Total

Sample Size Tested
25
25
60
60
60
25
255

* CoreCivic-managed facilities.
Source: Samples pulled from population of random drug screenings obtained from each
facility’s Drug Screening Coordinator for the month(s) prior to visits to correctional
facilities.

 
93

The pay period is the month for which the inmate is paid for working a job or attending a class. The pay periods
start on the 26th of one month and end on the 25th of the succeeding month.

173 

 
 

DEPARTMENT’S COMMUNITY SUPERVISION
RESPONSIBILITIES

CHAPTER CONCLUSIONS
Matter for Legislative Consideration – Single Comprehensive Resource for Offender
Arrests (page 175)
Finding 17 – Community supervision supervisors, District Directors, and Correctional
Administrators did not always review case records as required by department policy to
ensure probation and parole officers performed their required duties (page 179)
Observation 11 – Although department management has worked since 2014 to ensure probation
and parole officers performed their required duties, probation and parole officers did not meet
supervision requirements for offender case plan reviews (page 182)

 

DEPARTMENT’S COMMUNITY SUPERVISION RESPONSIBILITIES
MATTER FOR LEGISLATIVE CONSIDERATION – SINGLE COMPREHENSIVE
RESOURCE FOR OFFENDER ARRESTS
The Department of Correction and state and local law enforcement agencies could benefit
from a single comprehensive resource for looking up offender arrests across the state to more
easily monitor offenders’ compliance with supervision requirements. Section 40-28-605,
Tennessee Code Annotated, requires that probation and parole officers “supervise, investigate and
check on the conduct, behavior and progress of parolees and persons placed on probation.” As
noted in Observation 11, officers are required to determine on a monthly basis whether offenders
have new arrests or outstanding warrants; however, to fulfill this requirement, officers must search
and ultimately rely on multiple federal, state, local, and third-party sources to determine whether
the department’s offenders have new arrests or outstanding warrants. These sources include
searching paper arrest logs of local jurisdictions, news sources, the victim notification service,94
arrest compilation websites (such as Arrests.gov), the federal National Crime Information Center
(NCIC), and third-party free cell phone applications (such as Vinelink or Mobile Patrol). Based
on our discussions with department management, the state does not have a centralized (state, local,
and federal) electronic database for arrests or warrants.
State law enforcement and department probation and parole officers could benefit from a
statewide electronic database for the centralization of arrests, warrants, and other similar actions.
A single comprehensive resource would allow law enforcement and probation and parole officers
to quickly determine if an individual has been arrested recently anywhere in the state, or if there
is any open warrant out for their arrest.
Offender Supervision Process
Probation and parole officers are responsible for supervising parolees and individuals on
probation on active supervision status95 on a monthly basis to ensure they meet the conditions of
their parole or sentence. Specifically, the officers are required to perform the following 11
supervisory requirements:
perform arrest checks;
request offender drug screens;
perform employment verification;
hold face-to-face meetings with offenders;

94
Tennessee’s Victim Notification Service is maintained by the Department of Correction and is used to keep
registered victims, survivors, families, and other interested parties informed of an offender’s status, movements, parole
hearing dates, release status, and other information.
95
The department may also place offenders on administrative offender status who live out of state, have outstanding
warrants or are in custody, or have absconded supervision. Of the supervisory requirements, officers are only required
to perform arrest checks on administrative status offenders.

175 

 
 

collect monthly probation and parole fees for supervision, diversion, and Criminal
Injuries Compensation funds, as well as incidental fees from activities like DNA
collection, GPS monitoring, and drug testing;
perform home visits;
create or review the offender’s case plan, which details risks, needs, and areas of
concern, and provides the offender with suggested methods to better their situation and
comply with supervision requirements;
conduct searches of a higher-risk offender’s home;
perform procedures to determine an offender’s needs and any significant risks the
offender poses that need to be taken into account to properly supervise and reform the
offender;
perform checks to ensure sex offenders are attending required sex offender treatment
therapy; and
perform checks to determine if the offender is complying with any special conditions
set by the judge as a condition of their probation or parole.
The offender’s supervision level96 determines the specific supervisory requirements an
officer must perform and their required frequency. For example, officers are required to conduct
a face-to-face meeting with minimum-security offenders every six months, with medium-security
offenders every three months, and maximum- and enhanced-security offenders every month.
Standards Due Report
A staff person from the Department of Finance and Administration’s Strategic Technology
Solutions group generates the data needed for the Standards Due Report for use by the Department
of Correction. The Department of Correction’s administrative staff then use this data to create a
tool that contains information on all offenders on probation and parole. Department management
distributes the tool twice a week to each probation and parole officer to facilitate their monitoring
of offenders. Officers use this tool to complete their supervisory requirements each month, as it
highlights each requirement that is due during the current month and any requirements that are
overdue, so that officers can prioritize those items to ensure that they are completed.
During the period October 1, 2018, through March 4, 2019, the reports contained data on
an average of 40,43297 offenders. This data includes the assigned probation and parole officer and
the due dates for each of the 11 supervisory requirements for all offenders.

 
96

The most common supervision levels are Intake, Minimum, Medium, Maximum, and Enhanced. Additionally, there
are four levels of supervision for sex offenders. These are Transitional, Intermediate, Secondary, and Primary.  
97
We calculated a six-month average using monthly department supervisory reports we reviewed during the audit.

176 

 
 

Supervision of Probation and Parole Officers
Department policy describes community supervision supervisors and managers’ review
requirements to ensure probation and parole officers continually monitor their assigned offenders
and update the offender case records.
Offender Case Record
Life Cycle
Initial Case Record Review

Monthly Case Record Review
Closing Case Record Review

Quarterly Case Record Reviews

Review Requirements
Once the offender enters community supervision,
supervisors and/or managers review all initial case records
within 60 days of the offender’s community supervision
start date. This includes reviewing the case file and
TOMIS.
District supervisors inspect a minimum of 3% of their
case files and TOMIS records.
Supervisors perform a final review of the offender’s case
file when the court or Board of Parole issued an order of
restitution98 prior to the offender’s release from
community supervision.
Community Supervision District Directors review 10% of
their district’s required 3% monthly case record reviews.
Correctional Administrators review 10% of the District
Directors’ quarterly case record reviews per their assigned
regions.

Source: Department of Correction Policy 706.02, “Supervisory Review of Caseloads.”

To facilitate the monitoring of probation and parole officers’ work, the department provides
a Supervisor Annual Case Record Review report four times a month to probation and parole
supervisors, District Directors, and Correctional Administrators. In the first report, the department
randomly selects a sample of offender case records representing 3% of the total active parole and
probation offender population as of the beginning of that month. Supervisors must complete their
case record reviews listed on the Supervisory Case Record Review report and enter their comments
in TOMIS before the end of the month.
By the end of each quarter, District Directors must review 10% of the Supervisory Case
Record Review reports run for that quarter and specifically review the supervisors’ or managers’
work. Correctional Administrators must audit 10% of the District Directors’ reviews by the end
of that same quarter.
Results of Prior Audits
In the 2012 Performance Audit of the Board of Probation and Parole (TDOC took over all
board functions after this audit), we found that probation and parole officers were not completing
 
98

 Identified victims, whether individuals or businesses, may be entitled to an order of restitution for certain losses
suffered because of the commission of an offense, or losses the offender agrees to repay as part of a plea agreement.
The sentencing judge determines the parameters and issues the order of restitution.  

177 

 
 

all supervision requirements. Management concurred and indicated that the department would
ensure that probation and parole officers follow offender supervision guidelines and enter all
information appropriately in TOMIS, largely through additional training and equipment upgrades
to increase efficiency. We also found that probation and parole officer supervisors did not review
approximately half of the cases in our sample. Management concurred and indicated it would use
all available tools to ensure the completion of supervisory reviews, and that supervisors discuss
the results with officers as policy requires.
In the 2014 Performance Audit of the Department of Correction, we found that while there
was improvement in supervision rates since 2012, probation and parole officers were still not
completing all supervision requirements. Management concurred and restated its commitment to
improving officer performance, citing increased training and improvement of standards, adding a
requirement for probation and parole managers to report monthly to their District Directors, and
requiring manager and District Director signatures on case file review audit forms. We also found
that the department had not used all available tools to ensure the completion of supervisory reviews
and did not ensure supervisors discussed reviews with officers as required. Management
concurred only in part, stating that they believed their performance to be an improvement over the
previous audit. However, they stated they would initiate a policy to clarify review requirements
and timeliness. Following the audit fieldwork, management developed additional monitoring
methods at the district level to monitor supervisors.
In the department’s 2017 performance audit, we reported repeated conditions that
probation and parole officers did not always meet offender supervision requirements and
supervisors did not always meet oversight requirements. Management concurred with our findings
and stated that to improve the monitoring capabilities of officers, they would add by 2018 a
compliance rating scale to each standard in the Standards Due Report. This would be the basis of
an automatically calculated compliance score for each offender every time the report generated,
allowing officers, managers, and other supervisors the ability to quickly review an offender’s
status. Management also stated that the Standards Due Report allows managers to view their
officers’ caseloads at a glance, so that they can help the officers manage their work and time. They
stated that the Report also allows District Directors to quickly determine their district’s compliance
level. They were working to implement a Case Management Review process to facilitate
improvements in the ability to meet supervisor oversight requirements. Management updated the
Standards Due Report to include functionality that alerted probation and parole officers when a
supervisory requirement was almost due or was overdue for each offender. This change allowed
the department to correct this finding for all supervisory requirements other than reviewing and
creating offender case plans.
Audit Results
1. Audit Objective: In response to the prior audit finding, did management ensure that
community supervision supervisors and managers meet the requirements
for offender case record reviews to ensure the probation and parole officers
performed their required duties?

178 

 
 

Conclusion:

Based on our testwork, we found that the department’s community
supervision supervisors did not always perform their required duties for
initial and monthly reviews. Furthermore, we noted that the District
Directors and Correctional Administrators did not complete their required
number of quarterly case reviews. See Finding 17.

2. Audit Objective: In response to the prior audit finding, did management ensure that probation
and parole officers met all offender supervision standards?
Conclusion:

Based on our testwork, although the probation and parole officers used the
updated Standards Due Report tool to better perform their duties in a timely
manner, we found that the officers did not always complete offender case
plan reviews when required. See Observation 11.

3. Audit Objective: Do probation and parole officers have a single comprehensive resource for
looking up arrests in Tennessee to make their monthly arrests checks?
Conclusion

Based on our discussions with agency management during our review of
offender supervision, officers do not have a reliable source of arrest
information statewide. See Matter for Legislative Consideration.

Finding 17 – Community supervision supervisors, District Directors, and Correctional
Administrators did not always review case records as required by department policy to
ensure probation and parole officers performed their required duties
To determine whether probation and parole
For the full methodology, see 
supervisors and high-level management met supervisory
Appendix G‐1 on page 184. 
review responsibilities, we obtained and analyzed 18
monthly Supervisor Annual Case Record Review reports.
These reports, in total, included 18,130 offenders who were active from October 1, 2017, through
March 31, 2019. In addition, we attempted to obtain documentation relating to District Director
and Correctional Administrator reviews.
Department Policy 706.02, “Supervisory Review of Caseloads,” requires supervisors to
ensure parole and probation officers are properly monitoring offenders by
reviewing all offender case records after completion of the intake process but within
60 days of the offender supervision start date,
entering a summary of the review into TOMIS as a contact note with a comment
outlining the completeness of the offender case record and TOMIS record, and
reviewing a minimum of 3% of their staff’s offender case records each month using the
Monthly Case Record Review.

179 

 
 

The policy also requires the District Directors to compile three months of supervisory reviews and
inspect 10% of those reviews, including the case records they refer to for deficiencies; and requires
Correctional Administrators to review 10% of the District Director’s quarterly case records to
identify any deficiencies in the reviews.
Initial Case Record Reviews – Repeated Condition
The initial case record review is the first review of an offender case file and TOMIS record
performed by a supervisor, meant to ensure that officers completed the intake process for every
offender beginning probation or parole. During our testwork, we found that supervisors did not
perform initial reviews for 5 of 60 probation and parole offender case records (8%) within the
required 60-day period, and 1 of the 60 case records (2%) did not receive the initial review.
Additionally, supervisors must enter specific contact notes in TOMIS upon completion of the
initial review. For 14 of 60 initial reviews (23%), we determined in our testwork that the
supervisor opened the TOMIS record but did not document the review in the contact notes as
required.
According to the department, the Community Supervision unit is short staffed, causing
supervisors with large workloads to fall behind in their reviews. Department management also
stated that the policy which sets the deadline for the initial review may be confusing to some
supervisors.
District Director and Correctional Administrator Quarterly Reviews – New Condition
Based on our review, we determined that the department did not track whether District
Directors and Correctional Administrators performed the required 10% of supervisor reviews
every quarter. According to the Director of Compliance, by the time of our audit, management
had not implemented “a formal tracking mechanism to memorialize and preserve a record of the
reviews completed by District Directors and Correctional Administrators.” The Director of
Compliance and Acting Assistant Commissioner both stated that if the outgoing Assistant
Commissioner of Community Supervision who exited during our audit period had a process for
tracking District Director and Correctional Administrator reviews, she did not share it with them.
After the completion of our field work and discussion of these findings with department
management, the Director of Compliance and Acting Assistant Commissioner created adjustments
to department Policy 706.02, stating that the adjustments would be in force no later than November
1, 2019.
The newly adjusted policy now requires that District Directors and Correctional
Administrators perform their respective 10% reviews once a month instead of once a quarter. The
new policy also establishes a contact code in TOMIS specifically for Correctional Administrator
reviews to differentiate them from other supervisor reviews. Finally, the policy clearly defines the
period of initial case record review for probation and parole supervisors, requiring them to perform
an initial review within 60 days after the initial intake and orientation interview performed by a
probation and parole officer.

180 

 
 

The Director of Compliance and the Acting Assistant Commissioner also provided
evidence to indicate they will receive monthly updates on the numbers of reviews performed by
the District Directors and Correctional Administrators. In addition, they provided evidence of new
spreadsheets built for internal use that would provide the Acting Assistant Commissioner with a
weekly breakdown of both performed and unperformed reviews for a three-month period, as well
as the number of reviews of violent and sex offenders performed by region. They stated that the
data for these numbers will come from TOMIS.
Overall Effect
When community supervision supervisors and managers do not perform required reviews
completely and timely, the department cannot ensure offenders are meeting community
supervision requirements and are increasing the risk that offenders will go unmonitored and that
the community’s safety will be put at risk.
Recommendation
Management should provide appropriate training to community supervision supervisors
and managers regarding department policies and procedures. Furthermore, the department should
implement appropriate procedures that ensure District Directors and Correctional Administrators
are meeting policy requirements for case record reviews.
Management’s Comment
Concur in part.
While there is always room for improvement, it is important to recognize that the
Community Supervision division completion of both Initial and Annual Supervisory Case File
Reviews has consistently met the required 95% or above compliance standard required by the
department’s internal audit process.
The Department acknowledges that at the manager level some files were not reviewed
within the expected time frame; however all reviews were conducted. Focused training on
documentation requirements will continue to be delivered to ensure more comprehensive
comments are entered by supervisors during the case file review process. To more specifically
target the training, we have developed a report to identify insufficient documentation in ZZZI and
ZZZA contact notes.
Also, while review of supervision practices by the Correctional Administrators and District
Directors takes place through the use of the Standards Due Report practices, not all case file
reviews by the District Directors and Correctional Administrators were appropriately documented.
The department has since developed and implemented specific procedures for verification of case
file reviews completed by District Directors and Correctional Administrators.
The procedure was reviewed and noted as adequate by the Comptroller’s auditors prior to
the close of the audit. It includes a two-pronged tracking mechanism that provides regular updates

181 

 
 

of case file reviews completed throughout the month and an end-of-the-month report-out to ensure
the reviews are completed by District Directors and Correctional Administrators in accordance
with policy.
The procedure demonstrated with the auditors was implemented in August 2019 and
currently reflects all required completed case file reviews by District Directors and Correctional
Administrators.
Additionally, Policy 706.02, “Supervisory Review of Caseloads,” has been modified to
clarify ambiguity in policy language relative to the specific timeframe in which supervisors should
complete initial case file reviews.
Also, the formula for the Standards Due Report has been modified to reflect this policy
change. And finally, the Initial Casefile Review Checklist has been modified to further clarify
items related to the Case Management Plan, Employment Verification, and other Intake standards
of supervision requirements.
Training regarding these modifications has been provided to supervisors.
Observation 11 – Although department management has worked since 2014 to ensure probation
and parole officers performed their required duties, probation and parole officers did not meet
supervision requirements for offender case plan reviews
We analyzed six monthly Standards Due Reports for the period October 1, 2018, through
March 4, 2019, to determine whether probation and parole officers met the 11 key supervisory
requirements, and we selected the first report created for each month of the test period. Based on
this analysis, we identified 2 of 11 supervisory requirements (18%)––Employment Checks and
Offender Case Plan Reviews––that were consistently overdue. We selected a random sample of
25 overdue items for employment checks and 25 overdue items for offender case plan reviews.
We reviewed the officers’ TOMIS case activity and notes99 to determine if these overdue items
were due to an officer failing to perform supervisory requirements.
We found that, for 7 of 25 offender case plan reviews (28%), officers did not document in
TOMIS case activity and notes to indicate that they completed these reviews timely. To perform
offender case plan reviews, the officer meets face-to-face with offenders to discuss their risks and
needs, progress or deficits, and any special conditions, and other areas of concern. The officer
then creates or modifies the offender’s case plan,100 using contact notes that describe the
recommendations that the officer believes will help the offender meet the terms of probation or
parole.

 
99

Case activity includes all information in TOMIS related to the offender’s community supervision case. This includes
all contact notes, supervision level, and location. See the methodology in Appendix G-1 on page 184 for more
information.
100
In the offender’s case plan, the officer can recommend classes or meetings with case workers or other specialists.

182 

 
 

Department Policy 704.01, “Standards of Offender Supervision,” requires officers to create
offender case plan reviews for offenders. Policy 704.01 also requires the officer to document
within TOMIS all contact and activity that the officer schedules and completes with the offender,
including when the officer attempted to contact or complete activities with the offender but was
unable to do so. Additionally, Policies 706.01, “Offender Case Record Management,” and 706.03,
“Offender Contact Notes,” require officers to record in TOMIS any offender case activity. If
officers do not adequately and timely supervise offenders, the risk increases that an offender will
violate the terms of probation or parole.
For employment verification, based on our review of the contact notes, we noted that the
offenders
failed to contact the officer,
did not always provide the required proof, and
failed to show for scheduled visits.
As a result of the offenders’ actions, the officers could not complete their review as required.
Management should ensure that probation and parole officers conduct all required offender
monitoring activities on time and ensure that those activities are documented in accordance with
department policy.

183 

 
 

Appendix G
Department’s Community Supervision Responsibilities
Appendix G-1
Methodologies to Achieve Objectives
To meet our objective, we interviewed the Former Assistant Commissioner of Community
Supervision, Acting Assistant Commissioner of Community Supervision, Director of
Classification, Director of Community Housing Supervision, Director of Community Supervision
Policy, a Data Analyst in Community Supervision, a Business Intelligence specialist with Finance
and Administration, a District Director, and the Senior Management Consultant to obtain an
understanding of the Community Supervision unit and the procedures management implemented
to address the prior audit findings. We also reviewed all relevant laws and department policies
and procedures. To determine if probation and parole officers met all offender supervision
requirements, we obtained and analyzed101 six Standards Due Reports from October 1, 2018,
through March 4, 2019, then
traced key pieces of offender data from these reports to TOMIS to determine if the
reports are accurately obtaining data from the TOMIS database;
used the original TOMIS data used to create the Standards Due Reports to re-perform
calculations of the total amount of supervisory requirements overdue relative to each
offender and compared them to the department’s calculations;
compared the number and percentage of overdue requirements from the March 4, 2019,
Standards Due Report to the overdue amounts from both the October 1, 2018, Standards
Due Report and the prior testwork results from the 2017 performance audit to determine
if overall improvement has been made;
created a trend analysis to determine if the percentage of overdue requirements have
improved or worsened over time; and
performed additional sample testwork (see below) to determine if officers were
performing their supervisory requirements or if other factors prevented the officers
from completing their duties.
This testwork consisted of selecting a nonstatistical random sample of 25 overdue items
for both employment checks (from a population of 2,432 overdue checks) and offender case plan
reviews (from a population of 2,278 overdue reviews) and reviewing the TOMIS case notes for
the offender to determine if these overdue items were due to an officer failing to perform
supervisory requirements.

101

 
 This analysis consisted of two steps. First, we used the raw TOMIS data used to create the Standards Due Reports

to build our own report, then reconciled the two reports for all 11 supervisory requirements. We compared the number
of offenders each requirement applied to with the number of overdue procedures for that requirement. These
procedures were performed for each of the six months in the above testwork period and then reviewed to determine if
lateness progressed over the same period.  

184 

 
 

To determine if an overdue item was caused by the officer failing to perform the
supervisory requirements, we reviewed the following information within TOMIS for six months
prior to and after the requirement’s due date:
all contact notes for the offender;
the offender’s supervision level; and
the offender’s location.
We noted that officers often created contact notes that described the completion of a
supervisory requirement but did not include all contact codes for the requirements described within
that note. The Standards Due Report determines if a requirement is late by detecting if an officer
entered this code. If the officer described how they performed the supervisory requirement in any
note, we did not consider it an error. Additionally, the officer could note that they could not contact
the offender; that the offender did not attend a scheduled meeting, was sick, or was in court; or
other similar reasons why the requirement could not be completed.
We reviewed the offender’s supervision level and location to determine if the offender
needed to have the tested supervisory requirements performed. For example, if the offender’s
previous supervision level was “In Custody,” “Warrant,” “Residential Treatment Placement,” or
other similar supervision level, then the officer would not need to perform the supervision
requirements. Also, an offender’s supervision level may change from “In Custody, etc.” to a
standard level, such as minimum or medium security. In this case, the Standards Due Report
would only see that a supervisory requirement was not previously performed and would flag it as
late, not taking into consideration an offender’s previous non-active status.
To determine whether probation and parole supervisors, managers, District Directors, and
Correctional Administrators were meeting all standards required by policy, we obtained and
analyzed 18 monthly Supervisor Annual Case Record Review reports. These 18 reports together
totaled 18,130 offenders who were active during the period October 1, 2017, to March 31, 2019.
We used this population to
test a 12-month period for duplicate TOMIS IDs (out of 12,357 TOMIS IDs) in these
reports, to ensure the algorithm that creates the report was properly omitting duplicate
IDs;
test two random, nonstatistical samples of offenders listed in the supervisor case record
review reports: one sample of 60 (out of 8,422 offender records in TOMIS) for
adherence to proper intake review procedures, and one sample of 60 (out of 7,561
offender records) for adherence to proper closing review procedures; and
test a third random, nonstatistical sample of 60 offenders listed in the supervisor case
record review reports (out of 5,111 offender records) to determine whether supervisors
followed proper procedures during monthly reviews.
We also tested whether District Directors and Correctional Administrators were reviewing
their required number of offender case files and supervisor reviews. To do so, we obtained and

185 

 
 

reviewed a list of all probation and parole managers, District Directors, and Correctional
Administrators active within our audit period, inspected review forms completed by Directors and
Administrators, and analyzed a department spreadsheet that summarized the count of Director and
Administrator review forms by probation and parole district. Our conclusions were based on
interviews and correspondence with department management; a list of all probation and parole
managers, District Directors, and Correctional Administrators active within our audit period;
review forms completed by Directors and Administrators that the department provided; and
inspection of a department spreadsheet that summarized the count of those forms by probation and
parole district.

186 

 
 

COMET IMPLEMENTATION

CHAPTER CONCLUSION
Observation 12 – After signing a $15,347,200 contract, spending three years on development,
and facing unforeseen obstacles, the department’s vendor has been unable to implement the new
COMET system, and as of September 2019, there is no official “go-live” date (page 188)

 

 
 

COMET IMPLEMENTATION
General Background Information
The Tennessee Department of Correction relies on information systems to support its
critical business functions, including managing its inmate/offender population statewide. The
department contracts with the Department of Finance and Administration’s Strategic Technology
Solutions Division (STS) for the department’s technology needs, including systems development,
operations, and maintenance.
Under a Federal Court Consent Decree in February 1990 (related to the Grubbs vs. Bradley
lawsuit), the Tennessee Department of Correction hired Andersen Consulting to design, install,
and implement the Tennessee Offender Management Information System (TOMIS). Completed
in June 1992, TOMIS managed the entire correctional process from sentencing through
incarceration to release. TOMIS has served the department well for over 25 years, but in today’s
technological climate, the state’s ability to support the system is diminishing.
TOMIS Replacement Efforts
To address the aging mainframe system, in fiscal year 2013 the department began looking
for a replacement to TOMIS. The department contracted with the Department of Finance and
Administration’s Business Solutions Delivery (BSD)102 group, which is part of Strategic
Technology Solutions, to manage the project and to work with the Department of General
Services’ Central Procurement Office (CPO) so that the state could find a new IT vendor. Based
on their efforts, the state awarded a contract to Abilis Solutions Inc.
Abilis offered a commercial off-the-shelf product that met 80% of the department’s needs,
but Abilis would have had to customize the remaining 20% to meet the department’s needs.
According to research gathered during the request for information and request for proposal phase
of the project, the approximate time frame for most vendors to implement a new system was three
years. However, according to the BSD Domain Director, the department’s former Commissioner
insisted on rolling out COMET within the first two years of the contract and transitioning to
Abilis’s hosting of the system for years three through five.
The department’s contract with Abilis for the development of the new offender
management system, which the department named COMET, began on February 5, 2016, with a
termination date of February 4, 2021, and a maximum liability amount of $15,374,200. Under the
contract, Abilis is set to receive a firm fixed-payment amount of $11,709,904, meaning that the
department will only pay Abilis up to this amount regardless of any cost overruns the vendor incurs
to complete the project. The remaining contract budget availability of $3.6 million was set aside
to cover STS’s costs to pay salaries of contractors and employees who work on the COMET project
as well as costs of servers and software development.  Based on expenditure data extracted from
Edison, the department has paid Abilis approximately $9 million since project initiation.
 
102

Business Solutions Delivery consists of five domain groups assigned to departments: Health and Social Services;
Law/Safety/Corrections; Resources and Regulations; General Government; and Business and Community Development.

187 

 
 

In an effort to meet the former Commissioner’s implementation deadlines, the contract
originally identified January 26, 2018,103 as the target completion date for COMET to go live. The
vendor, however, fell behind schedule, requiring the department and STS to set a late-2020
tentative go-live date. In addition to COMET’s implementation delay, the department is
continuing to pay approximately $368,804 per month to keep TOMIS operational.
Audit Results
Audit Objective: What is the current status of the department’s $15.3 million contract with Abilis
Solutions to develop COMET, the department’s new offender management
system?
Conclusion:

Due to unanticipated obstacles, the COMET project is over 18 months behind
schedule. STS and the department have yet to re-baseline the project schedule
and select an official new go-live date. See Observation 12.

Observation 12 – After signing a $15,347,200 contract, spending three years on development, and
facing unforeseen obstacles, the department’s vendor has been unable to implement the new
COMET system, and as of September 2019, there is no official “go-live” date
The department has paid approximately $9 million to Abilis, COMET’s contractor, and
COMET’s implementation is over 18 months behind schedule. When we spoke with COMET
project managers, they indicated that COMET may not be implemented until December 2020.
However, the project schedule has not been re-baselined to include an official go-live date as of
September 2019.
TDOC, Business Solutions Delivery, and Strategic Technology Solutions Identified COMET
Challenges
Public Safety Act of 2016104 – The passage of the Public Safety Act of 2016 (PSA)
(Sections 40-28-301 through 306, Tennessee Code Annotated) required significant
modifications to both TOMIS and COMET. As a result, department and STS subject
matter experts shifted from the COMET implementation project to TOMIS system
changes to comply with the new statute. Staff devoted an estimated nine months to one
year implementing the required changes in TOMIS and departmental policies and
procedures in order to comply with the PSA.
Furthermore, because the department signed the contract with Abilis prior to the PSA’s
passage, staff responsible for changing TOMIS were also required to make system
 
103

This was the deadline to comply with the former Commissioner’s two-year completion period.
104
The Public Safety Act of 2016 aims to reduce crime and address the growing prison and jail population by focusing
on key areas driving Tennessee’s violent crime rate. To accomplish this, the initiative has four main components:
addressing domestic violence, implementing smart changes in sentencing, using a single validated risk and needs
assessment across the criminal justice community, and instituting swift, certain, and proportionate sanctions for
offenders on community supervision if no new crime has been committed.

188 

 
 

changes in COMET to comply with the law. Department management explained that
the passage of the PSA ultimately “changed the goal line” for the COMET project.
Two-Year Timeline Unrealistic Due to PSA – The BSD Domain Director indicated
that the department’s former Commissioner required all parties to complete the project
within two years. Based on the STS project team’s initial research and proposals
received, however, the evidence indicated that the vendor needed three years to
complete the project. The department’s original expectation, though, was hampered by
the passage of the Public Safety Act.
Commercial Off-the-Shelf Product Challenges – When Abilis bid on the project, its
proposal stated that it could provide a system that was 80% off-the-shelf and 20%
customized to meet the department’s needs. The BSD COMET project managers
indicated that COMET is approximately 50% customized, rather than the originally
anticipated 20%, because of changes needed due to implementation of the Public Safety
Act. Department management stated that they did not originally pursue a custom-built
system because of the high cost.
Saving the Most Challenging Modules for Last – The department and BSD COMET
project team both indicated that Abilis chose to save development of the two most
challenging modules—sentencing and warrants and supervision—until the end of the
project. When Abilis designed the offender management system for Virginia, the
system required very little customization. Tennessee’s business rules for both
sentencing and warrants and supervision, however, are very complex. TDOC and STS
both believe that Abilis underestimated the level of difficulty and time required to
account for all the business rules for these modules.
Abilis Project Management Turnover – In his opinion, the BSD COMET project
manager indicated that Abilis experienced project management turnover, resulting in
an unstable project knowledge basis. He added that Abilis constantly brought in new
project managers, who had to be educated to understand the department’s business
requirements for COMET. The project director position with Abilis has been vacant
for over a year.
Multiple Parties Involved in Project – The department developed a new validated
risk and needs assessment tool called Strong-R105 through Vant4ge106 as a result of the
PSA. Vant4ge’s vendor had to work with the department, STS, and Abilis to update
the Strong-R application to interface with COMET, requiring all parties to be on the
same page. Based on our review of Abilis’ COMET Weekly Status Reports from
March through July 2019, all parties are coordinating efforts to identify issues and work
on solutions.

 
105

Strong R is a program designed to match offenders to programs that are most likely to prevent re-offending.
106
Vant4ge (Vant4gePoint) is a software application the department uses to perform inmate Risk Needs Assessments
to determine if the inmate is at risk of committing another crime. For more information about the Risk Needs
Assessment, see the description on page 153.

189 

 
 

Remaining Work to Be Completed on COMET 
Outstanding Change Requests – As of August 31, 2019, there were eight outstanding
change requests (CRs). The department submits change requests to modify COMET’s
development. For one outstanding CR relating to community supervision, Abilis
misunderstood the difference between probation and parole. The department and
Abilis are continuing to discuss acceptable changes to COMET.
Data Migration – The BSD COMET project managers estimated that as of August
2019, data migration from TOMIS to COMET was 80% complete.
User Acceptance Testing – The department has been conducting some testing as of
August 2019, but some modules require TDOC subject matter experts to test for
functionality. In some areas, tests cannot be done until data migration (moving data
from TOMIS to COMET) is complete.
End User Training – The last piece that must be completed before COMET can go
live is end-user training. The department plans on utilizing a train-the-trainer model
where the department and STS train superusers, and they in-turn train the employees
who will use the system daily. The department indicated that it will not conduct
training until the change requests, data migration, and functionality testing are
completed to reduce the possibility of retraining if COMET changes.
Due to the challenges relating to COMET implementation, the department must continue
using TOMIS. The department paid, on average, $367,104.94 per month in fiscal years 2018 and
2019 to STS to maintain TOMIS and will continue to do so until COMET is implemented. See
Appendix H-1 on page 191 for costs related to TOMIS. Additionally, the department placed a
moratorium on making any changes to TOMIS that are not mission critical until COMET goes
live. This creates a challenge if the department must make necessary changes, such as updating
incident codes, to maintain data integrity. Ultimately though, department management indicated
that it is not rushing the project because it is focused on “getting COMET right.”

190 

 
 

Appendix H
COMET Implementation
Appendix H-1
TOMIS Mainframe and Processing Costs for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019

FY 2018 TOMIS Mainframe and CPU107 Costs
Month

Mainframe

CPUs

Jul-17
Aug-17
Sep-17
Oct-17
Nov-17
Dec-17
Jan-18
Feb-18
Mar-18
Apr-18
May-18
Jun-18
FY 18 Monthly Average
Total FY 18

$ 242,141.40
$ 201,847.98
$ 205,158.30
$ 247,579.75
$ 190,043.24
$ 193,671.86
$ 639,165.93
$ 692,922.34
$ 623,135.09
$ 631,536.82
$ 597,216.27
$ 405,856.27
$4,464,418.98

$ 2,292.37
$ 1,932.07
$ 1,939.50
$ 2,190.24
$ 1,743.06
$ 1,683.19
$ 1,817.14
$ 2,385.27
$ 1,938.86
$ 2,317.85
$ 1,986.55
$ 2,020.55
$22,226.10

108

Total
$0
$ 244,433.77
$ 203,780.05
$ 207,097.80
$ 249,769.99
$ 191,786.30
$ 195,355.05
$ 640,983.07
$ 695,307.61
$ 625,073.95
$ 633,854.67
$ 599,202.82
$ 407,876.83
$4,486,645.08

Source: STS Billing Data for Fiscal Year 2018.
 

FY 2019 TOMIS Mainframe and CPU Costs
Month
Jul-18
Aug-18
Sep-18
Oct-18
Nov-18
Dec-18
Jan-19
Feb-19
Mar-19
Ap-19
May-19
June-19

Mainframe
$ 290,117.38
$ 375,816.60
$ 295,137.23
$ 294,068.91
$ 368,963.11
$ 346,601.56
$ 371,884.53
$ 310,630.35
$ 310,645.50
$ 301,103.43
$ 333,773.70
$ 309,243.11

CPUs
$ 3,494.03
$ 4,614.36
$ 3,589.61
$ 3,631.11
$ 4,333.18
$ 4,427.47
$ 4,560.48
$ 3,838.69
$ 3,984.54
$ 3,774.45
$ 3,955.40
$ 4,579.79

Total
$ 293,611.41
$ 380,430.96
$ 298,726.84
$ 297,700.02
$ 373,296.29
$ 351,029.03
$ 376,445.01
$ 314,469.04
$ 314,630.04
$ 304,877.88
$ 337,729.10
$ 313,822.90

 
107

CPU costs are STS’s costs to process and make copies of TOMIS data.
108
STS designated July 2017 a “billing holiday.” STS did not charge its contracted departments for mainframe
services for this month.

191 

 
 

FY 2019 TOMIS Mainframe and CPU Costs
Month
FY 19 Monthly Average
Total FY 19

Mainframe
$ 325,657.95
$3,907,895.41

CPUs
$ 4,065.26
$48,783.11

Total
$ 329,723.21
$3,956,678.52

Source: STS Billing Data for Fiscal Year 2019.

Appendix H-2
Methodologies to Achieve Objectives
To determine the department’s and vendor’s status to implement COMET, we interviewed
the Business Solutions Delivery COMET project managers, TDOC senior management, and staff
of Abilis Solutions Inc. We also interviewed state Department of Correctio staff in Maine and
Virginia to determine their experiences working with Abilis to implement their department’s new
offender management system. We requested and reviewed monthly COMET progress reports,
STS billing data (for the cost of TOMIS upkeep), as well as COMET project expenditures.

192 

 
 

PUBLIC RECORDS MANAGEMENT

CHAPTER CONCLUSIONS
Finding 18 – Department management did not ensure its staff and CoreCivic complied with
the state’s public records statute and records management standards (page 195)
Observation 13 – Staff at the Turney Center Industrial Complex did not follow the department’s
procedure for restoring public records after a minor flood destroyed some Fire and Safety records
in spring 2019 (page 198)

 
 

PUBLIC RECORDS MANAGEMENT
General Background
The Public Records Commission is required by Section 10-7-302, Tennessee Code
Annotated, to determine and order the proper disposition of the state’s public records and direct
the Tennessee Department of State’s Records Management
According to Section 10‐7‐509, 
Division to initiate any action necessary to establish the
Tennessee Code Annotated, “the 
regulation of record holding and management in any state
disposition of all state records 
agency. Section 10-7-301(6), Tennessee Code Annotated,
shall occur only through the 
defines public records as
all documents, papers, letters, maps, books,
photographs, microfilms, electronic data processing
files and output, films, sound recordings, or other
material, regardless of physical form or characteristics
made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in
connection with the transaction of official business by
any governmental agency.

process of an approved records 
disposition authorization.”  
Based on our review, 
Department of Correction policy 
for maintaining footage was in 
conflict with the department’s 
approved records disposition 
authorizations. 

Public officials are legally responsible for creating and maintaining records that document
government business transactions. These records provide evidence of government operations and
accountability to citizens. Public officials must maintain records according to established records
disposition authorizations (RDAs). According to Section 10-7-509, Tennessee Code Annotated,
The disposition of all state records shall occur only through the process of an
approved records disposition authorization. Records authorized for destruction
shall be disposed of according to the records disposition authorization and shall not
be given to any unauthorized person, transferred to another agency, political
subdivision, or private or semiprivate institution.
RDAs describe the public record, retention period, and destruction method for each record
type under an agency’s authority. Agencies must submit a certificate of destruction to the Records
Management Division after properly disposing of any public records according to their approved
RDAs.
In March 2013, the Records Management Division developed an online application to
catalog and maintain RDAs, and the Public Records Commission asked all state agencies to amend
or retire their existing RDAs and create new ones for public records still in use. As of March 2012,
the Department of Correction had 53 active RDAs. The department has updated, retired, or
combined all but one of these RDAs and has created five new RDAs.
Department’s Records Management Process
The Department of Correction is unique among state agencies because it operates a central
office in Nashville, the Cook Chill Records Warehouse; 14 correctional facilities; and probation

193

 
 

and parole offices. Each of these facilities is responsible for many different types of public records
that must be maintained, and each facility must have staff who are properly trained in record
retention requirements. Each correctional facility has its own records storage facility or
warehouse, as well as its own facility Records Officers and property officers charged with storing,
maintaining, and destroying public records created by or transferred to that facility. The
department has an agency Records Officer and a central office records management group. Each
facility’s records management staff takes direction from and submits certificates of records
destruction for approval to the department’s Records Officer.
Additionally, four of the state’s correctional facilities are privately operated by CoreCivic
and may have their own records instead of state-created records; however, they must follow
applicable state RDAs. According to the department’s Records Officer, the department sends each
CoreCivic facility updated RDA lists, records management instructions, and other information
annually.
The Records Management Division conducted a public records assessment at the
department’s records warehouse and the central office, as well as the Morgan County Correctional
Complex, Tennessee Prison for Women, Turney Center Industrial Complex, and Riverbend
Maximum Security Institution.109 The purpose of the assessment was to
measure the department’s records management process;
identify the RDAs used and determine if new ones were needed; and
assess the volume of records for each RDA.
The division issued the assessments on November 21, 2017; December 11, 2017; June 1, 2018;
June 28, 2018; July 27, 2018; and August 3, 2018. The division noted 36 recommendations.
Public Records Recovery Process
In September 2018, the department established a procedure for what to do if an original
record gets damaged or destroyed. These instructions are in the department’s Records
Management Disaster Reference Manual, which, according to the Records Officer, is distributed
to facility record staff during annual training and annual inspections by Records Division staff. In
the event of water damage, the manual states that staff should move paper records to a secure area,
arrange them individually, and frequently turn them over to increase exposure to the air. It also
states not to re-box records until they are completely dry. If there is an outbreak of mold, staff
should quarantine and dry the records in a location that vents to the outside. Once the records are
dried, then the mold can be removed. According to the department’s Records Officer, staff at the
facility should perform a preliminary assessment of the damage and report it to the director within
24 hours. A central office records management team would then be dispatched to assist with
cleanup and resolution.
 
109

The Records Management Division performed six separate records assessments: the department’s central office on
November 17, 2017; the Morgan County Correctional Complex on December 1, 2017; the Turney Center Industrial
Complex on June 1, 2018; the Cook Chill Records Warehouse on June 21, 2018; the Riverbend Maximum Security
Institution on July 23, 2018; and the Tennessee Prison for Women on July 27, 2018.

194

 
 

Audit Results
1. Audit Objective: Did department management ensure that the department’s RDAs as of
March 2013 had been revised or retired?
Conclusion:

Management ensured that all but one of the department’s existing RDAs
were revised or retired. The department’s Records Officer is currently
working with the Records Management Division to update the remaining
RDA.

2. Audit Objective: Did department management implement the recommendations from the
Records Management Division’s assessments?
Conclusion:

Based on our review, the department’s Records Officer completed
corrective action on 17 of 36 recommendations (47%), partial corrective
action on 4 recommendations (11%), and no corrective action on 15
recommendations (42%) as of August 2019. The Records Officer stated
that all corrective action should be complete by November 30, 2019.

3. Audit Objective: Did department management ensure that the correctional facilities were
following records management requirements?
Conclusion:

Based on our testwork, department management did not ensure that the
correctional facilities were following records management requirements.
See Finding 18.

4. Audit Objective: Did staff follow the department’s public records recovery procedures after
a flood event that damaged records?
Conclusion:

Staff did not follow the department’s public records recovery process after
a minor flood event at the Turney Center Industrial Complex. As a result,
paper files were no longer readable and had mold damage. See
Observation 13.

Finding 18 –Department management did not ensure its staff and CoreCivic complied with
the state’s public records statute and records management standards
The Department of Correction has a basic responsibility to protect the state’s public records
and to follow state statute and guidance provided by the Department of State’s Records
Management Division. Additionally, the Department of Correction should ensure that CoreCivic
follows the same requirements.
The department did not have written policies and procedures governing how facility staff
and CoreCivic manage public records. Based on our site visit reviews, we found that for four of
six correctional facilities, department and CoreCivic management did not ensure that the

195

 
 

department’s public records were properly retained, maintained, and destroyed. Specifically, we
noted the following issues during our visits to the correctional facilities:
Outdated RDAs: Facilities did not have up-to-date copies of records disposition
authorizations (RDAs) on file because management did not ensure that appropriate staff
at each facility had the current list.
Destroying Records Without Approved Certificates of Destruction: Facilities
destroyed public records throughout the year without creating certificates of destruction
or notifying the department’s Records Officer.
Insufficient Record Inventories: Facilities did not keep detailed inventories of the
type, volume, location, or date of destruction of records that were to be destroyed.
Table 46 summarizes the issues we found at four of the six facilities. We did not note any
issues pertaining to the retention of records at either the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center or
the Turney Center Industrial Complex.
Table 46
Results of Public Records Review
Issue
Outdated RDAs
Destroying records without approved
certificates of destruction
Insufficient record inventories

Correctional Facility*
Hardeman Whiteville Northeast Northwest
X
X
X
X
X

X

X

X

X

X

*The Hardeman and Whiteville correctional facilities are operated by CoreCivic, while Northeast and Northwest are
operated by the Department of Correction.

During our review, we learned that facility staff destroyed large volumes of files they
considered old enough and did not prepare the required certificates of destruction. Because of the
lack of insufficient record inventories, we were unable to determine if staff maintained the
destroyed records in accordance with state statute. Given the problems we identified during our
fieldwork, we also reviewed the department’s 2018 annual risk assessment and found that
management did not identify any risks related to the state’s public records.
Noncompliance With Video Recordings
Based on our observation at the Northwest Correctional Complex, department management
did not ensure security camera footage was retained for the required three months in accordance
with RDA 34, “Recordings From Law Enforcement Electronic Devices – Incident Not Identified,”
which states that all camera footage must be kept for a minimum of 90 days whether or not an
incident was captured. However, according to the facility’s warden, the security camera system
sometimes overwrote the footage after two weeks of recording. Furthermore, we noted that the
department’s Policy 506.29 states that facilities only need to keep recorded data that may have
recorded an incident for 30 days, which conflicts with the statewide RDA. When required

196

 
 

recordings are not available, including footage that may record an incident that is not immediately
apparent, valuable evidence is lost.
Based on our discussions with management, the records management issues were caused
by a lack of staff training, ineffective communication, or no internal controls to ensure that staff
followed records management policies and procedures. Most facility Records Officers or property
officers charged with storing and destroying records did not maintain up-to-date copies of RDAs
and did not know how to obtain up-to-date RDAs. Additionally, one key member of the records
staff did not know the department’s central Records Officer or how to contact her to obtain updated
information and did not know to submit certificates of destruction for her review. Additionally,
we found that staff at one CoreCivic correctional facility did not know to follow state RDA
requirements and stated that they only needed to follow their internal policies concerning the
retention and destruction of public records.
Overall Effect
Public records ensure a state agency’s official business is fair and transparent. Without
retaining records in accordance with established RDAs, there is an increased risk that the
department cannot effectively conduct its operations and assure the public, legislators, and other
stakeholders about management decisions. Not ensuring that the department’s public records are
properly created, maintained, or retained through RDAs could lead staff to prematurely destroy
records and to keep out-of-date or nonessential records. Additionally, without an effective records
management system, if records are misplaced, damaged, or not retained, staff may need to spend
time locating, restoring, or recreating these records, if possible.
Recommendation
The Commissioner should ensure that all of the department’s public records are covered
by an RDA and that staff prepare and submit certificates of destruction as required. The
Commissioner should ensure that written policies and procedures are prepared and disseminated
so the department meets all state records retention requirements. The Records Officer should work
with the Records Management Division to resolve the conflict between Statewide RDA 34 and
department policy.
The Records Officer should ensure that appropriate management and staff of all
correctional facilities, whether managed privately or by the state, are properly trained and
understand the process required for properly destroying records. The Records Officer should also
ensure all facilities have up-to-date RDAs on file. Department management should create policies
and procedures manuals for the CoreCivic-managed correctional facilities to ensure that they
understand which records management requirements apply to them and how best to comply with
state policies and requirements. The Commissioner should ensure management assesses all
significant risks, including the risks noted in this finding, in the department’s annual risk
assessment.

197

 
 

Management’s Comment
Concur.
The Department recognizes the serious nature of record keeping responsibilities and is
taking swift action to meet RDA and training expectations.
As to the retention of video from security cameras, most of the Department’s fixed security
cameras are analog and the analog recorders do not have the capacity to retain three months of
video and cannot be upgraded.
Replacement of those cameras/recorders will take some time and funding, but will be
studied. In the budget submitted to the governor, there is a capital project for upgrading security
electronics for 1 million dollars. If approved, approximately $600,000 of those funds would be
utilized this next year to purchase digital encoders for the analog cameras and larger digital records
which would provide the required 90 days of storage for all cameras in the prisons.
After purchasing the equipment, approximately 6 months would be required to upgrade the
equipment by ITS staff.
In the meantime, the Department will consult with the Records Management Division
concerning the feasibility of an RDA specifically for the Department’s security video that is within
current capacity.
Observation 13 – Staff at the Turney Center Industrial Complex did not follow the department’s
procedure for restoring public records after a minor flood destroyed some Fire and Safety records
in spring 2019
During our visit to the Turney Center Industrial Complex in June 2019, we learned that a
minor flood in March 2019 had damaged some records in the Fire and Safety Officer’s office. Fire
and Safety Officers are responsible for ensuring the safety of buildings, equipment, and hazardous
chemicals. Their primary responsibilities include routine inspections of fire alarms, smoke
detectors, sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, and emergency breathing apparatuses. They also
conduct inventories of hazardous materials, inspect the facilities for any safety concerns, and
compile statistics on employee and offender injuries that occur within the facilities.
We accompanied Turney Center Industrial Complex’s Fire and Safety Officer to a storage
room at the water treatment plan, where the officer had moved the damaged records after the flood.
We observed three boxes full of originals and copies of Fire and Safety records. Copies included
meeting minutes from monthly Fire and Safety meetings; Accident/Incident/Traumatic Injury
Reports; and maintenance work orders. The following items were original records that were in
conditions ranging from wrinkled to covered in mold:
Hazardous Material Inventory Sheets;
Weekly Fire/Safety Inspection Checklists;
198

 
 

Hazardous Materials Bin Cards; and
Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and Emergency Escape Breathing
Apparatus (EEBA) Inspection and Data Sheets.
The records in the boxes included documentation from 2014, 2015, and 2017.
Department of Correction staff must follow three records disposition authorizations
(RDAs) in regard to the records mentioned above:
RDA 2275, “Tennessee Occupational Safety & Health Association Inspection
Reports”: This RDA includes, but is not limited to, copies of inspection reports
completed by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to monitor safety
at all Department of Correction buildings and institutions. These records are required
to be maintained for five years before they can be destroyed.
RDA 2392, “Work Place Chemicals and Hazardous Materials Records”: This
RDA includes, but is not limited to, all required documents pertaining to hazardous
chemicals and materials used or stored in the workplace. This includes workplace
chemicals, hazardous material bin cards, hazardous material inventory, and material
safety data sheets. These records are required to be maintained for 30 years after the
hazardous materials or chemicals are no longer used or stored onsite.
RDA 11085, “Department of Correction Administrative Records”: This RDA
includes, but is not limited to, records pertaining to administrative functions. This
includes facility maintenance records and fire, safety, and sanitation inspection reports.
These records are to be maintained for five years before they can be destroyed. These
items were previously listed under retired RDA 1773, which is still referenced at the
bottom of some of the related forms.
The department’s Records Management Disaster Reference Manual outlines the
procedures for recovering and protecting records that cannot be reproduced. This process requires
that wet records be moved to a secure location, arranged individually, and turned over frequently
to increase exposure to the air. The process also requires staff to notify facility management and
the department’s Records Officer; however, the manual does not state how soon the Records
Officer should be notified.
The department’s Director of Compliance informed us that due to lack of training, the Fire
and Safety Officer was unaware of the official process to prevent the records from further
destruction.110 He did not place the records out individually to dry or notify anyone that the records
were damaged. The director stated that management at the Turney Center Industrial Complex
should have been notified immediately so that the recovery process could be initiated.
Failure to ensure that records are restored after a natural disaster could lead to costly
restoration services or the permanent loss of critical institutional documentation. The department
should ensure that all facility operations staff, not just records personnel, are informed and follow
 
110

The Fire and Safety Officer, hired in January 2017, no longer works for the department.

199

 
 

the department’s records management disaster recovery process. The department should include
specific language in its Records Management Disaster Reference Manual that facility operations
personnel should immediately contact the department’s Records Officer to obtain assistance after
a disaster.

200

 
 

Appendix I
Public Records Management
Appendix I-1
Methodologies to Achieve Objectives
To gain an understanding of the records management process, we interviewed the
department’s Records Officer and facility staff and management, and we reviewed the Secretary
of State’s Records Management Best Practices and Procedures, Tennessee Code Annotated, the
Rules of Public Records Commission, and internal policies and procedures. We reviewed the
department’s RDAs and statewide RDAs to ensure compliance with statewide records
management procedures and requirements. We reviewed the Secretary of State’s records
management assessments of the department and performed procedures to determine if the
department adequately responded to these assessments. To determine if the department properly
assessed risks related to records management, we reviewed the department’s risk assessment
included in its 2018 Financial Integrity Report. We visited six correctional facilities to determine
their records management procedures, appropriateness of storage facilities, and knowledge of staff
and management.
To determine whether staff followed recovery procedures after the minor flood event, we
interviewed the Fire and Safety Officer at the Turney Center Industrial Complex and spoke with
the department’s Director of Compliance. We also viewed the damaged records and documented
the various types of records that were destroyed.

201

 
 

RECIDIVISM RATES FOR THE DEPARTMENT’S
EDUCATIONAL AND VOCATIONAL PROGRAMS

CHAPTER CONCLUSION
Matter for Legislative Consideration – Recidivism Rates for the Department’s Education
and Vocational Programs (page 203)

 

 
 

RECIDIVISM RATES FOR THE DEPARTMENT’S EDUCATIONAL AND VOCATIONAL
PROGRAMS
Background
As described under State’s Recidivism Rates on page 6 of this report, the department
defines recidivism in Tennessee as the percentage of felony inmates who are reincarcerated within
three years of their release. See page 6 for more information about the department’s calculation
of recidivism rates. The department publishes recidivism rates for felons annually on
OpenMaps.tn.gov; however, it does not publish recidivism rates for inmates who participated in
specific educational or vocational programs as required by Section 41-21-238 et seq., Tennessee
Code Annotated, which requires the Department of Correction, in conjunction with the Department
of Education, the University of Tennessee, and the Tennessee Board of Regents, to develop a plan
to increase the education and vocational opportunities available to inmates in the custody of the
Department of Correction.
This statute further specifies that the results of the monitoring of the plan should be reported
annually to the state and local government committee of the senate, the state government
committee of the house of representatives, the education committee of the senate, and the education
administration and planning committee of the house of representatives.
According to the department’s Legislative Liaison, the department used to present
recidivism rates for educational and vocational programs to the Corrections Oversight Committee;
however, that committee dissolved in 2010.
Audit Results
Audit Objective: Did the department report to the appropriate legislative committees the
recidivism rates for inmates who participated in educational and/or vocational
programs?
Conclusion:

Based on inquiries with management, the department has not reported recidivism
rates for educational and vocational programs since 2011 because the Select
Oversight Committee on Corrections was dissolved in 2011. The department
believes there are other important education-related statistics like program
participation rates, graduation rates, and completed certifications that are better
measures of the success of educational and vocational programs than recidivism
rates. As such, the General Assembly may wish to consider amending state statute
to reflect current measures. See the Matter for Legislative Consideration.

MATTER FOR LEGISLATIVE CONSIDERATION – RECIDIVISM RATES FOR THE
DEPARTMENT’S EDUCATION AND VOCATIONAL PROGRAMS
As previously noted, the passage of Section 41-21-238 et seq., Tennessee Code Annotated,
in 1994 required the Commissioner of Education, with the assistance of the Commissioner of

203

 
 

Correction, the Board of Regents,111 and the University of Tennessee system, to develop a plan to
increase the educational and vocational opportunities available to inmates in the department’s
custody. This statute requires the Department of Correction to monitor and document the
effectiveness of this plan; part of the documentation includes calculating the recidivism rate of
inmates who participate in the plan. The department is required to submit the results of the
monitoring of the plan to select legislative committees annually.
During our audit, the department’s management indicated that they routinely present
educational and vocational program information to the General Assembly; however, they do not
include recidivism rates of inmates in educational and vocational programs because the department
believes there are other measures like participation and completion rates that are better indicators
of success. According to management, the plan referenced in this statute is outdated given the
shift in educational focus over the last 25 years. As a result, the General Assembly may wish to
consider amending the statute to reflect the department’s current approach towards educational
and vocational programming.

 
111

The General Assembly may also wish to amend Section 41-21-238 et seq., to include the six locally governed
institutions, which are no longer part of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

204

 
 

Appendix J
Recidivism Rates for Educational and Vocational Programs
Appendix J-1	
Methodologies to Achieve Objective	
To achieve our objective, we interviewed the Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner of
Rehabilitative Services, Director and Assistant Director of the department’s Decision Support:
Research and Planning Division, and the department’s Legislative Liaison to gain an
understanding of the department’s responsibility to report to the appropriate legislative committees
recidivism rates for inmates who participate in educational and vocational programs. We obtained
recidivism rate calculations made by the department’s Research and Planning Division to
determine whether the department calculates recidivism rates for inmates who participated in
specific educational or vocational programs and reviewed recorded legislative hearings to
determine if the department presented such recidivism rates.

205

 
 

APPENDICES
Appendix K-1
Edison Business Units
329.00
329.01
329.04
329.06
329.13
329.14
329.16
329.17
329.18
329.21
329.22
329.23
329.28
329.32
329.41
329.41
329.42
329.43
329.44
329.45
329.46
329.47
329.48
329.50
329.51
329.52
329.99

Correction
Administration
State Prosecutions
Correction Academy
Tennessee Prison for Women
Turney Center Industrial Complex
Mark Luttrell Transition Center
Charles B. Bass Correctional Complex
Bledsoe County Correctional Complex
Hardeman County Incarceration Agreement
Hardeman County Incarceration Agreement - Whiteville
Trousdale Incarceration Agreement
Correction Release Centers
Major Maintenance
West Tennessee State Penitentiary
Northeast Correctional Complex
Riverbend Maximum Security Institution
Northeast Correctional Complex
South Central Correctional Facility
Northwest Correctional Facility
Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility
Morgan County Correctional Complex
Office of Investigations and Compliance
Sex Offender Treatment Program
Probation and Parole Field Supervision
Community Corrections
Sentencing Act of 1985

206

 
 

Appendix K-2
Department of Correction
Expenditure and Revenue Information by Fiscal Year
UNAUDITED INFORMATION
Fiscal Year
Description

2018

2019†

Regular Salaries
Longevity
Overtime
Benefits
Subtotal Personnel

$ 215,331,413.84
6,363,521.70
22,213,556.89
110,935,363.11
$ 354,843,855.54

$

Travel
Printing and Duplicating
Utilities and Fuel
Communications
Maintenance, Repairs, and Service
Professional Services Third Party
Supplies and Materials
Rentals and Insurance
Motor Vehicle Operations
Awards and Indemnities
Grants and Subsidies
Unclassified
Stores for Resale/Reissue/Mfg.
Equipment
Land
Buildings
Discounts Lost
Highway Construction
Training
Data Processing
Professional Services State Agencies
Retirement of Debt
Interest on Debt
Trustee Fees
Depreciation
Loss on Disposal of Equipment
Reallocations Plant Work Order
Subtotal Operations
Total Expenditures

$

$

2,685,730.08
70,656.03
19,479,155.12
799,624.00
7,373,433.28
177,096,916.67
50,237,860.22
1,772,360.46
558,645.77
4,978,227.65
284,980,270.00
3,600.00
10,050,181.82
926,147.75
0.00
32,032.00
0.00
0.00
374,021.43
5,815,937.61
51,969,511.94
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
$ 619,204,311.83
$ 974,048,167.37

† - This information runs through June 20, 2019.
Source: Edison.

207

$

$
$

210,729,428.28
7,720,056.94
27,221,724.24
105,067,632.30
350,738,841.76
3,010,491.69
78,510.91
18,947,119.62
755,890.52
7,561,963.10
176,213,534.53
44,985,247.37
2,002,696.24
578,467.70
5,496,853.80
257,524,501.29
27,570.15
9,522,275.60
844,116.15
0.00
14,877.00
0.00
0.00
333,918.64
4,496,498.19
47,396,374.04
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
579,790,906.54
930,529,748.30

 
 
Fiscal Year
Description
Reserve - Unencumbered Bal
Reserve - Capital Outlay
Reserves
State Appropriations
Total Appropriation

$

$

Federal Revenue
Federal Capital Grants
Refund Prior Year Federal Expense
Total Federal

$

$

2018
13,781,501.39
1,309,502.75
4,322,342.71
977,254,100.00
996,667,446.85
324,795.74
0.00
0.00
324,795.74

Counties
Refund of Prior Year Local Expense
Cities
Non-Governmental
Other State
Current Services
Interest Income
Inter-Departmental
Interdepartmental - CU
Current Services - Licenses
Current Services - Fines
Subtotal Other Revenue

$

Total Funding

$ 1,013,285,900.04

$

† - This information runs through June 20, 2019.
Source: Edison.

208

0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
14,404,266.25
613.90
1,886,689.71
2,087.59
0.00
0.00
16,293,657.45

2019†
3,847,297.64
0.00
2,601,874.30
996,651,619.28
$ 1,003,100,791.22
$

$

$
$

$

583,608.60
0.00
0.00
583,608.60
0.00
0.00
30,505.31
0.00
14,850,100.19
971.75
2,692,633.28
1,256.12
0.00
0.00
17,575,466.65

$ 1,021,259,866.47

 
 

Appendix K-3
State’s Recidivism Rates
Calendar Years 2011 to 2017

2014 Rate (Release
Year 2011)

2015 Rate (Release
Year 2012)

40.6%

2013 Rate (Release
Year 2010)

40.2%

44.4%

2012 Rate (Release
Year 2009)

42.1%

44.4%

2011 Rate (Release
Year 2008)

42.0%

44.2%

45.0%

40.0%

47.2%

50.9%
47.1%

50.5%

48.6%

49.1%

49.2%

51.7%

52.9%

52.2%
48.4%

51.0%

49.1%

50.0%

52.1%

55.0%

35.0%

30.0%

Jail

Prison

Source: OpenMaps.TN.Gov.

209

Total

2016 Rate (Release
Year 2013)

2017 Rate (Release
Year 2014)

 
 

Appendix K-4
Title VI Information
Pursuant to state statute, the Tennessee Human Rights Commission is responsible for
verifying that state governmental entities receiving federal financial assistance comply with the
requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the
basis of race, color, and national origin in federally funded programs and activities. The
commission serves as the central coordinating agency for executive-branch departments and
agencies and provides technical assistance, consultation, and resources to encourage and assist
departments and agencies with compliance.
By October 1 of each year, state departments and agencies receiving federal funds must
submit Title VI implementation plans to the commission describing how they will meet Title VI
requirements. The commission staff perform reviews of all implementation plans each year to
ensure the plans include limited English proficiency (LEP) policies and procedures, data collection
procedures, subrecipient monitoring, and whether departments provide sufficient Title VI training
to staff. The commission staff also perform detailed on-site compliance reviews of a select number
of state agencies each year to ensure that agencies are following the implementation plans.
  
The commission issues the report Tennessee Title VI Compliance Program (available on
its website: https://www.tn.gov/humanrights.html), which covers the status of Title VI compliance
for the State of Tennessee. The report describes the implementation plan review process, the
results of compliance reviews completed, and details of federal dollars received by state agencies,
Title VI complaints received, and Title VI implementation plan submission dates.
According to the commission’s fiscal year 2017-2018 report (the most recent report
available as of July 2019), the Department of Correction’s Title VI implementation plan was
submitted on time. In addition, the commission’s implementation plan review of the Department
of Correction’s 2017-18 Title VI implementation plan resulted in no findings. See the charts for a
breakdown of the department’s employee gender and ethnicity as of July 19, 2019.
Employees by Gender
Number of
Gender
Employees
Male
3,077
Female
2,522

Employees by Ethnicity
Gender
White
Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino
Asian
American Indian or Alaska Native
Other
Two or More Ethnicities
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
Unknown

210

Number of
Employees
3,965
1,455
77
20
19
38
15
1
9

 

 

Prisoner Education Guide side
PLN Subscribe Now Ad 450x450
Federal Prison Handbook - Side