Tennessee is also among the US states with the highest incarcerated individuals. According to a report by Prison Policy Initiative, over 838 per 100,000 people are locked up in different jails in Tennessee which includes prisons, immigration detention, juvenile, and jails.
The high percentage of incarcerated individuals in Tennessee is due to several reasons, making Tennessee lock up a higher percentage of its citizens than any other democracy on Earth. Due to this, over 30,000 people are serving in 11 different state correctional facilities stretched all across the state of Tennessee.
How many male and female prisons are in Tennessee?
As of 2022, there are over 8 male facilities in Tennessee and 3 female correctional facilities in Tennessee. These prisons range in different security levels, from housing some of the most violent offenders to low-risk offenders.
Additionally, there are over 4 different facilities for men that are operated by private owners, but the Tennessee Department of Corrections has revealed plans to re-incorporate those prisons into their administration.
What makes Tennessee Prisons the worst?
Prisons in the US state of Tennessee are not as bad as they are in other US states. However, the problems are still there. These problems include the following:
- Poor sanitation of jails.
- Guards are non-cooperative.
- Lack of maintenance in prisons.
- Lack of access to educational facilities.
- Inmates are not being given access to sports and other facilities.
- Gang wars and prison fights.
- Poor health conditions.
The 7 worst prisons in the state of Tennessee:
The following are the 7 worst prisons in the state of Tennessee:
1. Bledsoe County Correctional Complex:
With a capacity of 2,511, the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex is one of the worst state prisons in Tennessee. It is a mixed security class housing some of the state’s most violent criminals, and this is why there is no surprise that the prison has become an incredibly difficult place for other inmates. Since its opening in the year 2013, the prison has remained under several controversies.
COVID-19 proved how fragile the system of prison is and how poor the conditions this prison has for its inmates.
For one, the prison is in dire need of maintenance and over the years it has been placed on hold. Secondly, there is also a dire need for proper and better discipline in the prison, requiring the full attention of guards and administration authority.
As long as that does not happen, the inmates in this prison will continue suffering and will not have access to prison facilities that are their rights.
Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility:
The Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility is the second one on our list. The prison was opened in the year 1992 and since then has remained filled with controversies and issues that inmates face. The prison is a maximum security class, and as the name suggests, it gives proper care to offenders in need of physical and mental medical care
However, it has come to the media's attention that the care is of extremely poor quality and at times inhumane. The prisoners going through mental health issues are not given proper care, and they are put inside a locked room if the guards or nurses feel the need to do so. Offenders are often denied access to their critical medicine and other medical care.
Additionally, the prison has been facing severe staffing issues since 2015, and no serious action has been taken to reconsider this.
Things have been so much that offenders lie about their health and want to move to another prison because the promised medical care is not given to them.
Morgan County Correctional Complex:
The facility is a maximum security one that houses over 2,500 inmates and was opened in 1980. After its expansion in 2009, the real trouble started taking place in this prison. While the prison is accredited by the American Correctional Association, the facility has barely been able to live up to the standards.
Riots, gang wars, violence, and drug abuse are some of the issues that are synonymous with this prison. Over the years, things have only escalated with guards also exerting additional force on inmates to exhibit their control.
One of the worst incidents was in 2015 when a prison guard’s eyes were targeted by an inmate, and due to the attack, the guard was left handicapped for life.
Most of the former guards report the place to be not safe for work since they have to be continuously aware of their surroundings, and while being at it, they can be attacked at any given moment.
Northeast Correctional Complex:
The fourth one on our list is the Northeast Correctional Complex. The prison was opened in the year 1991 and had ever since served prisoners requiring different security classes. The prison has a capacity of 1,819 inmates and has been accused of overcrowding and violent attacks.
Additionally, there is also a shortage of staff, which is why the prison is usually out of the authorities' control.
The crisis in this prison does not seem to be coming to an end anytime soon, and since the authorities do not share the same vision of rebuilding this prison so that it lives to its standards, it does not appear things will change anytime soon.
Riverbend Maximum Security Institution:
The prison, also known as RMSI, is another maximum security prison located in Nashville, Tennessee. The prison has a capacity of 714 inmates and was opened in 1989. Over the years, this prison has executed some of the worst notable prisoners in the state of Tennessee.
While the prison’s mission is to ensure the public's safety and the inmates are managed in the way they should, that is not always the case with the prison.
Like other prisons in Tennessee, prison fights, gang violence, attacks on guards, and guards attacking inmates are all very common in this prison. Also, incidents of sexual harassment are common in this prison.
West Tennessee State Penitentiary:
The prison is located in unincorporated Lauderdale County, Tennessee. It has two complexes in which one is for minimum security whereas the other is for maximum security class. While the prison does live up to its promised standards, this is not to say that incidents and crimes do not happen within.
The prison has had several gang fights, often leading to the killings of other inmates. While guards keep a strict eye on every movement, there is still some slippage, and accidents are not uncommon.
Tennessee Prison for Women:
The last one on our list is Tennessee Prison for Women. The prison has a capacity of over 760 inmates, and ever since its opening in 1966; it has remained one of the worst places for female inmates in Tennessee due to several reasons, largely murder.
Murders in this all-female prison are quite common, and such incidents have risen in the last two decades. While authorities have announced they are looking into the problem, however, over the years, very little has been done, no substantial efforts have been taken, and the culprits have been found.
This prison for anyone can very well mean a matter of life and death!
You can also read articles related to this topic;
- Muskegon County Jail: Sheriff's Office Location, Information About This Prisons, How Many Inmates, and Visiting hours
- Baxter County Jail and Detention Center: Complete Information, Posting Bond, Visiting Hours
- 7 Worst Prisons In The State of Arizona
- Top 10 Worst Prisons in Florida State With High Crime Rate
- Top 7 Worst Prisons in The State of California