Judge writes mayor admonishing CoreCivic for scabies outbreak - WSMV News 4

Judge writes mayor admonishing CoreCivic for scabies outbreak

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Scabies is an itchy, contagious disease spread by skin-to-skin contact. (WSMV) Scabies is an itchy, contagious disease spread by skin-to-skin contact. (WSMV)

Channel 4 obtained a copy of a letter sent by Davidson County Judge Melissa Blackburn to Mayor Megan Barry Thursday afternoon.

In the letter, Blackburn asks Barry to hold CoreCivic responsible for the scabies outbreak that spread from the women's prison on Harding Road to the Davidson County Courthouse.

The letter reads as follows:

Dear Mayor Barry:

As you are aware the Metro Health Department has confirmed a Scabies infestation among several inmates at the Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility operated by CoreCivic.

Following several reports of an issue through various Metro departments beginning in early May and exposure to staff of the Justice A.A. Birch Building, I reached out to Warden Charlie Peterson with CoreCivic on May 25 to inquire as to the validity of reports and the risk to staff of the courts. I was informed that there was no Scabies infestation within the facility and no risk to court or law enforcement personnel. Since the first reported staff case on May 24, several Metro employees in the courthouse have been diagnosed with the infestation and Metro Health acknowledged to me on May 30 that Scabies was indeed present in the Detention Facility. Due to the lack of notification, employees unknowingly exposed family members, including children, to the parasites with the latest symptoms presenting as recently as June 7.

I am confident that you agree with me that the health, safety and peace of mind of our Metro employees should be of paramount concern. The lack of transparency by CoreCivic pertaining to this event has jeopardized their health, caused deep concern for their families and resulted in unnecessary embarrassment. None of these outcomes is acceptable and can be attributed directly to CoreCivic’s failure to address the outbreak or properly notify Metro Government of the problem.

I urge your office to utilize any provisions within Metro’s contract with CoreCivic to hold them accountable for the failure to act. I further urge your office to review those provisions to determine if they should be strengthened in order to ensure that our Metro employees will not be placed in a similar, or more dangerous, situation in the future. I am available, as is my staff, to provide information or assistance as you may require. Please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Thank you for your continued strong leadership of our community.

Click here to read more on the scabies outbreak.

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