Dozens of Tennessee jails fail inspections in 2017 - WSMV News 4

Dozens of Tennessee jails fail inspections in 2017

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(WSMV file) (WSMV file)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Out of 129 jails inspected by the Tennessee Corrections Institute this year, 71 required re-inspections.

"TCI is not a regulatory agency, it's a compliance agency,” said Kevin Walters with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance is the agency that oversees TCI.

The News 4 I-Team began investigating how this happened and what’s being done to make sure jails are meeting minimum standards.

"Ultimately it's in the hands of the communities to make a decision about the best direction forward,” Walters said.

“Should TCI be able to do more?” asked the I-Team’s Lindsay Bramson.

“That's a decision I can't speak to. I can only speak to what they do,” Walters said.

There are the 11 facilities in Middle Tennessee that failed inspections. Those facilities are:

  • Bedford County Jail
  • Bedford County Workhouse
  • Cannon County Jail
  • Cheatham County Jail
  • Core Civic Metro Davidson County Detention Facility
  • Davidson County CDC
  • Hickman County Law Enforcement Complex
  • Lewis County Jail
  • Macon County Jail
  • Maury County Jail
  • Sumner County Justice Center

Last week, three men considered armed and dangerous were able to escape from the Macon County Jail.

News 4 reported inspection reports obtained by the I-Team show out of three inspections in the last six months, the Macon County Jail did not meet state standards once.

Out of the 11 jails that failed inspections this year and were re-inspected, the ones that passed were:

  • Bedford County Workhouse
  • Hickman County Law Enforcement Complex
  • Maury County Jail
  • Sumner County Justice Center

“Only four out of the 11 jails have passed re-inspection. Is that concerning to the state?” Bramson asked.

“The reality is a lot of them face issues that still have to be addressed,” Walters said.

State officials say the biggest problem in Tennessee jails is overcrowding.

While TCI can't shut down a jail, they can take away its certification. That could mean a loss of funding, increased insurance costs and a removal of inmates.

The state says the only agency that can currently shut down a jail is the state fire marshal’s office.

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