Tag Archives: corrections

Murder by Paroled Prisoner Leads to New Dept. of Corrections Position

After reports last week that a convicted rapist who killed his wife was supposed to be on lifetime supervision, state corrections authorities have named a courts liaison to make sure such monitoring actually happens.
From the Chattanooga Times-Free Press:
The liaison will work with judges and courts across the states to provide appropriate supervision for offenders, Correction Commissioner Derrick Schofield said in a June 3 letter to department employees.
The liaison’s job will be “to lead education and implementation of our justice reinvestment initiative,” the letter stated. It described “justice reinvestment” as “our ongoing effort to ensure we do our part to manage the offender population through evidence-based practices and community alternatives.”
Mickie Daughtery, program director of the Davidson County Community Corrections Program, will fill the position June 17, the letter states.


Terry Releford served most of a 17-year sentence on violent rape and assault charges before his release in 2012. Authorities knew he was mentally ill, and though state law said he should have been supervised for life by the Department of Correction, there was a paperwork slip-up, the Times Free Press reported last week.
No one was watching on May 19 when Releford, 34, beat his pregnant wife to death at their home near Soddy-Daisy and raped a teen girl before eluding authorities and shooting himself in a North Georgia motel room.

Bill Transfering Parole Board Duties to Corrections Approved

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal to transfer certain services from the Board of Probation and Parole to the Department of Correction is headed to the governor for his consideration.
The measure was unanimously approved 30-0 in the Senate on Monday evening after lawmakers agreed to minor changes by the House.
Tennessee correction officials have said the proposal will save thousands of dollars and improve public safety.
The legislation would move certain functions relating to probation and parole services and the community corrections program, which assists victims and offers more options to local courts, to the Correction Department.
The transfer is expected to “result in increased stability, increased efficiency and continuity of supervision delivery and rehabilitative efforts,” according to the legislation.

Savings Seen in Probation and Parole Reshuffling

By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee correction officials say a proposal to transfer certain services from the Board of Probation and Parole to the Department of Correction will save thousands of dollars and improve public safety.
The legislation would move certain functions relating to probation and parole services and the community corrections program, which assists victims and offers more options to local courts, to the Correction Department.
The transfer is expected to “result in increased stability, increased efficiency and continuity of supervision delivery and rehabilitative efforts,” according to the proposal, which passed the Senate 32-0 earlier this month.
The companion bill is scheduled for the House Finance Committee on Tuesday.
Correction Commissioner Derrick Schofield said the move would save the state about $714,000 in the first year. While the savings is important, he said the state wants to provide the best supervision and services for offenders so they don’t come back into the system.

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CCA Wants to Buy a Tennessee Prison

Corrections Corporation of America has expressed interest in buying a state-owned prison southwest of Nashville as part of a strategy it’s pitching to most state governments as a partial cure to their budget shortfalls, according to The Tennessean.
The private prison operator has set aside $250 million to embark on the national effort. In informal conversations with state corrections officials in Tennessee in recent weeks, Nashville-based CCA cited South Central Correctional Facility in Clifton, Tenn., as a possible target.
“(State) officials have been intrigued and want to learn more, but that has been the extent of the conversation so far,” said Tony Grande, chief development officer with CCA.
Last month, the company sent letters to 48 states informing them of the initiative. In the letter, CCA said it’s trying to replicate what it considers a successful deal last year involving the 1,798-bed Lake Erie Correctional Facility in Conneaut, Ohio, which CCA acquired in exchange for a 20-year contract to manage that prison plus other guarantees.
Steve Owen, a CCA spokesman, said the company plans to follow up with other states to make them aware of the company’s new program and possible cost savings.

Dept. of Corrections Wants More Money

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Correction want the state to increase funding for prisons by $80 million, even as the governor is asking all state agencies to prepare 5 percent cuts, according to TNReport
Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday he doesn’t expect to have to make those kinds of cuts in each department’s budget, but it’s too soon to tell.
“We’re going to have a huge list of requests and priorities, and we’ll start that winnowing-out process,” the governor told reporters after a day of budget hearings at the Capitol Building. “Right now, closing a prison would be a very drastic decision.”
The Department of Correction, which oversees 14 prisons on a total budget of just over $700 million, is one of many departments asking for spending bumps this year as Haslam prepares a state government budget expected to be in the neighborhood of $30 billion.
However, administration officials say they are facing a $400 million budget gap to compensate for increasing state government costs that exceed the state’s revenue growth.

Did Haslam Create a Conflict of Interest in Giving Sheriff’s Wife a Job?

The new head of a Tennessee agency that inspects and certifies jails will have authority over the jail run by her husband, Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe, reports Brian Haas.
Gov. Bill Haslam appointed Beth Ashe to be executive director of the Tennessee Corrections Institute, an agency devoted to training, maintaining standards and inspecting jails in Tennessee. The appointment already has drawn fire for being a potential conflict of interest because her agency holds the key to keeping Wilson County’s jail approved to house state inmates.
“Her agency is responsible for inspecting and certifying her husband’s jail,” said attorney Jerry Gonzalez, who has represented inmates in lawsuits — including suits against Wilson County’s jail.
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or an ethical philosopher to recognize that that is an inherent conflict of interest.” John Lachs, who actually is a professor of ethical philosophy at Vanderbilt University, agreed, saying Beth Ashe probably shouldn’t have been appointed in the first place..
“The obvious first thing to do is to not even create this perception of a conflict of interest,” he said. “You just avoid it.”
But the governor’s office, the institute’s chairman and Ashe herself defended the appointment, saying that any final decisions on jail matters are decided by the agency’s board, not her.
“I don’t see the connection,” Beth Ashe said. “I answer to the board of control, so they give me my direction.”