Department of Correction | Nashville Public Radio

Department of Correction

Courtesy of Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Department of Correction.

A senior Tennessee prisons employee has been killed, and an inmate on the loose is the suspect.

Curtis Ray Watson escaped from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary on Wednesday and is still at large. 

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán / WPLN

Tennessee’s privately run prisons have experienced twice as many inmate homicides compared to state-run facilities.

That’s according to a report released Wednesday by the Human Rights Defense Center, a prisoner advocacy group. The organization says the deaths are a result of how Brentwood-based CoreCivic operates its prisons.

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán / WPLN

State lawmakers once again questioned Correction officials about the conditions of Tennessee’s largest prison.

A year ago, a state audit found that Trousdale Turner Correctional Facility in Hartsville was understaffed and mishandling complaints by inmates.

Tennessean (pool photo)

With a handwritten note, Tennessee death row inmate David Earl Miller has chosen to die by electric chair. He selected the method of death Monday afternoon.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

A group of eight women participated in a special ceremony late last week inside the Tennessee Prison For Women in Nashville. It was their graduation — after most of them spent more than a decade working towards their bachelor’s degrees from Lipscomb University.



The Tennessee Department of Correction is getting another year to show improvement. Officials voted to reauthorize the state agency for 12 more months after a scathing audit last month highlighted severe staffing and safety concerns at several private prisons.

Emily Siner / WPLN

Tennessee lawmakers blasted the state Department of Correction at a meeting on Wednesday, the day after an audit found numerous violations in the state's prisons.



A state audit of the Department of Correction released on Tuesday highlights a number of issues plaguing prisons in Tennessee. The biggest issue is a shortage of correctional officers, which could put inmates and other prison staff at risk.


The care of prisoners’ health across the state will remain in the hands of the embattled current provider — Centurion of Tennessee. But as of next July, it’s going to get considerably more expensive.

Authorities say the violence that occurred over the weekend at the Hickman County state prison was “unprovoked.” The incident involved 16 inmates, along with three security officers who were life-flighted to Vanderbilt Medical Center.