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Politics

Routine audit of Tennessee prison system questioned

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capitol.tn.gov
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart is dismissing an upcoming audit of Tennessee's prison system as "business as usual."

Correction Commissioner Derrick Schofield told lawmakers last week that he’d asked for an independent review of the state's prisons by the American Correctional Association. The request followed complaints from current and former employees that violence is on the rise.

Stewart notes that the ACA audit was scheduled long before the recent criticism of prison conditions.

“I think it’s just very clear that having more business as usual, just adding a few extra requirements to audits that are already scheduled, is not what we need. We need a full, top-to-bottom review from some independent organization.”

Steward is calling for an audit by the federal National Institute of Corrections. He’s also urging Republican leaders to resurrect the Legislature's shuttered Corrections Oversight Committee.