TN prison leader reacts to I-Team investigation on Facebook post - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

TN prison leader reacts to I-Team investigation on Facebook posts

Posted: Updated:
  • More newsMore>>

  • Vikings place Adrian Peterson on exempt list

    Vikings place Adrian Peterson on exempt list

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 3:22 AM EDT2014-09-17 07:22:44 GMT
    Adrian Peterson was back at Minnesota Vikings headquarters on Monday, and the first thing fullback Jerome Felton did when he saw his star running back was give him a high-five.More >>
    After a day of public pressure from angry fans and concerned sponsors, the Minnesota Vikings have reversed course and placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt-commissioner's permission list, a move that...More >>
  • Dempsey: Half of Iraqi army not OK as US partners

    Dempsey: Half of Iraqi army not OK as US partners

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 1:37 AM EDT2014-09-17 05:37:01 GMT
    About half of Iraq's army is incapable of partnering effectively with the U.S. to roll back the Islamic State group's territorial gains in western and northern Iraq, and the other half needs to be partially...More >>
    About half of Iraq's army is incapable of partnering effectively with the U.S. to roll back the Islamic State group's territorial gains in western and northern Iraq, and the other half needs to be partially rebuilt...More >>
  • Student hit by car in Montgomery continues to recover

    Student hit by car in Montgomery continues to recover

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 12:50 AM EDT2014-09-17 04:50:58 GMT
    A Montgomery student hit by a car after school is showing signs of improvement after weeks in the hospital. The community has rallied around his family as he continues to heal. The accident outside CapitolMore >>
    A Montgomery student hit by a car after school is showing signs of improvement after weeks in the hospital. The community has rallied around his family as he continues to heal. The accident outside Capitol Heights Middle School in Montgomery shed more light on safety concerns for students in the area. More >>
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The partying behind Tennessee's prison bars uncovered by the Channel 4 I-Team has prompted an internal memo from the commissioner of the Department of Correction, which tells what must be done to stop the party.

The memo was sent within the past week to the commissioner's staff, and one prison reform organization calls it "damage control."

Videos of inmates bragging about their drug use and photos showing the prisoners hoarding food, giving each other tattoos and burning a shirt were all posted to Facebook from behind bars - all of it exposed by the Channel 4 I-Team.

Now, in the memo, Commissioner Derrick Schofield, writes "recent news coverage regarding cell phones in prisons portrayed a negative image of our work to control contraband. We don't make excuses for it."

"I think he is trying to do a little damage control in terms of letting employees know they need to be a little more diligent," said prison reform advocate Alex Friedmann.

The ongoing investigation by the Channel 4 I-Team revealed last week how a correctional officer assigned to an elite task force charged with uncovering contraband was fired March 1 after he was accused of smuggling weed and perhaps even a cell phone into the Riverbend State Prison.

The commissioner writes, "while there are always things we can do better to enhance our supervision, we must not forget the vast majority of our employees are dedicated to doing what's right."

The commissioner also warns that with the summer months approaching, there will be increased chances for offenders to spend time outside and attempt to get outside fences.

"Review your post orders, over communicate with each other, and challenge the status quo," Schofield writes in the memo to prison staff.

The commissioner also claimed in the memo that many of the displayed pictures the Channel 4 I-Team found posted to Facebook were dated or not taken inside state or private prisons.

However, all the photos we found were posted on current Facebook pages until we alerted the state to them and they then took them down.

One video posted to an inmate's page was taken while he was inside a Memphis jail, and we reported that clearly, but the other videos all came from inside Tennessee state prisons.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Correction said the commissioner had no comment on the memo.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow