While other inmates at the Nashville’s Metro Detention Facility took an hour out of their cells most days, a mentally ill inmate named Frank Horton never left his cell for any recreation or a shower – for nine straight months, reports The Tennessean. It’s unclear if he saw a doctor. After an employee complained to the public health department on Jan. 31, he was forced out for a shower and a mental health evaluation. The case raises questions about inmate treatment at the 1,200-bed prison.
In other recent incidents, a man was arrested in the January beating death of his cellmate, a prisoner with a storied escape history broke out through the air vents in February, and Warden Brian Gardner, was removed from his post this month and is “awaiting reassignment” by the Corrections Corporation of America, the for-profit prison giant overseeing 65 facilities in 19 states. CCA was in the national spotlight last week after a former employee accused it of underplaying serious safety incidents. The health department and the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office have power to oversee operations at the Metro Detention Facility; they disagree on whose responsibility it is to ensure that basic hygiene is enforced.