- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

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 had asked for the independent review of the state’s prisons after complaints from current and former employees that violence is on the rise.

Stewart said Monday that the review by the American Correctional Association was scheduled long before the recent criticism of prison conditions and that management of each prison is given time to prepare for the auditors’ visits.

The Nashville Democrat instead called for an audit by the National Institute of Corrections, which is run by the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Prisons. He also urged Republican leaders to resurrect the Legislature’s shuttered Corrections Oversight Committee.

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