- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Inspectors from the American Correctional Association have completed their visits to five Tennessee prisons after conducting a review at the request of the state’s Department of Correction.

Inspectors from the national organization, which provides accreditation to state prison systems, finished their visits on Wednesday, The Tennessean reported (https://tnne.ws/1LC7JZP).

James Gondles, executive director of the association, said he expects the organization to have a report ready for the state within one week. He declined to provide any further details from the inspections.

The visits come amid reports of understaffing, which correction officers say creates unsafe working conditions.

“The department has set no restrictions on them, and the inspectors themselves are setting their schedule at each facility. They are reviewing staffing patterns, vacancies and incident reporting,” Department of Correction spokeswoman Alison Randgaard said.

Randgaard said the inspectors visited Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning and Bledsoe County Correctional Complex for “scheduled in-depth reviews.” They also visited DeBarry Special Needs Facility and Riverbend Maximum Security Institution, both in Nashville.

Although there have been issues reported throughout the prison system, many reports of violence and understaffing have originated from these five prisons.

Randgaard said the state expects the organization to provide the results of their inspection within a month. She said the report will be made available to the public once the state receives it.

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