Lee Davis: Tennessee Board Of Probation And Parole Admits To Monitoring The Dead

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Lee Davis
Lee Davis
Troubling news for many in the state came when Tennessee’s Board of Probation and Parole reported that dozens of dead offenders were alive and being monitored, according to a state comptroller report released earlier this month. The office claimed that at least 82 dead people on probation or parole were still alive. In a stunning understatement, the state’s comptroller attributed the mistake simply to “inadequate supervision.”

State Senator Brian Kelsey boiled the problem down quite well, saying, “With that many dead people supposedly being supervised, it makes you wonder how many live people were also not being supervised.”

One good example of the kind of problems revealed in the report is a criminal who died in October 2011 but who was reported to be bedridden at home by the Board of Probation and Parole.
In another instance, an officer continued turning in documentation of visits with a parolee who, the auditors later learned, had been dead for 19 years.

The individual officers responsible for the shoddy work have not been identified and the Board has not said if anyone has been disciplined for the errors. The Comptroller did admit that the report raises concerns about how the office’s nearly $100 million budget is being spent. “If parole officers are supervising dead people, this is a waste of taxpayer dollars and makes us wonder about the supervision of parolees living in our communities.”

Supporters of the Board have pointed out the economic downturn has stretched the office thin. With increasing numbers of criminals added to the rolls, some officers have found themselves supervising about 100 offenders. Many say this number is simply too large to do a good job.

So far, the Board has said only that staff would be trained to better detect deceased offenders by the end of the year. We can only hope it doesn’t take that long to train officers to be able to detect if a parolee is dead.

The full report is available here.

(Lee Davis is a Chattanooga attorney who can be reached at lee@davis-hoss.com or at 266-0605.)


SIGNIX Hires New Vice President Of Partner Development

SIGNiX , a company that provides secure and simple digital signature services announced the hiring of its new Vice President of Partner Development, Leonora Zilkha Williamson. Ms. Williamson will work to identify and target potential partners in a variety of industries.  SIGNiX has long been a partner-centric company that focuses on providing total solutions to software ... (click for more)

Northgate And Hamilton Place Malls Offer Free Trick Or Treating

Northgate & Hamilton Place Mall Stores are offering free family fun  with trick or treating at participating mall stores on Friday, Oct. 31.  It will last from 6 p.m. until close while supplies last. (click for more)

Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

Tribute Service For Luther Masingill Held At Historic Engel Stadium

It took a place as big as historic Engel Stadium for Chattanooga to say goodbye to their beloved Luther. Hundreds came Thursday afternoon to pay tribute to Luther Masingill who died early Monday morning after a radio career that spanned an amazing 74 years. It was clear from all who spoke that he was considered not only a radio personality, but also a role model. One after ... (click for more)

Not Everything Has Been Done To Save Hutcheson

I am a resident of Walker County and I have a personal belief that a hospital ranks equal to other basic services a community should offer (like police, fire, emergency services, school systems, government, etc.). I am not privy to all the management and financial conundrums concerning the feasibility of maintaining and growing Hutcheson, and as a private citizen I don’t believe ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Veterinarian’s Horse Sense

I suspect you’ve heard by now that a doctor in New York City, who volunteers with “Doctors Without Borders,” just got back from the African nation of Guinea on October 17 – last Friday – and on Thursday tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus. Luckily, he came in actual contact with only a few people but he reportedly rode a subway, took a taxi, went on a three-mile run and ... (click for more)