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.)


Patrick, Beard, Schulman And Jacoway, P.C. Attorneys Selected To 2016 Mid-South Super Lawyers List

Patrick, Beard, Schulman and Jacoway, P.C. announces that Richard A. Schulman, Michael A. Anderson, and Jeremy M. Cothern have been selected by their peers for inclusion in the Mid-South Super Lawyers for 2016. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the states of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Emergency Communications District Implements Inform CAD, Mobile System

Hamilton County Emergency Communications District has gone live with Inform CAD and Mobile, a step in an upgrade of their emergency communications and response technology. Combining the new technologies in place at Hamilton County which include TriTech 911, which Hamilton County installed in 2014, Inform CAD, and Inform Mobile, provides the district with a modernized communications ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Council Looking Into Taking Over Schools

A new group of Signal Mountain Town Council members is looking into taking over county schools within the town boundaries.   Two newly elected board members, Amy Speer and Dan Landrum, joined the council Friday afternoon at the first work session after the election. The election of mayor and vice mayor for the next two years came first on the agenda. Dick Gee, mayor ... (click for more)

Curtis Coleman Sentenced To 144 Months For Dealing Heroin

Curtis Allen Coleman, 41, of Dayton, Ohio, was sentenced to serve 144 months in prison by Federal Judge Travis R. McDonough for heroin distribution in Chattanooga. Coleman pleaded guilty in August to a federal indictment charging him with, among other things, conspiracy to distribute heroin.  According to information on file with the United States District ... (click for more)

Tennessee River Gorge Trust Trail Warriors Make You Want To Take A Hike

Trail warriors of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust make you want to take a hike.  The Tennessee River Gorge Trust staff and volunteers make a huge difference in the Chattanooga community and have been making the outdoor areas around the River Gorge clean and protected for more than 30 years.  They deserve to be recognized and praised for all of the hard work they have ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Our Schools Stink

Cheryl Roddy has spent her lifetime, for the biggest part, as a teacher for the Hamilton County Department of Education and, more specifically, at East Ridge High School. She has loved teaching there for nearly 40 years and is hardly “average;” she has her master's degree in education, was twice East Ridge’s teacher of the year, was the first teacher at East Ridge to reach the first ... (click for more)