It was last month when the Department of Corrections got a tip from a confidential source alleging that staff and inmates at the Tennessee Prison for Women were involved in inappropriate relationships.
“We began an internal affairs investigation to substantiate these allegations,” explained Department Commissioner George Little.
At the center of the allegations are six staff members and at least five inmates.
The accusations range from romantic involvement spanning several months between employees and inmates, as well as bringing contraband tobacco products into the prison and other staff misconduct.
Two of the six employees have already resigned. The department fired three others. The remaining staff member is waiting for an administrative hearing.
Commissioner Little said the department plans “to intervene at a number of other levels, besides the disciplinary and criminal levels because again this is not going to be tolerated in our department.”
The Department of Corrections is also taking a look at management structures and proposing new training for staff as they try to figure out what went wrong.
The inmates could also face reprimands for the alleged misconduct.
When the department wraps up its internal investigation it will turn the findings over to the District Attorney General's Office for possible criminal prosecution.