Inmate who says she got scabies in Nashville jail blames medical staff

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A former inmate recently released from the jail in South Nashville, run by CoreCivic, said she was one of the inmates who may have contracted Scabies at the facility.

She claims the medical staff lied about what the inmates had and tried to sweep it under the rug.

It has been a whirlwind for former inmate Ryan Thompson.

“A huge roller coaster,” Thompson said. “It wasn’t fun having Scabies by any means. It was very itchy you know it kept you up at night. It covered probably 90 percent of my body and it was very uncomfortable.”

She’s still reeling from what she said happened when she was housed at CoreCivic Jail off Harding Place.

“Lice, MRSA and Scabies,” she said. “I got all of it from the jail.”

Thomas said she was locked up from February 14 to May 25 on a drug charge when an inmate with rash-like symptoms was placed in the Alpha 1 POD at the jail.

“They put a female into our POD that just kept scratching. She was scratching terribly. She had bruises on her as well, which we didn’t know what it was at first,” Thompson said. “She was covered from head to toe with something. She was told it was a reaction to her medicine.”

She claims it wasn’t long before nearly everyone got the itch.

“They washed her clothes with ours and that’s when the entire Alpha 1 POD became infested with the Scabies,” the former inmate said. “Now, we didn’t know it was Scabies. It was a mysterious bug or a fungus from the shower is what they were saying.”

Thompson provided News 2 with paperwork that shows she put in a sick call on May 11 for a swollen knot on her leg, and then on May 18 she filed paperwork about the rash.

“All the inmates that actually had come in contact with this mystery bug put in informals because nothing was being done by the situation,” she said.

Thompson said she even sent a letter to her boyfriend about the outbreak.

“I’m getting bit everyday more and more by this mystery bug that’s going around,” the former inmate read from the letter. “It’s probably Scabies; they just won’t admit it or they really are this clueless.”

She said they were quarantined for 48 hours.

“It was more of a punishment because we were telling our family members and our family members were calling the Health Department,” Thompson said. “So, we got our privileges taken away for 48 hours but still there was nothing done about the actual outbreak.”

Thompson said the inmates were given athlete’s foot cream and Calamine lotion to stop the itch, but that didn’t work.

“The medical staff had no clue what it was, I mean had no clue,” she said.

About a week after getting out of jail, she went to TriStar Hendersonville.

She showed us paperwork where the doctor diagnosed her with Scabies and MRSA.

“That’s a communicable disease, you know, which they allowed to run rampant and then allowed me to leave jail with it,” Thompson said.

Thompson said she came forward to tell her story because the inmates deserve a voice.

“If they had listened to the inmates from the jump, then they would have had a much better control of the situation,” Thompson said.

“We found an inmate by the name of Ryan Thompson with the same inmate number,” CoreCivic spokesperson Amanda Gilchrist said in an email to News 2. “She was in our custody from approximately Feb 14 – May 25, 2017 and was treated by our medical staff during the course of her incarceration. As you are aware, we are unable to speak to the claims she raises due to medical privacy laws without a written HIPPA waiver from her. Once that waiver is received, I am happy to discuss further with you.”