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Tennessee Department of Corrections (TN DOC)

Prison Category: State Prison Administration
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The state prison administration has many different duties. Not only does the administration have responsibility for housing inmates in the jail facilities across the state, but they also have responsibility for monitoring many more previous inmates in the community who are on probation or parole.

In addition, the state prison administration employs thousands of individuals in various roles across the state. From probation officers to correctional officers and guards in the prisons, the Department of Corrections is often one of the largest employers in the state.

In some cases, the prison administration may run its own prison facilities. At other times, the administration may contract with private prison operators to run jail facilities. Many states use a combination of public and private facilities to house prisoners across the state. Prison rules are typically set by the prison administration, and the rules governing mail, phone calls, and visitation are usually the same at all prisons under the management of the state prison administration.

Locating An Offender

Tennessee has an online inmate locator tool that makes finding an inmate in the Tennessee prison system quick and easy. You can use the locator tool on the website at (no website is available at this time) to easily find an inmate in Tennessee. If you have their inmate ID, it will make the search easier and more accurate. However, you can also search by an inmate’s first and last name.

Much of the information about inmates in the system is public information. So, when you get the results of your inmate search, you will be able to access a lot of information from the prison system database. You will have access to information like the inmate’s arrest date, booking date, applicable bail bond amount, and sometimes even a booking photo or mugshot.

If you cannot locate the inmate for which you are searching, you will need to call the prison system. If you know the specific prison in which they are located, you should call that facility first. Otherwise, you can call the Tennessee prison administration at 615-741-1000. You will need to provide at least a first and last name, and the administration staff can assist you with locating the inmate.

Visiting An Inmate

Visitation is encouraged at all facilities across the Tennessee prison system. Most facilities have visitation hours on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Visitation typically occurs from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at most facilities, although you should call the specific facility for the most up-to-date information on visiting hours.

To visit an inmate in the prison system in Tennessee, you will need to follow the rules that have been set by the state prison administration. Visitors to any of the facilities managed by the administration must be on the approved visitation list. To get on this list, you will need to complete the visitor information form and return it to the facility. A background check will be conducted, and you will not get on the list if you are a convicted felon.

Once you are on the list, you should arrive at the facility at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled visitation time. You will need a valid photo ID to sign in for visitation. Minors are allowed to visit inmates at Tennessee prisons, but they must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

You will not be allowed to bring any items into the facilities during visitation. Attempting to smuggle contraband into any facility in the Tennessee prison system will result in criminal charges against you. No food, drink, cell phones, electronics, or other items are allowed. You will be subject to search upon your arrival at any facility managed by the state prison administration.

Lastly, you should adhere to the dress code published by the prison administration. You are not allowed to wear any suggestive, revealing, see-through, low-cut, or inappropriate clothes in any of our facilities. A brief hug or handshake will be allowed at the beginning of your visit, but physical contact will be limited for the remainder of the visit. To learn more about the visitation rules, you can visit the state prison administration website at (no website is available at this time).

Sending Mail, Care Packages, Money To An Inmate

The prison administration allows inmates in the system to receive mail from friends and family members. Correspondence should be written in pencil, blue ink, or black ink. It should be written on plain postcards no more than 4” x 6” in size. The postcard should be metered for postage at the post office, and no stamps, stickers, or other attachments should be affixed to the postcard.

Inmates in the system may receive packages, but there are special rules that must be followed. Inmates may receive paperback books, but those books must be shipped directly from the supplier. No hardcover or spiral-bound books are allowed. All mail and packages coming into the facility are subject to inspection, and they will be examined by jail staff. Inmates may also receive packages containing clothes for their release or medical equipment; however, the sending of these packages should be coordinated with the staff at the prison where they are located.

The content of your mail should not contain any references to violence, escaping prison, threats, or other inappropriate subjects. Breaking the mail rules will result in your mail being returned, and it could result in criminal charges in some cases.

Inmates are allowed to send outgoing mail from the facility, although they may not send mail to other inmates or victims of their crimes. The state prison administration does not place a limit on the number of outgoing mail pieces an inmate may send, provided that they have enough money to pay for the postage. Postage and stationery may be purchased at the commissaries located in each jail facility.

If you wish to send money to an inmate housed in a Tennessee prison facility, the easiest way to do so is through an electronic transfer. You can utilize Western Union or MoneyGram to send money directly to an inmate’s account. Most facilities also allow the deposit of money in person at the facility. When you arrive for visitation, you can bring a money order to deposit into an account. Do not send money to an individual facility, as most of our facilities cannot handle the processing of deposits through the mail.

Phone Calls

The state prison administration makes phones available at all the facilities across the state. Inmates may place outgoing calls to anyone on their approved call list. An inmate will need to provide the full name, phone number, and address of anyone they wish to place on their call list. They may have no more than 20 people on the call list at any given time, and they may update their list every six months.

All outgoing calls must be paid for by the inmate or by the recipient of the call. This means that inmates may place collect calls, or they will need money in their trust account to pay for the calls. Phone calls are limited to 30 minutes, and all calls are monitored by jail staff. Phone calls may be limited to 10 minutes during extremely busy times. If an inmate needs to schedule an unmonitored call with an attorney, they can do so by coordinating with the jail staff.

No incoming calls are allowed to inmates within the state prison system. We understand that some emergencies might require contacting an inmate. An example might be a death in the inmate’s immediate family. In that case, you may call the facility in which the inmate is located and leave a message for the inmate. You will need to leave your full name and phone number, and the message will be passed to the inmate as soon as possible.

Probation Services

Not only does the state prison administration run the prisons across the state, but the administration also manages the probation services in Tennessee. Some offenders are sentenced to probation only. This means that they do not serve any time in jail, but they might need to check in with a probation officer on a regular basis.

Other criminals might receive probation upon their release from prison. Failure to check-in with their probation officer or a violation of any of their probation rules will result in that person being placed back into custody in prison.

We have many probation officers across the state, and they do an excellent job of keeping track of the offenders on the probation list. Although most probation officers do not frequently work inside a jail facility, they are often in and out of the prison facilities during the course of their job. These probation officers help keep our communities safe and free of drugs and other criminal activity.

Career Opportunities

The Department of Corrections is often one of the largest employers in the state. While many people think of only those who work directly in a prison, many other job opportunities are available with the state prison administration.

Guards and corrections officers are a couple of the most common jobs available at the state prison administration. These individuals work directly in our prison facilities, and they work directly with inmates on a daily basis.

We also offer career opportunities as a probation officer, which allows you to perform a crucial duty in our communities. Finally, our prison system also employs administrative staff. Whether you work in human resources, accounting, or some other professional role, we might have a spot for you. Many of our rehabilitation programs require mental health counselors, substance abuse counselors, vocational teachers, and others. To find all the details about available positions within the prison administration, you should visit the Careers section of our website at (no website is available at this time).

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an administrator do in a prison?

A prison administrator has many key duties that must be performed. The prison administrator is often responsible for the hiring and management of correctional officers and staff. Prison administrators also typically oversee and manage all the programs of the prison. This might include work-release programs, substance abuse programs, medical or mental health programs, and other programs available in prison. This can be a huge task, and the role is also an extremely important one for the safe and efficient operation of the prison for which they are responsible.

What are the duties of a prison warden?

Most people consider the warden to be the CEO of the prison. The warden is responsible for all the day-to-day activities of the prison, and they are responsible for all the prison staff. Wardens are the top prison administrators. Prison wardens usually have wide discretion when it comes to altering rules, such as phone privileges or visitation rules. A warden might need to amend certain rules to maintain order and safe prison operations. Wardens are also the primary point of contact for emergency situations, and they are ultimately responsible for the safe, efficient, and orderly operation of the prison.

What kind of career opportunities are available within Tennessee Department of Corrections (TN DOC)?

There are several different career opportunities available in Tennessee Department of Corrections (TN DOC). First, guards and correctional officers are almost always needed. Even if you do not have direct experience in this area, we often provide training to allow you to prepare for a career in corrections. We also have needs for mental health counselors, probation officers, and administrative staff. You should visit our website at (no website is available at this time) to see the list of current job openings within our prison system.

How do I file a complaint against a correctional facility in Tennessee?

First, you should start with the administration of the correctional facility. You should file a formal complaint with the warden of the prison. If your complaint goes unresolved, then you should begin to escalate that complaint. Next, you should contact the Tennessee Department of Corrections. File your complaint with that organization and allow them time to investigate and resolve the complaint. If the complaint is still unresolved, you should contact the Tennessee governor’s office or the United States Department of Justice. Continue to escalate the issue until you find someone who is willing to hear your complaint and fully investigate the allegations to determine whether there has been any misconduct.

What does the Department of Corrections do?

The Tennessee Department of Corrections is responsible for incarcerating criminals who have been convicted of a felony in Tennessee. These prisoners typically serve more than one year in jail, and the Department of Corrections is responsible for these prisoners while they are incarcerated. On the other hand, criminals convicted of a simple misdemeanor usually remain in a city or county facility. Upon their release, many state prisoners will be placed on probation. The Department of Corrections is responsible for regular check-ins with these released offenders during their probation period. It is the goal of the department to help rehabilitate these offenders before they are released to increase their odds of success after leaving prison.

What human rights do prisoners have?

All prisoners in the Tennessee prison system and other systems across the country are extended basic human rights. While these individuals no longer have full Constitutional rights in most cases, they will all be treated with respect and dignity as part of their basic rights as human beings. There will be no discrimination toward prisoners due to their race, religion, gender, place of birth, or other factors. Prisoners have a right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Prisoners will be fed, provided with medical care, and imprisoned in a safe and humane fashion.

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