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Lawsuit: Inmate died due to private prison understaffing

March 26, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A lawsuit claims a Tennessee private prison inmate was beaten and died because of inadequate staffing, training, supervision and medical care.

The federal lawsuit filed in Jackson says Earl Wayne Johnson died in November 2017 while incarcerated at Hardeman County Correctional Center run by CoreCivic.

The lawsuit says Johnson was hospitalized three-plus hours after being found unconscious and the autopsy said he died from a severe head injury after another unidentified inmate assaulted him. It also claims autopsy errors.

The lawsuit mentions a state audit saying Hardeman’s reports included staffing data inconsistencies.

It claims CoreCivic tolerates “murder and mayhem” for higher profits.

Company spokesman Jonathan Burns said CoreCivic’s top priority is a safe, secure and humane environment. He said CoreCivic hasn’t been served yet and doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

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