Inmate fight is latest in series of incidents at Northeast Correctional Complex in past year


JOHNSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- A state prison in Northeast Tennessee is still on a modified lockdown Monday evening after five inmates got into a fight on Sunday.

Tennessee Department of Corrections Spokesman Robert Reburn said no officers were hurt and the inmates involved were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

In April 2019, News Channel 11 requested five years of detailed lockdown data to compare incidents at Northeast Correctional Complex in Johnson County to those at other state prisons. TDOC has yet to compile the information despite multiple follow-ups.

News Channel 11’s archives revealed the inmate fight Sunday was the latest in a series of incidents involving the facility since September 30, 2018.

The timeline shows incidents at Northeast Correctional Complex reported on by News Channel 11 since Sept 30, 2018. Lockdowns are highlighted in yellow.

LOCKDOWN: October 21, 2018

MORE: Northeast Correctional on lockdown until ‘at least’ Tuesday; Injured officer ‘OK’

News Channel 11 first learned of this lockdown on October 22nd. It lasted until October 26th.

It began after an officer was assaulted by an inmate on October 21st, according to Reburn.

He said the officer sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

TDOC’s Office of Investigations and Compliance looked into the incident.

When asked for an update Monday, Reburn said OIC’s investigations are confidential.

LOCKDOWN: January 10, 2019

MORE: Northeast Correctional remains under lockdown

Northeast Correctional Complex was impacted by a statewide lockdown of prisons that was ordered “due to information received from external law enforcement partners.”

Reburn said the lockdowns were ordered out of an abundance of caution for the safety of staff and inmates.

It lasted until at least January 13th, when Reburn told News Channel 11 there was no timetable for when the lockdown at Northeast Correctional would be lifted.

At that time, he said lockdowns had been lifted at other facilities and restrictions would be removed after additional intelligence and security evaluations were completed.

LOCKDOWN: April 6, 2019

MORE: UPDATE: 4 officers injured during NE Correctional ‘disturbance’

A lockdown that lasted for more than a week began after several inmates in two housing pods became “unruly and combative,” according to Reburn.

Reburn said security staff “immediately responded to assess the situation and appropriate measures were taken.”

He said four officers were ultimately taken to a local hospital for evaluation of non-life-threatening injuries.

TDOC’s Office of Investigations and Compliance investigated the incident.


News Channel 11 didn’t learn former Northeast Correctional employee Shannon Clark had been arrested and charged with official misconduct and introducing drugs or contraband into a penal facility until mid-July.

That’s when two other Northeast Correctional employees were indicted after what TDOC officials called an unrelated investigation.

Clark’s employment was terminated, according to Reburn.

Her court date in Johnson County has been reset for November 22nd.


MORE: 3 former Northeast Correctional employees arrested

Two Northeast Correctional Complex employees were indicted on charges of official misconduct and tampering with the evidence by a Johnson County grand jury.

TDOC officials said charges against Correctional Captain Donald Henson and Associate Warden Fredrick Roark were the result of a multi-jurisdictional investigation at the local, state and federal level.

“Friday’s indictments are the result of an extensive investigation and should show the citizens of Tennessee that integrity is at the core of our mission,” said TDOC Commissioner Tony Parker in a statement Wednesday.  “This Department will not stand for anything or anyone that threatens the safety and security of our prisons. That includes the staff and the offenders we supervise. As I have said before, I expect every staff member to Honor the Oath and uphold the pledge they took. Those that fail to do so should know that we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”

Both employees were terminated, according to Reburn.

Roark and Henson are due back in Johnson County court on November 14th.

WARDEN RESIGNS: July 15, 2019

According to Reburn, Warden Georgia Crowell’s notice of resignation was provided on July 15th, just days after Roark and Henson were indicted

“Her appointment as NECX warden ended, and rather than accept another position within the department, she elected to resign,” Reburn said in an email at the time.

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