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Tennessee Prison Food Program Mismanaged

Financial mismanagement of the Tennessee Prison Food Program has led to the firing of at least two officials and the loss of millions of dollars jeopardizing the future of the food program.

The Tennessee Comptroller’s office reports months of problems between the Tennessee Rehabilitative Initiative in Correction Board (TRICOR) and the Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) with allegations TRICOR staff tried to mislead the board about the agency’s finances, food portion sizes and healthiness of meals served in prison.

These concerns were brought by complaints received from inmates and their families.  TRICOR states they aim to save money through “portion control” and the unreported change in meal portions are a benefit to inmates.  However, officers who eat prison meals don’t follow the same portion control guidelines created for the inmates.

TRICOR denies any wrongdoing, but acknowledges it dismissed two officers charged with the financial management  of the program who were not doing a good job.

Auditors recommended TRICOR work with the state’s financial experts to help find a better way to manage their program.

State Comptroller Justin Wilson will appear next week at a legislative hearing to present lawmakers with the audit findings.



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