Safety of Inmates

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Under the common law the sheriff and his jailer have a duty to treat prisoners "kindly and humanely." See State ex rel. Morris v. National Surety Co., 39 S.W.2d 581 (Tenn. 1931); Hale v. Johnston, 203 S.W. 949 (Tenn. 1918). See also Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections v. Kliesmet, 564 N.W.2d 742, 746 (Wis. 1997) (The duty of sheriffs to maintain a safe jail was recognized at common law.). Moreover, the sheriff has a constitutional duty to protect inmates from violence at the hands of other inmates and guards. “[W]hen the State takes a person into its custody and holds him there against his will, the Constitution imposes upon it a corresponding duty to assume some responsibility for his safety and general well-being.” DeShaney v. Winnebago County Dept. of Social Services, 489 U.S. 189, 199-200, 109 S.Ct. 998, 1005, 103 L.Ed.2d 249 (1989).

Facilities shall provide for regularly scheduled disposal of liquid, solid, and hazardous material complying with applicable government regulations.  Rules of the Tennessee Corrections Institute, Rule 1400-1-.09(4).

Facilities shall provide for control of vermin and pests and shall remove inmates from treatment areas if there is a risk of illness.  Rules of the Tennessee Corrections Institute, Rule 1400-1-.09(5).

Inmate housing and temporary holding area walls shall be kept clean and free of pictures or other objects which provide hiding places for vermin or create a fire hazard.  Rules of the Tennessee Corrections Institute, Rule 1400-1-.09(6).

All walls, ceilings, floors, showers, and toilets shall be kept free from mold and mildew.  Rules of the Tennessee Corrections Institute, Rule 1400-1-.09(7).