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Tennessee Prisoner Escapes Privatized Medical Jail Care to Obtain Surgery

To obtain needed surgery, a prisoner escaped from Tennessee’s Trousdale County Jail (TCJ).

Prior to being booked into TCJ to serve a probation violation sentence, Don R. White, Jr. 31, was scheduled for hernia surgery.

“When I walked in, I had my papers showing I had to have surgery, and nobody ever helped me”, he said.

White submitted three or four medical requests and was in such apparent destress that guards also submitted a couple.  Yet he was not seen by a doctor.  “I lost 10 or 11 pounds in a week, just puking”, he said.

With no help coming from TCJ’s medical contractor, Quality Correctional Healthcare, Whit took matters into his own hands by escaping during a recreational period.

“I should never have done it, but I got two kids, and I wasn’t going to lie back there and die”, he said.

After freeing himself from custody, White walked to a friend’s house and was taken to a hospital and admitted for surgery.  “They asked me why did I wait so long to come because they knew I was in a lot of pain, but I couldn’t tell them the real reason”, said White.

A local news channel, who was obligated to report White to Sheriff Ray Russell as a fugitive, aired the story.  “I actually talked to the sheriff and told him I was going to turn myself back in”, said White.  Russell confirmed that the conversation occurred.  Once back in jail, White was charged with felony escape. 


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