NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The top three wardens at the state’s second-largest prison for women have each been demoted or retired after investigators found multiple problems with how the Nashville facility was being run.

An investigation at the Tennessee Prison for Women revealed mandatory positions were going unstaffed, medication was not distributed in a timely manner and officers allowed high-security inmates to have improper contact, The Tennessean reported (

At least two health administrators who work for a private vendor were also removed, the Tennessee Department of Correction said in a statement Thursday.

“The work associated with our department is not easy and directly effects public safety,” Corrections Commissioner Tony Parker said. “We will continue to monitor all aspects of our operations and build on our accomplishments and take corrective action when necessary to address areas of non-compliance.”

Warden Carolyn Jordan is being demoted to associate warden, Associate Warden Carolyn Benford has retired and Associate Warden Pat Ryan was demoted to correctional unit manager, said department spokeswoman Neysa Taylor.

The agency concluded officers and a vendor did not do enough to ensure the timely issuance of medication at the facility.

“While medication issuance is a medical contract vendor issue, the leadership of the facility failed to manage corrective action in a timely manner,” the department said.

In what officials considered a serious violation, the agency said staff at the facility also allowed two inmates who are classified as the most dangerous type of offenders to come into contact with one another.

The Tennessean reported on Tuesday that the three wardens had been on leave amid “concerns” about their leadership.

The prison housed 798 inmates as of Sept. 30.

This story has been corrected to show that the Tennessee Prison for Women is now the state’s second largest prison for women, not the largest.

Information from: The Tennessean,

VIAThe Associated Press
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.