Offender Health Care

The Tennessee Department of Correction has the responsibility for providing medical, mental health, dental and vision services to people incarcerated in Tennessee prisons. All offenders are afforded access to health care services. Offenders are provided orientation and the offender handbook regarding the procedures for obtaining medical services upon their intake into the prison facility. At each prison, trained professionals work hand in hand with security and other staff to ensure the health, safety and well being of the inmate population. The department's treatment model is a multi-disciplinary approach that includes physicians, nurses, dentists, ophthalmologists, psychiatrists, psychological examiners, social workers and other professionally trained staff.

In order to ensure that services meet the community standard of care and are cost efficient, the department instituted performance based monitoring. Performance based monitoring involves conducting extremely detailed and exhaustive reviews of offender treatment and health records.

Tennessee Code Annotated 10-7-504 provides that the medical records of individuals receiving medical treatment in state facilities or at the state's expense are confidential and are not open to inspection by members of the public. Information from an offender's health record is therefore not disclosed to third parties, verbally or in writing, except pursuant to appropriate written authorization from the patient, or as otherwise required by law, and in accordance with TDOC policies.

Clinical Services is organized into the Offices of Medical Services and Behavioral Health Services. For more information about offender health care and treatment, visit the other links provided below.