Carter County jail passes state inspection with no deficiencies for second year in a row

ELIZABETHTON – Carter County Sheriff Mike Fraley is pleased to announce that the Carter County Detention Center has passed its annual state inspection with no deficiencies found for the second year in a row.

On April 3, officials with the Tennessee Corrections Institute conducted their annual surprise inspection of the facility. After completing the inspection and speaking with staff the TCI issued a report stating that no deficiencies had been found at the facility.

“I am proud of our Jail Administrator Capt. Matt Patterson and his staff,” Sheriff Fraley said. “They have worked incredibly hard to not only bring this facility up to the standards set by the state to maintain that high standard of professionalism in the operation and maintenance of the facility.”

Back-to-back annual inspections with no deficiencies found mark a vastly different situation than existed at the jail when Sheriff Fraley took office.

In 2022, the jail facility failed its initial inspection by the state, largely due to safety concerns because of the staffing shortage the facility was operating with at the time.

“Nine days after I took office in 2022, the Tennessee Corrections Institute performed their follow-up inspection and recommended that the facility be decertified by the state,” Fraley said. “Between that inspection in September of 2022 and the TCI Board meeting in December of that year, our staff had made progress on the staffing issue, largely due to the support of the Carter County Commission and their decision to fund a life-changing $5 per hour raise for our employees. During that December meeting, the TCI Board granted us certification for another year.”

Sheriff Fraley said Captain Patterson and his staff began the difficult work of turning the facility completely around from the direction it had previously been heading, including work to retain and recruit staff while addressing the maintenance needs of the jail itself.

In June of 2023, TCI officials conducted the annual inspection and the facility passed with no deficiencies found.

“The 2023 inspection was a validation of the hard work and dedication of our staff,” Sheriff Fraley said. “That inspection marked the first time in the history of the jail that it had ever made it through an inspection with no deficiencies found at all.”

“Now this year, Captain Patterson and his staff have repeated that historic accomplishment by passing once again with no deficiencies found during the inspection,” Sheriff Fraley added. “To say that I am extremely proud of him and his staff and grateful for their dedication does not begin to cover it.