We’re excited to partner with Silverdale Detention Center in Hamilton Co. to offer electronic grievance filing! Through this partnership we look to create an efficient and accessible way for grievances and requests to be addressed. Inmates can now file grievances to report safety issues, incompatibility matters with other inmates, complaints, or other various concerns inmates may have regarding their incarceration.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Current inmates at the SIlverdale Detention Center in Hamilton County now have a new way to file a grievance.
The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) on Wednesday announced the installation of new VendEngine kiosks throughout the detention center.
Before this system, inmates filed grievances, medical requests, and commissary orders on paper forms. HCSO says this cumbersome process, although acceptable, required additional support and efforts by corrections personnel to gather, review, and respond to each inmate grievance or request filed.
HCSO says the installation of these new kiosks brings the Silverdale Detention Center up to the same standards and process currently used in the Hamilton County Jail by means of VendEngine kiosks which are operated under a contract with Blind Vendor Enterprises.
With over a thousand inmates in HCSO’s custody at Silverdale at any given time, HCSO says it’s “very important” to have an efficient and accessible way for grievances and requests to be addressed. Inmates can file grievances to report safety issues, incompatibility matters with other inmates, complaints, or other various concerns inmates may have regarding their incarceration.
HCSO says its Corrections Division personnel ensure each grievance or request is taken seriously and responded to in a reasonable period of time.
Family members of inmates are also able to load money into those kiosks for inmates to use to buy additional food and snack items such as chips, coffee, dried meats, candy bars, beverages, or other approved snack items. Commissary items also include non-food related items like radios, over-the-counter medications, fans, hygiene products, batteries, stamps, and clothing items.
HCSO says its inmate commissary is operated by the Blind Vendors Association via a contract with Tennessee Business Enterprises in accordance with Tennessee state law. All proceeds from the HCSO inmate commissary benefit the Blind Vendors Association.
HCSO says it provides medical care to inmates at Silverdale Detention Center via a contract with Quality Correctional Health Care (QCHC) and dental services with local dentists who contract directly with the HCSO. If an inmate isn’t feeling well, suffering from an ailment, or needs medical attention, HCSO says “it is important to ensure they have an efficient way of requesting healthcare related assistance in a timely fashion.” HCSO says the new kiosks will let inmates make medical requests directly to corrections and medical staff thus allowing them to schedule labs, mental health visits, and physician appointments.
“By installing these new digital kiosks throughout our Silverdale facility, we are offering a better, more efficient way to address inmate requests and concerns in a fair and equitable manner. This new service is one of the many technological upgrades our Information Systems and Corrections personnel have been diligently working on in order to bring Silverdale up to our agency standards,” said Sheriff Jim Hammond.
An HCSO release says this process is more efficient for both the inmate and our corrections personnel, offers better accountability and transparency, and reduces additional personnel needs for processing. In order to ensure accessibility, each housing unit has at least one kiosk for inmates to utilize as needed.
“Utilizing an electronic filing system for inmate grievances and other various operational requests creates an atmosphere of accountability and supports the needs of our inmate population. Installing this new system allows for improved transparency at the Silverdale Detention Center at a level that was previously not available,” said Chief Deputy Austin Garrett.