Tornado Destroys Tennessee State Penitentiary Overnight

Overnight, a powerful storm swept through Nashville, Tennessee, causing at least two tornados that have resulted in the loss of 19 lives and significant damage to many buildings in the region. Among the buildings damaged is the historic Tennessee State Penitentiary, which was partly destroyed.

The state prison, situated along the Cockrill Bend of the Cumberland River northwest of the city, had been in operation from 1831 to 1992. The 800-cell facility was modeled after the Auburn Prison in Auburn, New York, and was notorious for its severe overcrowding issues, which led to numerous riots and disturbances over the years. It was eventually shut down after widespread riots and lawsuits that forced the construction of more modern facilities.

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