BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into the Saturday night death of a female inmate at the Sullivan County Jail.

The inmate has been identified as Jenna Marie Sims, 32. She was being held on a charge of violation of probation, according to TBI spokesman Josh Devine.

District Attorney General Barry Staubus asked the state agency to handle the investigation, Devine said.

The cause of death remains under investigation, and autopsy results are pending.

The Sullivan County Jail has encountered significant overcrowding issues for a number of years and recently reported holding more than 1,000 inmates in its two Blountville facilities, which are rated to hold a combined 619


A July 31 Tennessee Department of Corrections report shows the jail held a combined 997 prisoners on that date. Following a recent state inspection, jail officials removed all female prisoners from the jail annex and now house the entire female population inside the main jail, according to the state report.

Just last week county leaders were presented with two conceptual designs to expand the jail facilities, which could cost between $40 million and $70 million.

Sign up for Email Alerts

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Recommended for you

Welcome to the Conversation

No name-calling, personal insults or threats. No attacks based on race, gender, ethnicity, etc. No writing with your caps lock on – it's screaming. Keep on topic and under 1,500 characters. No profanity or vulgarity. Stay G- or PG-rated.
Load comments