State of Tennessee Department of Corrections
Gresham Smith / Gould Turner
Riverbend Maximum Security Institution opened in 1989 and replaced its 100 year-old neighbor, the Tennessee State Penitentiary. Today, it’s billed as one of the state’s most high-tech facilities. It is made up of 20 different buildings with approximately 320,000 square feet of operating space, sits on 132 acres located off Cockrill Bend Boulevard. Riverbend’s designated capacity is 714 offenders. Of that number, 480 are classified as high risk.
In addition to housing the majority of the state’s male death row inmates, Riverbend is also home to approximately 600 maximum and medium security inmates. Education programs at the prison include GED and Adult Basic Education. There are also vocational classes available for printing, commercial cleaning, residential construction, cabinet making/millwork, computer information systems and print shop at the prison. Inmates not involved in academic vocation, or industry programs are required to work in support service roles throughout the facility.