Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary

You don’t usually think of a prison as a good vacation destination, especially like Brushy Mountain State Prison. For more than a century, the worst of the worst of the worst criminals were sent there. But of course it was closed in 2009. Now, it’s re-opened not for inmates, but for tourists. Join Nashville Public Television and Tennessee Crossroads to see at this once infamous lock-up.


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You don't usually think of a prison as a good vacation destination, especially on like Brushy Mountain State Prison. For more than a century, the worst of the worst of the worst criminals were sent there. But of course it was closed in 2009. Now, it's re-opened not for inmates, but for tourists. Rob Wilds takes a look at this once infamous lock-up.

Rob Wilds has been a part of the Tennessee Crossroads family since 1993. As one of our most frequent producers, and the recipient of several journalism awards throughout his various careers, Rob finds that the best reward for his work is meeting the fascinating people and visiting the interesting places he encounters in his travels. A presence in television, radio and print reporter for more than 20 years, Rob is a teacher, writer, producer and director as well as an actor (with appearances in feature films, television shows and on stage).

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