Correctional Administrator Debra Kay Porter-Johnson

Correctional Administrator Debra Kay Porter-Johnson

Tennessee Department of Correction, Tennessee

End of Watch Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Add to My Heroes

Debra Kay Porter-Johnson

Correctional Administrator Debra Johnson was found murdered in her residence on the grounds of the West Tennessee State Penitentiary on August 7, 2019.

She was attacked by an inmate who then escaped from the facility using a tractor. The escapee, who was serving a sentence for aggravated kidnapping and rape, remained at large for five days before being taken into custody.

The suspect pled guilty to first-degree murder, burglary, aggravated sexual assault, and escape. He was sentenced to life without parole.

Administrator Johnson had served with the Tennessee Department of Correction for 38 years and started her career as a correctional officer. She was survived by three children, her mother, two sisters, one brother, and seven grandchildren.

In June 2020, the Tennessee Women for Prison was renamed the Debra K. Johnson Rehabilitation Center.


  • Age 64
  • Tour 38 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Weapon Person
  • Offender Apprehended

escape attempt, at home

Most Recent Reflection

View all 156 Reflections

Rest in heavenly peace on this your 1 anniversary in heaven

Mark Mottola

August 7, 2020

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.