Tennessee Prisons Full, Law Enforcement Coalition Seeks Higher Penalties for Some Crimes


A Tennessee public safety coalition is seeking increased penalties for some crimes even through the state’s prisons are full, The Tennessean reports. Tennessee has 5,000 convicted felons sitting in county jails because there is no room in state prisons. The Tennessee Department of Correction ran $20 million over budget last year. The coalition, which includes police chiefs, sheriffs and prosecutors, wants to improve prosecution of serial child sexual predators and to increase punishment for people who neglect children and commit computer crimes. All told, those new laws would require the state to spend a half million dollars more to pay for prison and jail beds. Says Nashville Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson, “We say what needs to be done. We can't say, 'Let's ignore it for right now because the prisons are overcrowded.' “

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