It is highly unlikely that Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen will allow the release of 4,000 robbers and drug dealers from state prisons to save money, says Gail Kerr, columnist for The Tennessean. Verna Wyatt opposes the proposal; she runs victims rights organization started by Bredesen’s wife, Andrea Conte, who was brutally attacked and kidnapped in a parking lot in 1989.
Said Wyatt: “They get out, and they re-offend. They are turning the lives of victims upside down. The victims are going to need support. The offender is going to go back into the system. All of that mess is going to cost the state more money.” Nashville Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas is in a statewide coalition of law enforcement pushing for tougher sentences. In Nashville alone, 14,383 repeat offenders were arrested in the last 12 months. “Take a look at the victims produced by these 14,000 repeat offenders who are already part of the revolving door of Tennessee sentencing,” Serpas said. “To add more to this is simply frightening.”