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Two new Tennessee laws help people stay out of prison

The focus is on keeping people out of prison

The Alternatives to Incarceration Act and the Re-Entry Success Act took effect on the 1st of July in Tennessee. These much-needed laws are meant to resolve longstanding problems of incarceration by helping people stay out of prison. They offer a more compassionate approach to criminal justice since the two laws aim to place a cap on the duration of probation, limit reincarceration for technical violations, and remove obstacles for people with criminal histories when it comes to getting a job.


"You have an individual who might be employed, have a family, removing them from the economy, removing them from their community, and removing them from their family - all come with a cost. That comes with a human cost," - Julie Warren, a senior member of Beacon Center for Tennessee


The Re-entry Success Act and Alternatives to Incarceration Act

Sabrina Maggiore's article highlights the most important implications of the two laws. The Re-entry Success Act decreases the amount of time between parole hearings and creates mandatory supervision programs for individuals released from prison. Warren also added that former laws allowed incarcerated people to receive training, but prevented them from using their knowledge after incarceration due to licensure being prohibited because of their record. However, the Re-entry Success Act aims to tackle this issue by allowing formerly incarcerated people to obtain a variety of occupational licenses.


"You could even have a situation where a person received training in the Department of Correction facilities to be a barber or a cosmetologist, just to then have the cosmetology board tell you you're not eligible for a license based on a morality clause," says Warren.

The Alternatives to Incarceration Act aims to help governments find community-based alternatives to prison. It also includes implementing time limits for probation and limiting jail time for technical violations.

Read Sabrina Maggiore's full article here: bit.ly/newtennesseelaws

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