A number of new tough-on-crime laws are set to take effect in Tennessee starting Friday, July 1, the Chattanoogan reports. One law taking effect will require a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole —or the death sentence—for anyone convicted of first degree murder, rape or attempted rape and rape of a child. The legislation includes a “truth in sentencing” law requiring that people convicted of specific violent offenses serve 100 percent of their sentences before release, and a law restricting access to parole for convicted murderers who do not disclose the location of their victims’ remains.
Meanwhile, the Tennessee Department of Corrections has made a surprising maneuver, skipping over the legislature and seizing control over intensive felony supervision through the contract bid system, the Tenneesee Lookout reports. After his proposal to remove Community Corrections in a justice reform package in 2021 failed, lawmakers say that Governor Bill Lee’s administration so severely changed the services sought for in a grant proposal that it virtually eliminated the program through attrition and against the will of elected legislators.