Report of the Vera Institute of Justice to the Tennessee Governor's Task Force on Sentencing and Recidivism Recommendations to the Public Safety Subcabinet


While the national prison population has begun to decline—and states around the country have achieved reductions in their prison populations, their recidivism rates, and their crime rates—Tennessee’s imprisonment rate has climbed 256 percent since 1981, its prison population grew by 0.4 percent in 2013, and its violent crime rate ranks among the top five U.S. states. In response to these issues, and with support from the Vera Institute of Justice and staff from the Governor’s Public Safety Subcabinet, Governor Bill Haslam created the Governor’s Task Force on Sentencing and Recidivism. The Vera report is an interim overview and analysis of the work of the task force as of June 2015, including impact projections from the recommendations on the Tennessee Department of Correction’s prison population, where available.