Tennessee Task Force May Opt For Extending Prison Sentences

Posted at 6:48 AM, Jul 21, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A task force appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to look at prison sentencing is considering recommendations for longer prison terms.

The enhanced penalties under consideration would boost the prison population in Tennessee by 4 percent over a five-year period, according to a report by Vera Institute of Justice that the newspaper has obtained.

Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security communications director Jennifer Donnals says the governor's task force has been at work for a year and could reveal its recommendations as early as next month.

Metropolitan public defender for Nashville-Davidson County Dawn Deaner says longer sentences would be unwise given the facts that the state has prisons at capacity, is struggling to control incarceration costs and is dealing with a shortage of correctional officers.

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)