Press Release

FAMM reacts to Tennessee Lawmakers’ latest decision on sentencing bill

For Media Inquiries:John Norton,

 FAMM reacts to Tennessee Lawmakers’ latest decision on sentencing bill 

NASHVILLE – FAMM’s Tennessee State Director Matthew Charles released the following statement after the Tennessee General Assembly failed to pass a new “three strikes” law.

“The Tennessee General Assembly was wise to let an expansion of their three strikes law die during this legislative session,” said Charles. “There is no evidence the current three strikes law has helped reduce crime, so doubling down on that policy was ill-advised.

“Making matters worse, the proposed bill would have required Tennessee’s taxpayers to spend an eye-popping $500 million building a new prison. The only people to benefit would be shareholders of private prison companies. Going forward I hope lawmakers look for smarter ways to fight crime, because headline-grabbing tough on crime sentencing policies have never proven to be effective in actually making communities safer.”

The proposed bill would require $446 million to build, staff, and operate a new prison within five years, a 35% increase for a Tennessee Department of Correction budget that is already $1.26 billion annually.

For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending an inflexible and draconian punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies at the state and federal levels and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.


FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safely reduce incarceration, save taxpayer dollars, and keep families together. Founded in 1991, FAMM has secured bold sentencing and prison reform across the country while elevating the voices of directly impacted individuals and families. | | @FAMMFoundation

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