Press Release

FAMM releases statement following Tennessee House Criminal Justice Committee vote

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FAMM releases statement following Tennessee House Criminal Justice Committee vote
Proposed bill would cost nearly $500 million to construct a new prison 

NASHVILLE – FAMM’s Tennessee State Director Matthew Charles released the following statement following a vote in the Tennessee House Criminal Justice Committee to approve a bill that will create a “three strikes” law in Tennessee.

“Tennessee already has a three strikes law, and it isn’t stopping or reducing crime,” Charles said. “Passing a new three strikes law that is even worse isn’t going to improve public safety. This bill is nothing more than tough on crime posturing on the taxpayer’s dime. But in this case, those dimes add up to half a billion dollars in new prison construction. This bill isn’t good for anyone except people who hold stock in private prison companies.”

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

For more than 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 has led the fight to reform extreme mandatory sentencing laws and to promote rehabilitation and dignity for all people in prison, 94 percent of whom 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.