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Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signs criminal justice reform bills

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee to sign criminal justice reform bills (FOX 17 News)
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee to sign criminal justice reform bills (FOX 17 News)
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Governor Bill Lee on Monday signed his criminal justice reform bill.

RELATED: As TN moves forward in criminal justice reform, some question bills on nonviolent crimes

The hope is to reduce the crime rate in the Volunteer State and keep people out of prison.

Lee is slated to sign two bills in a ceremony Monday. Both were passed by the State Legislature in April.

The first bill is called the Alternatives to Incarceration Act.

The bill replaces the Tennessee Community Act of 1985 and helps local governments look for community-based alternatives to prison.

It also puts caps on the duration of probation and stops a judge from “revoking probation based on one instance of technical violation.”

The other is the governor's Re-Entry Success Act. Its goal is to help prisoners once they have been released.

The bill decreases the amount of time between parole hearings, creates mandatory supervision programs for people getting released from prison and makes it easier for a former convict to apply for any sort of license, certificate or registration.

“Gov. Lee and the General Assembly made criminal justice reform a priority, recognizing that inmates often need programming while incarcerated in order to be successful in navigating their lives post release,” OCJP Director Jennifer Brinkman said. “We know that there can be many barriers, including financial, to a local jail being able to start or scale such programming. This grant, in addition to the enhanced reimbursement, is designed to address that challenge.”

Tennessee’s Office of Criminal Justice Programs (OCJP) is taking applications for local jail grants for Re-Entry Success Act. Click here to apply.

Both pieces of legislation will take effect on July 1.

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