David Raybin drafted the July 29, 2015 letter which TACDL sent to the Chair and Members of the Governor’s Task Force which will have its final meeting in Nashville on August 6, 2015. The Governor’s Task Force is considering recommendations for the first major revision of our sentencing laws in 20 years. The letter ( TACDL letter to TASK FORCE 7.29.2015) notes that the cost of incarceration in Tennessee is now staggering. It costs Tennesseans nearly a billion dollars a year to keep people incarcerated in state prisons and local jails. The number of imprisoned people in the Tennessee Department of Correction on June 30, 2014 included 21,246 offenders and over 8,000 people are locked up in local jails all over the state. We now incarcerate more people in Tennessee than does the entire continent of Australia with four times the population.
TACDL applauds the revision of sentencing laws, but the process should be accomplished in consultation with all appropriate stakeholders. Only in that fashion can we achieve a result which is fair, effective, cost efficient, and supported by the public.
The Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL) is a non-profit statewide organization with nearly 1000 members, including private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, and law professors. Founded in 1973, TACDL is the state’s leading organization advancing the mission of criminal defense lawyers to protect the individual rights guaranteed by the United States and Tennessee Constitutions in criminal cases. TACDL is committed to advocating fair and effective criminal justice in the courts and the legislature. TACDL is an affiliate of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).