Tennessee’s incarceration rate rises above national average

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL/WTVC) – Tennessee’s incarceration rate is above the national average, with the prison population growing by nearly 400% in the last four decades, according to a new report by the Crime and Justice Institute.

ABC-affiliate WTVC in Chattanooga reports the information was commissioned by Governor Bill Lee as part of his efforts on criminal justice reform.

The report found that in 2017, Tennessee had a 10% higher incarceration rate than the U.S. average with 429 inmates per 100,000 residents.

That year, Tennessee corrections saw milestone spending with the state surpassing 1 billion dollars for the first time.

The report also found that not only is the incarceration rate higher, but inmates are staying longer. Time served has grown more than 20% overall.

Governor Lee has created a task force to reduce the number of inmates who re-offend while improving public safety.

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