Barriers prevent societal re-entry after incarceration

One out of every 40 Tennesseans is either incarcerated, on probation or on parole. Dignity, humanity and rights to basic necessities should not be permanently stripped by past incarceration.

Op-Ed (Tennessee)

Tennessean, The
May 12, 2016

Tags: Criminal Justice, Criminal Records, Reentry

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands


As a civil legal aid lawyer assisting Mr. White and others like him, I see that the fallout from these barriers lands on the shoulders of all Tennesseans.

Obstacles to housing and employment often push people back into a life of crime, a reality that is reflected by our state’s 46 percent recidivism rate. And when people re-enter the criminal justice system, taxpayers foot the bill. For example, the Department of Corrections’ budget has grown more than a third since 2009 and now costs taxpayers nearly a billion dollars each year. Local jail populations have also increased in recent years, straining budgets meant for schools, teachers and roads.