Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed two major criminal justice reform bills into law Monday.
The Alternatives to Incarceration Act, which replaces the Tennessee Community Act of 1985, places a cap on the duration of probation. It is meant to help local governments find alternatives to prison. The Re-Entry Success Act decreases the amount of time between parole hearings and creates mandatory supervision programs for individuals released from prison. The act is also supposed to make it easier for former convicts to apply for licenses, certificates or registration.
Both pieces of legislation were passed in April. Lee has stated that he believes the bills will result in a lower incarceration rate and a lower crime rate in Tennessee.
As part of the Re-Entry Success Act, grants will be made available for local jails. Tennessee’s Office of Criminal Justice Programs is now taking applications for these grants, which are meant to “improve the likelihood of successful integration back into the community following release.”
Both the Alternatives to Incarceration Act and the Re-Entry Success Act will take effect on July 1.