Overview of Tennessee
Tennessee has the twelfth highest incarceration rate in the nation. The state spends over $1 billion to oversee its 107,000 justice-involved people. A record-high felon population has brought the state corrections system to 94% capacity. Recidivism and community supervision revocations both contribute substantially to this growing problem, with 47% of offenders recidivating within three years of release. Supervision revocations have consistently made up nearly 40% of prison admissions over the last decade.
There are 58,000 Tennesseans on felony probation and 11,000 on parole. Another 8,000 people are in community corrections programs, which are locally operated. Probation and parole are both administered directly by the Department of Corrections (TDOC). People who were on community supervision have higher recidivism, with 50% of parolees and 60% of probationers recidivating. Overall, community supervision has a completion rate of 60%, routing 40% of supervised people back into jail, prison, or diversion programs. At the same time, supervision caseloads are increasing. There is high officer turnover, and it is challenging to hire new probation and parole officers due to low pay.
Breakdown of Parole and Probation Authority
We propose a performance incentive funding model that offers localized incentives to the district and field offices working directly with parole and probationers. Our basic funding model looks like this:
We estimate that adopting this model will avert over 12,000 people from being re-incarcerated over the next decade and save the state nearly twelve million dollars annually.
Costs Per Supervisee or Inmate