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Personally, I agree with true sentencing laws which require violent felons to carry out 100% of their sentencing. I also like the 3 strikes your out laws. I don’t think that violent offenders should get any slack. With that being said, I do think non-violent  possible should have some sort of break or giving a second chance (depending on their crime)

What policies have been implemented by the criminal justice system to deal with career criminals and chronic offenders in your state? 

Here in Tennessee, according to the Prison Policy Initiative (Wagner & Sawyer , 2018) Tennessee locks up more of its own people than 37 other states. In fact, the Volunteer State’s incarceration rate is 20% higher than the national average. If it were its own country, Tennessee would have a higher incarceration rate than Russia and China combined.

Gov. Bill Lee  introduced significant criminal justice reform legislation. The common-sense proposals would establish alternatives to incarceration for low-level, nonviolent offenders, and reform the state’s probation and parole systems.

He also signed the Re-entry Success Act which creates a supervision program for people getting out of prison and reduces liability for employers who are hiring people with a criminal record. 

Do you think these attempts have been successful? 

 I personally think this could actually land more people in prison. The Governor is trying to do criminal justice reform, I just don’t think that it is working. I am a firm believer “in you do the crime, you do the time”. Think Bill Lee is trying to go forward, but just like with any reform in criminal justice, you can’t please everyone. 

What ideas do you have about how the system should handle career criminals?

I think that every state should have truth sequencing laws. I agree that violent felonies should have to complete 100% of their sentencing. I also agree with 3 strikes and you’re out laws. 


 Career criminals are different in many aspects. Some or violent like murderers and rapists, and some commit their crimes using a computer. Many career criminals start their law breaking at an early age. Most learn from family members and people they look up to. Society as a whole need to tackle this problem and help juveniles while their life can still be changed and not have a record their entire life. Public schools need to implement more classes and training for teenagers to help learn the way of life without needing to break the law. Also, the system needs to help more with repeat offenders. If committing crimes is all a person knows, as soon as they get out of prison they are going right back to their old ways. Society needs more programs to help people released from prison to get back on their feet without the need commit more crimes to make their way of living. 

         I live in the state of Mississippi. According to, Mississippi has an incarceration rate of 1,031 per 100,000 people. This roughly equates to 29,000 people are currently locked up. At least 84,000 different people are locked up year. Mississippi currently ranks in the top percentage of incarceration across the country. The national average is 664 per 100,000 people. According to, the recidivism rate for Mississippi is 33%. One way Mississippi handles career criminals is by ensuing habitual offender sentences. One sentence is the “little habitual law”. This refers to someone who has two prior convictions will serve the maximum sentence for their next felony. The other sentence is the ” big habitual law.” The refers to someone who commits a violent felony with two prior convictions will receive a life sentence without the possibility of parole. 

       I do not think these habitual laws are helping to temper the criminal rates. Mississippi still has the highest incarnation rate, and it does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. I think Mississippi needs to implement more programs while a perpetrator is in prison to help them learn trades and be able to make something of themself after they are released from prison. Mississippi needs to implement more programs in public schools to help deter juveniles from entering the criminal world and this may help lower the adult incarceration rates of Mississippi as a whole. 

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