criminal justice | Nashville Public Radio

criminal justice

Michael Coghlan / Flickr

A new study on the relationship between childhood poverty and how likely someone is to be imprisoned later contains an eyebrow-raising statistic about one Nashville neighborhood. 


As part of Mayor Megan Barry’s plea deal, she will have to serve three years of unsupervised probation.

And once that’s over? The Mayor may end up with a clean record.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

Getting arrested anywhere is expensive. Defendants often have to deal with court costs, legal fees, restitution and fines. In Nashville, it can be even costlier.

But that could change today, after Metro Council members vote to do away with the city’s “jail fee” for misdemeanor arrests — the $44 billed to defendants for every day they sit in a Metro jail waiting to see a judge.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN


Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin says Tennessee is about a decade ahead of his home state on many fronts, especially economically — but Kentucky’s neighbor to the south could learn something when it comes to changing how the state deals with prisoners.

Tennessee law allows judges to send people charged with crimes to a state prison — in solitary confinement — while they're waiting for a trial. Sometimes it's because they were deemed violent, but they can also be put away because they have a medical or mental health issue that the county jail can’t accommodate.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to change a law that blocks people with criminal records from getting licensed for certain jobs.

Rachael Voorhees / via Flickr Creative Commons


The War on Drugs was the catalyst for a number of new laws aimed at curbing the illegal sale and use of narcotics across the U.S. “Drug-free school zones” were born from this movement and adopted widely in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with the goal of protecting innocent children from predatory drug dealers who might seek them out in public places.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN


A Nashville man facing another decade in prison, a year and a half after his release, will not receive leniency from the federal prosecutor’s office.


This morning, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, Donald Cochran, officially declined to modify the government's position on Matthew Charles' resentencing.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Governor Bill Haslam presented a limited agenda Monday night, in an unusually reflective and retrospective State of the State speech.

In his final statewide address as governor, Haslam spent most of his time highlighting what he sees as his successes, including low unemployment and an improving education system. But as for new proposals — there weren't very many.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

A Nashville man facing another decade in prison, a year and a half after his release, may be able to continue his life on the outside.