Press Release from the Office of Sen. Brain Kelsey, R-Germantown, Nov. 16, 2011
(NASHVILLE, TN) November 16, 2011 State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) today announced the introduction of a bill that will increase the time served for those convicted of carjacking or especially aggravated burglary. Senate Bill 2153 adds carjacking and especially aggravated burglary to the list of crimes ineligible for parole. The “Truth in Sentencing” law requires convicts to serve a minimum of 85 percent of their pronounced sentence.
The legislation is the seventh in a series of announcements by Kelsey in his “12 for ’12” initiative for the next legislative session, which is set to reconvene January 10, 2012.
“Keeping people safe in their homes and cars is the most important role of government,” said Kelsey. “It is time we get serious about requiring those who commit really violent crimes to serve their full sentences.”
Especially aggravated burglary is a home or business invasion which results in a serious bodily injury. This is the worst and most violent type of burglary. Burglary rates in Memphis, in particular, are among the nation’s highest at over 13,000 offenses per year. Nearly one out of every two burglars in Tennessee will re-offend and be re-incarcerated within three years of his release. According to the Department of Corrections, Senate Bill 2135 will keep especially aggravated burglars in prison an extra three years. Therefore, it will save hundreds of families from violent home invasion. In addition, the bill will force carjackers to serve approximately an extra year.
“This bill will keep people safe and will not cost the state of Tennessee a penny,” added Kelsey. “The bill funds the increase in time served by providing for the early release of certain prisoners over the age of 65. Under Senate Bill 2153, no prisoner will be eligible for early release unless the prisoner has already served at least 15 years of his or her sentence and has no consecutive sentences to be served. Under the bill, no sexual offender will be eligible for early release.”
Kelsey explained, “We should be more concerned about carjackers and home invaders with guns than about ex-convicts who qualify for social security.”
According to a recent Department of Correction Research Brief, “Aging Prison Population in Tennessee,” the typical aging inmate is housed in a minimum restricted custody and has served 10 or more years of his sentence.