The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee is freedom’s watchdog, challenging government abuse of rights and fighting for fairness in our laws and their enforcement. We are dedicated to translating the guarantees of the Bill of Rights into reality for all Tennesseans through community education, legislative lobbying, advocacy and litigation.
Who we are
The Beacon Center of Tennessee is a limited government nonprofit that empowers Tennesseans to reclaim control of their lives, so that they can freely pursue their version of the American Dream.
The Tennessee Association of Goodwills works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work.
The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce is Middle Tennessee’s largest business federation, representing more than 2,200 member companies. Together with its affiliates, the Nashville Chamber works to strengthen the region’s business climate and to enhance Nashville’s position as a desirable place to live, work and visit.
The Tennessee County Services Association (TCSA) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group representing counties. TCSA is an umbrella organization made up of three affiliate associations – The Association of County Mayors (ACM), The Tennessee County Commissioner’s Association (TCCA), and The Tennessee County Highway Officials Association (TCHOA). This combined membership represents over 1,800 elected and appointed officials of both the executive and legislative branches of county government.
Public safety should be the paramount concern of any criminal justice system; however, criminal law should be reserved for conduct that threatens public safety, not wielded to grow government and undermine economic freedom.
Criminal justice should be efficient and place as small a burden on taxpayers as possible, while maintaining strong protections for public safety.
Policies and evidence-based programs that address the root causes of crime and keep juveniles from entering the criminal justice system in the first place are critical to ensuring a better return on crime reduction dollars for Tennessee taxpayers.
Most prisoners will return to their communities and therefore, in preparation, they should receive educational opportunities, such as high school equivalency certificates, and also learn specific trades and skill sets. To promote re-entry and prevent recidivism, we should provide educational and workplace readiness opportunities to encourage their full re-integration into society.
A central goal should be to convert all released prisoners into taxpayers and productive members of society. To that end, the criminal justice system should emphasize public safety, personal responsibility, workforce readiness, restitution, community service, and treatment—while in prison and during probation and parole.
Transparency & accountability
As with any government program, the criminal justice system must be transparent and include performance measures that hold it accountable for its results in protecting the public, lowering crime rates, reducing re-offending, collecting victim restitution, and conserving taxpayers’ money.
The following are Signatories to our Statement of Principles