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Despite data, TN not declaring prison overcrowding emergency

Dave Boucher and Tom Wilemon, The Tennessean • Updated Aug 9, 2015 at 9:33 PM

The Tennessee prison system is at a capacity level that could allow the governor to declare an overcrowding emergency, giving him and other state officials the power to reduce the number of inmates to a safer level, according to data obtained by The Tennessean.

Despite that data — and a shortage of correctional officers — the head of the Department of Correction and Gov. Bill Haslam say no overcrowding emergency exists.

As of June 30, the prison system was operating at 98.5 percent capacity, with 95.1 percent of total beds filled. State law says if the in-house prison capacity exceeds 95 percent for more than 30 days, the commissioner can ask the governor to declare an overcrowding emergency.

Read more from our news media partners at The Tennessean.

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