criminal justice | Nashville Public Radio

criminal justice

Chas Sisk / WPLN

A faith-based group in Nashville that aims to reduce recidivism officially opened a new campus in Antioch Tuesday, nearly a decade after first proposing the complex in another part of Davidson County.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN



The story of Matthew Charles, a Nashville man sent back to prison after being released for more than two years, has become something of a cause celeb, bringing pleas for his clemency all the way to the Oval Office.

Matthew Charles
Julie Martinelli / WPLN

A campaign seeking the release of a Nashville man from prison is flourishing on social media in the week following WPLN's report on Matthew Charles's case. Charles was released early in 2016, but a higher court later ruled his sentence reduction was a mistake and ordered him back behind bars.

Matthew Charles
Julie Martinelli / WPLN

When a Nashville man named Matthew Charles was released from prison early in 2016 after a sentence reduction, he’d spent almost half his life behind bars. But in a rare move, a federal court ruled his term was reduced in error and ordered him back behind bars to finish his sentence.

TN Photo Services

Gov. Bill Haslam is on the verge of signing a measure called the Juvenile Justice Reform Act, which was supposed to bring about major changes to how Tennessee handles young people who misbehave.

But some who worked on the measure say, after state lawmakers made last-minute changes, it's coming up far short of its promise.

Meribah Knight / WPLN

Nashville's Police Department is hoping that a recent daylong diversity tour will help its newest cadets be better, more empathic officers. Zigzagging the city last week, the recruits heard from the Muslim community, immigrant groups, African American students and LGBTQ leaders. 

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

Matthew Charles understands patience. Twenty years in prison will do that.

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.