Legislation bans diversions for abuse and neglect

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State Capitol at night. (photo: www.capitol.tn.gov)

Senate approves legislation sponsored by Sen. Yager to end pre-trial diversion for domestic assault and child abuse, neglect and endangerment

(NASHVILLE, TN) March 4, 2016 – The Senate approved legislation sponsored by Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) this week which adds domestic assault and child abuse, neglect and endangerment to the list of offenses in Tennessee for which pretrial diversion is not permitted.

Pre-trial diversion is the process in which the prosecutor halts the case against a defendant if he or she meets certain conditions like probation, counseling and community service, among others.  If approved by the judge, the defendant walks out of the courtroom a free man or woman and the record is expunged in two years if there are no more infractions.

“Certain crimes don’t deserve this privilege,” said Senator Yager.  “Wife beaters and child abusers need jail time not diversion.”

“These crimes are intentional crimes usually committed by someone in authority, like a spouse or a parent, for example,” added Yager.  “They are violent crimes against a person and statistics demonstrate that these perpetrators have usually abused someone multiple times before being apprehended.”

Senate Bill 1564 now goes to Governor Bill Haslam for his signature.  Upon his signature, the legislation would become effective on July 1.

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