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Regional & National

3,500 TN felons, even killers, have phoned-in supervision

July 25th, 2011 11:44 am by Brian Haas

NASHVILLE — He was convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of a man in a Nashville Kroger parking lot, beating an ex-girlfriend and possessing cocaine. And, when released on parole, he was arrested at least six times in his first 2½ years of supervision.

Yet somehow, the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole deemed Anthony Ussery, 30, a perfect candidate for a new supervisory system in which criminal offenders are allowed to make a monthly call to a computerized telephone menu instead of dealing directly with a parole officer.

To alleviate crushing caseloads that have hurt the agency’s ability to supervise criminals, the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole over the past 19 months has shifted nearly 3,500 felons to the telephone supervision system.

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