Tennessee Judge offers reduced sentences to county jail inmates who agree to free vasectomies or birth control implants
By: Chris Conte / Source: News Channel 5 / The Dawn News / July 19, 2017
Inmates in White County, TN will get reductions in jail time if they “voluntarily” agree to have a vasectomy or birth control implant, a program called “unconstitutional” by the ACLU.
On May 15, Judge Sam Benningfield signed a standing order that allows inmates to receive 30 days credit toward jail time if they undergo a birth control procedure. Women who participate are given a free Nexplanon implant in their arm, to prevent pregnancies for up to four years. Men are given a vasectomy, free of charge, by the TN Dept of Health.
County officials said 32 women have gotten the Nexplanon implant and 38 men were waiting to have the vasectomy procedure performed.
Judge Benningfield told NewsChannel 5 that he was trying to break a vicious cycle of repeat offenders who constantly come into his courtroom on drug related charges, subsequently can’t afford child support and have trouble finding jobs.
“I hope to encourage them to take personal responsibility and give them a chance, when they do get out, to not to be burdened with children. This gives them a chance to get on their feet and make something of themselves,” Judge Benningfield said in an interview.