Benningfield says his decision followed conversations with the health department, and that he hopes offenders will “make something of themselves.” He claims that too many “drug addicts” have come to him unable to pay court-mandated child support. “I understand it won’t be entirely successful but if you reach two or three people, maybe that’s two or three kids not being born under the influence of drugs. I see it as a win, win.”

A win-win for whom? For a young man who on the spur of the moment and for understandable reasons wants to get out of jail but decades down the line finds himself unable to have a family? For a young woman unaware of the long-term consequences for her fertility posed by having an implant? For the taxpayers of Tennessee who would rather pay for one snip or rod than look after children and the poor and the marginalized? For the children who will now never be born?