Approved Budget Includes Funding For New Recovery Courts

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) will create nine “recovery courts” to combat mental health and substance abuse issues in Tennessee. 

Recovery courts are specialized courts or court calendars that incorporate intensive judicial supervision, treatment services, sanctions, and incentives to address the needs of addicted nonviolent offenders, and the approved Fiscal Year 2013-2014 budget included $1.

56 million for the nine new courts. 

The courts that will be created through this funding will combine the services currently found in drug courts with those of mental health courts and veterans courts. Around the nation, most of these kinds of courts exist separately, but in Tennessee, the services will be integrated in an effort to combine similar issues of mental health, substance abuse, and veterans affairs in one location and to best utilize the available funds. 

“We are facing a major prescription drug problem in our state,” TDMHSAS Commissioner Douglas Varney said. “We need to focus all of our resources in the most efficient, effective, and collaborative way to maximize our impact on this issue and drug abuse overall. And because so many people who are dealing with a substance abuse issue also have a mental health issue – a situation referred to as a co-occurring disorder – these recovery courts will be able to help them get all the help that they need at one time and in one location.” 

The target population comprises juvenile and adult offenders who meet the criteria of the Drug Court Program and voluntarily want to participate in it. The staff of each Drug Court work to ensure that defendants have the support of the justice system and access to treatment and recovery services that will address their substance abuse problems and needs. 

While the locations of the new courts has not been determined, members of the TDMHSAS Office of Criminal Justice Services, part of the Division of Substance Abuse Services, have been working with community leaders around the state – including judges, district attorneys, public defenders, treatment providers, faith-based organizations, parole/probation offices, veterans officials, and others – to  determine the best possible sites. Once these locations are finalized, an announcement will be forthcoming. 

The existing drug courts that are funded by TDMHSAS*, and the cities or counties in which they cover, are:

·         12th Judicial District – Bledsoe, Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Rhea, and Sequatchie counties

·         13th Judicial District – Cumberland, Putnam, and White counties

·         15th Judicial District –Jackson, Macon, Smith, Trousdale, and Wilson counties

·         21st Judicial District – Hickman, Lewis, Perry, and Williamson counties

·         23rd Judicial District – Cheatham, Dickson, Houston, and Humphreys counties

·         Anderson County Government – Anderson County

·         Blount County Government – Blount County

·         Bradley County Government – Bradley County

·         Bradley County Government (Juvenile) – Bradley County

·         Campbell County Government – Campbell County

·         City of Jackson Drug Court – City of Jackson

·         City of Milan – City of Milan

·         Coffee County Drug Court Foundation – Coffee County

·         Crockett County Government – Crockett County

·         Cumberland County Government (Juvenile) – Cumberland County

·         Dekalb County Government – Dekalb County

·         Dekalb County Government (Juvenile) – Dekalb County

·         Dyer County Government – Dyer County

·         Fayette County Government – Fayette County

·         Hamblen County Government – Hamblen County

·         Hamilton County Government – Hamilton County

·         Knox County Government – Knox County

·         Madison County Government – Madison County

·         Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County Residential Drug Court (DC4) – Davidson County

·         Montgomery County Government – Montgomery County

·         Morgan County Government – Morgan County

·         Rutherford County Government – Rutherford County

·         Scott County Government – Scott County

·         Sevier County Government – Sevier County

·         Shelby County Government – Shelby County

·         Sumner County Government – Sumner County

·         Warren County Government – Warren County

·         Weakley County Government – Weakley County

·         White County Government (Juvenile) – White County

*There are 10 additional courts that are not funded by TDMHSAS.


Miller & Martin Attorney Honored As Fellow Of Chattanooga Bar Foundation

Miller & Martin attorney Ward Nelson has been recognized for his professional achievements and for his commitment to the Chattanooga community with an invitation to become a fellow of the Chattanooga Bar Foundation. Each year the CBF invites a select few to join the ranks of the local fellows. The fellows work to improve the study of law, improve the administration of justice, ... (click for more)

Baker Donelson Recognized In Managing Intellectual Property's 2016 IP Handbook

Baker Donelson has been recognized as a "highly recommended" firm in the 2016 edition of Managing Intellectual Property's IP Handbook, an annual publication which recognizes leading law firms and lawyers in intellectual property. Baker Donelson is one of six law firms listed as "highly recommended" in the state of Tennessee for its intellectual property work, which includes ... (click for more)

County Commission Gives Up Fight On $900,000 In Discretionary Funds

County Commission members have given up the fight for the annual $900,000 in discretionary funds. Commission Chairman Chester Bankston said there was not enough money available after requests from a number of agencies and departments were cut to balance the budget without a tax increase. Commissioner Sabrena Smedley said the fact that commissioners can no longer allot the ... (click for more)

1 Person Killed And Several Others Injured In 2 Wrecks Near Ooltewah Exit Of I-75

One person was killed and several others injured in two wrecks early Wednesday morning on I-75 northbound at exit 11.   Northbound lanes were closed while emergency crews worked both accidents. Traffic was rerouted to Old Lee Highway to avoid the accident scene.   Traffic was backed up for an extended time before it eventually re-opened.   The initial ... (click for more)

A Disturbing Trend At Exit 11

So, am I the first to notice a trend?   How many wrecks does exit 11 need before anyone asks "whats up with that?"  I have lost count of the wrecks that continue to happen, even after last year's awful loss of life (which I believe 51 percent of the blame should fall on the THP officer on duty).  The problem with this section of interstate are sight lines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What You Leave Behind

Randy Travis, one of the best at singing country songs that has ever been, had a song about three people who got killed when an 18-wheeler missed a stop sign. There was a farmer and a teacher, a hooker and a preacher on this bus and Randy tells us: “One's headed for vacation, one for higher education, An' two of them were searchin' for lost souls.” In that wonderful song, the ... (click for more)