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.


TransCard Hires Three New Executives

TransCard , a fintech company that specializes in providing innovative, cloud-based payment solutions to financial institutions and corporations throughout the U.S., announced the expansion of its leadership team, with the addition of John Haddock as its new chief financial officer, Ed Kelley as vice president of financial institutions and Ann Evans as vice president of corporate ... (click for more)

Attorney General Slatery Announces $784.6 Million Settlement With Wyeth And Pfizer

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III on Friday announced that Tennessee reached an agreement in principle to settle allegations against Wyeth, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer, Inc.  The settlement will resolve allegations that Wyeth knowingly underpaid rebates owed under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program for the sales of Protonix Oral and Protonix IV between 2001 and ... (click for more)

Fire Displaces Mother And Son At House Near Dodds Avenue

No one was home when fire broke out in a Chattanooga home near Dodds Avenue late Friday morning. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm around 11 a.m. and responded to 2609 Reece St. with four fire companies.  Battalion Chief Carlos Hampton said the firefighters made a quick, interior attack and got the fire under control in roughly 10 minutes. ... (click for more)

Planning Commission To Review New Form-Based Code Monday At 1 PM; Start Zoning Cases At 3 PM

The Planning Commission on Monday afternoon will be reviewing the proposed Form Based Code in addition to a large number of zoning cases.   Officials said the new code and the zoning cases "have generated significant public interest so we are expecting a large crowd."  The review of the Form-Based Code by the Planning Commission is scheduled to take ... (click for more)

The History Of Avondale Recreation Center

I grew up in Avondale from third grade until I was married and two children. East Chattanooga had a center since before I was born. The only time I was gone was when I, along with six buddies, joined the USMC.   The families in Avondale, a working class neighborhood, wanted a community center closer to home so the Avondale Civic League took on the task. They raised the money ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Bad Ideas Never Work

When the Chattanooga City Council gave Kevin Muhammad, who is purportedly the “leader” of the Nation of Islam’s “Chattanooga chapter” or whatever it is, “the right” to speak for 20 anguished minutes on Monday night, everybody who heard about it could have told our city leaders it was “stinkin’ thinkin’.” My goodness, did you think he was going to read a sweet passage from the ... (click for more)