Haslam Appoints Task Force On Sentencing And Recidivism

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Governor Bill Haslam on Thursday announced the formation of the Governor’s Task Force on Sentencing and Recidivism as part of the administration’s overall effort to reduce crime and improve public safety.

In June, the Governor’s Public Safety Subcabinet announced a partnership with the Vera Institute of Justice to review sentencing and correction policies and practices. The creation of a task force is the next step in that collaboration. 

“We have put a strong emphasis on addressing some of our state’s toughest safety challenges head on, and the Public Safety Subcabinet is doing great work,” Governor Haslam said. “This task force is a next step in making sure we have a comprehensive approach to public safety in Tennessee. I am grateful to the Tennesseans who have agreed to dedicate their time to these issues, and I look forward to their recommendations.”     

Members of the task force include:

·        John Campbell, criminal court judge, Memphis

·        John DeBerry, state representative, Memphis

·        James Dunn, district attorney general, 4th judicial district

·        Tim Fuller, sheriff, Franklin County

·        Bill Gibbons, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security

·        Mark Gwyn, director, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

·        Kim Helper, district attorney general, 21st judicial district

·        Torry Johnson, district attorney general (retired), Nashville

·        Brian Kelsey, state senator, Germantown

·        William Lamberth, state representative, Cottontown

·        Linda Leathers, chief executive officer, The Next Door

·        William B. Lee, chief executive officer, Lee Company of Tennessee

·        Jon Lundberg, state representative, Bristol

·        Mark Luttrell, mayor, Shelby County

·        Becky Duncan Massey, state senator, Knoxville

·        Gerald Melton, public defender, 16th judicial district

·        Richard Montgomery, chairman, Tennessee Board of Parole

·        Seth Norman, criminal court judge, Nashville

·        Bill Oldham, sheriff, Shelby County

·        David Rausch, chief of police, Knoxville

·        Derrick Schofield, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Correction

·        John Stevens, state senator, Huntingdon

·        Blair Taylor, president, Memphis Tomorrow

·        D. Kelly Thomas, court of criminal appeals judge, Knoxville

·        Doug Varney, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse

·        Amy Weirich, district attorney general, Shelby County

·        Verna Wyatt, executive director, Tennessee Voices for Victims

The sentencing structure in Tennessee has been in place for more than 20 years. An examination will ensure that the structure is in line with the variety and severity of criminal behavior. Establishing an effective set of sentencing laws can resolve inconsistencies and avoid discrepancies that compromise public safety.

The task force will receive assistance from the Vera Institute of Justice’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections. The Vera staff will conduct data and policy analysis; identify expertise and resources to support the work of the task force; facilitate meetings and assist in the development of the task force recommendations.

The Vera Institute of Justice is a national, independent, non-partisan justice policy and research organization based in New York. Vera has decades of experience partnering with state and local governments across the United States to improve justice systems. 

The task force will submit its recommendations to the Governor’s Public Safety Subcabinet by June 2015.

The subcabinet was created by Governor Haslam in 2011 and launched a multi-year public safety action plan in 2012. The group includes commissioners of the departments of Safety and Homeland Security, Correction, Mental Health, Children’s Services, Health and Military, along with the chairman of the Tennessee Board of Parole, and directors of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office, Office of Criminal Justice Programs, Law Enforcement Training Academy and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.


Soddy Daisy Man Facing Child Rape Charge

A 26-year-old Soddy Man is facing child rape charges. Ricky Minor was indicted by the Hamilton County Grand Jury on three counts of rape and two counts of child rape. The indictment said the case involved a girl aged between four and 12 years old.   (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Arrest Serial Burglar, Terry Highfield

The Chattanooga Police Department has linked one individual to eight burglaries which occurred beginning on March 5 through last Friday. On Friday ,  CPD officers were in search of a white Ford Ranger and located it at 7707 Lee Highway (Motel Six). The vehicle was registered to Terry Highfield, 59.     Following the discovery of the vehicle CPD Property ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference - And Response (2)

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The P.S. To A Sad Story

Back in the days when we were determined that the Chattanooga News-Free Press would have the best sports section in the country, I was traveling a whole lot. For example, back then I would be leaving today or tomorrow for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, this after hardly recovering from a week spent at The Masters. And, as it happens with those who are constantly in search for tomorrow’s ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Softball Rally Thumps Baylor, 10-3

The Soddy Daisy Lady Trojans felt right at home Monday afternoon at Baylor. These two softball teams are annually among the best in the state and they've had some memorable games in years past, but Monday's game was all Soddy Daisy. Baylor scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning before the Lady Trojans sent 11 hitters to the plate in the third where they scored ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Netters Defeat Bradley County

The defending district champion Soddy Daisy girls (9-0) defeated Bradley County, 9-0, Monday, while the Trojan boys (2-8) were also victorious against Bradley Central., 7-2. Chloe Mitchell claimed an 8-0 win against Haylee Pell in No.1 singles while Jared Elrod of Bradley Central stopped Robert Sneed, 8-2, in the boys' No.1 singles match. The Soddy Daisy ... (click for more)