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.


Man Who Spent Most Of His 20s Behind Bars Headed To Federal Prison For 58 Months At Age 30

A man who spent most of his 20s in Georgia state prison is headed to federal prison at age 30. Leighton L. Dunn on Friday was sentenced by Judge Travis McDonough to serve 58 months for being a felon in possession of a gun during a carjacking. Dunn told the judge, "I was released in March (2015) and was doing good, then I fell in that same rut. Before I knew it I was caught ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANDRES-ALONZO, JUAN ELIAS  315 INDUSTRIAL DRIVE SYLVANIA,  Age at Arrest: 33 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY --- BEAMON, DESMOND CORTEZ  18 WEST 14TH ST CHATTANOOGA, 37402  ... (click for more)

America Is The Main Issue - And Response (4)

Many get tired of hearing this, but to stay at home on election day, vote Libertarian, or write in your favorite candidate, will insure that the issues of Libertarians and other points of view, will never be solved in your lifetime. Hillary Clinton's Supreme Court appointments will continue Obama's destruction for many years to come. I fully understand that Donald Trump may ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Hot Cars And Stuff

As of Friday afternoon, there was a one-year-old girl in Birmingham clinging to her life after she was absent-mindedly left in a parked car this week. With an outside temperature in the mid-90s, it is estimated the inside temperature in a locked automobile will be over 140 degrees so please know our Good Samaritan laws give you “a free pass” to bash a window out if you see an infant ... (click for more)

Thompson, Mason Win Scenic City Scorcher With Record Times

(Story will be updated) Saturday was another record-setting day for runners in Chattanooga. The occasion was the second running of the Scenic City Scorcher, a flat and fast two-mile race in Heritage Landing. Christian Thompson and Rachel Mason were overall winners and both did so in record-breaking time.  Thompson was all alone in first with a time of nine ... (click for more)

CCS Names Eddie Salter, Ben Wharton As New Basketball, Baseball Coaches

Chattanooga Christian School announced that Coach Eddie Salter is returning to the men’s basketball program as the Varsity Head Coach for 2016-2017. He will be joined by Chattanooga Christian alumnus, Ben Wharton, who has been named the Varsity Head Coach of the men’s baseball program and the Junior Varsity Men’s Basketball Coach.  Former Varsity Head Basketball Coach ... (click for more)