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.

PHOTOS: Group Marches Downtown Against School Gun Violence

Marchers went from Coolidge Park to the County Courthouse and back in a protest against gun violence at schools  (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BANKSTON, JOHNNY  44 HOMEPLACE RD LOT 15 ROSSVILLE, 30741  Age at Arrest: 42 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE STOP SIGN VIOLATION --- BENNETT, RAHEEM KISRABA  6106 WATER OAK LN HARRISON, 37341  Age at Arrest: 39 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Food Trucks Steal From Property And Rent-Paying Eateries - And Response

According to minutes of the City Council’s  Economic Development Committee and several local news articles, Chattanooga’s City Attorney gave a food truck presentation. He explained to City Council that a new food truck ordinance was being drafted to allow use of mobile food trucks on public  property . He said Chattanooga’s current ordinance limited food trucks to parking ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

I don’t make much of a secret that I hated every single second of the short time I spent in college or that I never took a journalism class. Instead what I know about writing was taught by a far greater collection of experts than you can find on any college campus. Andy Rooney, for example, was a genius with a dry humor who lectured to me almost every Sunday night for about 30 years. ... (click for more)

Ooltewah, Meigs County Post Wins In Ooltewah Invitational Softball

On the first full day of play in the Ooltewah Invitational, the host Lady Owls and two-time Class A state champion Meigs County posted impressive wins at The Summit. Ooltewah’s Hadley Morrow overcame a rough start and scattered seven hits, Kayla Boseman smacked a two-run home run in a three-run fourth inning, center-fielder Addy Keylon made a sensational catch to save a homer ... (click for more)

Hixson Rally Tops Notre Dame In 5-4 Thriller

The Hixson Wildcats collected a dozen hits in Thursday’s baseball win over Boyd-Buchanan and they made it five wins in a row on Friday over Notre Dame, despite getting only half as many hits. The bottom line is this:   Who cares how many hits you get as long as you score more runs than the opposing team? The Wildcats only had six, but they were able to score five runs ... (click for more)