Senator Kelsey Holds Hearings on Criminal Justice Reform

(NASHVILLE, TN), September 16, 2014 – Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) is presiding over hearings today on reforming the criminal justice system in Tennessee.

 

“We must keep the public safe and hold offenders accountable in a way that protects taxpayer dollars,” said Sen. Kelsey. “Tennessee has not comprehensively evaluated the criminal justice system in over twenty years. We can learn from other states that have successfully used data to reduce costs and increase safety.”

 

The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Kelsey, is currently conducting hearings on criminal justice reform during its annual summer study committee. The subjects of the session are: 1) How we got where we are in Tennessee, 2) What other states have done, and 3) Suggested changes for Tennessee. Expert witnesses and Tennessee participants are discussing such topics as truth in sentencing, pretrial release, reentry programs, probation and parole reform, community-based corrections, and reducing recidivism rates.

 

The scheduled participants for the hearings are as follows:

 

  • Sheriff Robert Arnold, Rutherford County

 

  • Beth Ashe, Executive Director, Tennessee Corrections Institute

 

  • Deputy Tennessee Attorney General Amy Tarkington

 

  • District Attorney General D. Michael Dunavant, 25th Judicial District, Fayette, Hardeman, Lauderdale, McNairy, and Tipton Counties

 

  • Paige Edwards, Tennessee Public Defender’s Conference

 

  • Rebecca Silber and Nancy Fishman, VERA Institute of Justice

 

  • Mayor Terry Frank, Anderson County, Tennessee

 

  • John Summers, Executive Director, Tennessee State Employees Association

 

  • Commissioner Bill Gibbons, Tennessee Department of Safety

 

  • James Musice, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

 

  • Marc Levin, Director, Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation

 

  • John G. Malcolm, Director, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies

 

  • Richard Montgomery, Chairman, Tennessee Board of Parole

 

  • Justin Owen, President/CEO, Beacon Center of Tennessee

 

  • Chief David Rausch, Knoxville Police Department

 

  • David Raybin, Esq., criminal defense attorney

 

  • Justyna Scalpone, Tennessee Office of the Post-Conviction Defender

 

  • Commissioner Derrick D. Schofield, Tennessee Department of Correction

 

  • Christopher Slobogin, Professor, Vanderbilt College of Law; member, Tennessee Consultation on Criminal Justice

 

  • Thomas E. Tique, Chief Deputy Attorney, Tennessee General Assembly Office of Legal Services

 

  • Commissioner E. Douglas Varney, Tennessee Department of Mental Health

 

  • Hedy Weinberg, Executive Director, ACLU of Tennessee

 

  • Charles White, Director, Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents

 

  • Judge John Everett Williams, Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals

 

 

Senator Kelsey represents Cordova, East Memphis, and Germantown.  He is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

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Link to Senate Judiciary Committee Video:   http://wapp.legislature.state.tn.us/apps/videowrapper/default.aspx?CommID=670000



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