In May 2017, Governor Bill Haslam, Chief Justice Jeff Bivins of the Tennessee Supreme Court, legislative leaders, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), and the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) jointly requested the formation of the Joint Ad-hoc Tennessee Blue Ribbon Task Force on Juvenile Justice (Task Force). It was co-chaired by Speaker Beth Harwell and Majority Leader Mark Norris. The work of a predecessor task force, the 2016 Tennessee Juvenile Realignment Task Force, culminated in the creation of this task force. That report urged the state to undertake a data-driven, research-based effort to develop policies to improve outcomes in the juvenile justice system.
Leaders charged this Task Force with completing a comprehensive, data-driven review of the state’s juvenile justice system and developing evidence-based policy recommendations for legislative, administrative, and budgetary action that will
- Protect public safety
- Effectively hold juvenile offenders accountable
- Contain taxpayer costs
- Improve outcomes for youth, families, and communities in Tennessee
The Task Force convened from June to November 2017 to complete its assessment of the Tennessee juvenile justice system.
The full report was released on December 7, 2017 and goes before the Governor of Tennessee and members of the Tennessee General Assembly for consideration in the 2018 Tennessee legislative session.
You can also read our coverage of each of the task force meetings here.