Criminal Justice Reform
Governor Lee’s Criminal Justice Task Force found that over the last decade, Tennessee maintained its high recidivism rate and grew its prison population by 12%.1 Corrections now cost the state over $1 billion annually.2 A documented and significant contributor to this increase includes mental illness and substance misuse.3 Over a quarter of all prison admissions were for non-violent drug offenses.4 The SMART Policy Network will compile and compare state policies and interventions with health outcomes and crime rate. Specifically, we will identify best practices for addressing behavioral health, mental health, and substance misuse and their relation to recidivism and incarceration rates.
1 Criminal Justice Investment Task Force. https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/governorsoffice-documents/governorlee-documents/CJInvestmentTaskForceReport.pdf. Published December 19, 2019. Accessed October 21, 2020. 5-8.
3 Ibid, 17-20.
4 Ibid, 15.
Criminal Justice Reform SMART Team
4th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge
State of Tennessee
Jail Management Consultant
County Technical Assistance Service
UT Institute for Public Service
Department of Psychology
East Tennessee State University
Department of Social, Cultural, and Justice Studies
SMART Policy Network Graduate Research Assistant
UT Knoxville Juris Doctor Student
Director of Substance Misuse Outreach and Initiatives, UT System
Clinical Assistant Professor, UT Knoxville College of Nursing