During the last legislative session, former Gov. Bill Haslam proposed, and the Tennessee General Assembly passed, reforms to the state’s juvenile justice system based on recommendations from the Joint Ad-hoc Tennessee Blue Ribbon Task Force on Juvenile Justice as part of the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018.
“This legislation was a positive first step and there is more work to be done with respect to juvenile justice and criminal justice reform in Tennessee,” Haslam said in the release. “This council will help ensure that reform is pursued in a responsible manner, and judges and other juvenile justice system stakeholders will have a committed team with whom to collaborate on additional changes to strengthen families and make our communities safer.”
The council will promote consistent statewide implementation of the legislation, develop performance measures, consider further policy recommendations, and support improving statewide juvenile justice-related data collection.
“I am pleased to have been selected by Governor Haslam to serve as a member of this committee. Our juvenile judges face tough decisions daily and had a major role in shaping the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018. I hope that this commission will help ensure that the additional resources provided for children and families are effective in keeping children with their families whenever possible,” Benedetto said.