Nashville-Davidson Co Criminal Court Judge Div V
In addition to having jurisdiction over criminal cases, Criminal Court judges hear misdemeanor appeals from lower courts.
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What qualifies you as the best candidate for this office?
What are the most pressing issues facing the public that you plan to address?
What will be your top priority if you are elected and how will you achieve that goal?
I am the best candidate for this office because I have experience for the future of the criminal justice system. I am the only one in my race that has been a criminal defense attorney and an assistant district attorney. As a defense attorney, I represented thousands of indigent clients and learned first-hand about the lack of resources that exist for justice-involved people. So, I decided to join the District Attorney’s Office in order to create change from the inside. During my time in Juvenile Court, I learned and practiced trauma-informed approaches to criminal justice and restorative justice, which are lacking in the current criminal justice system. My variety of experience and passion for the community makes me the best candidate.
The public has issues with transparency and the lack of community-based alternatives to incarceration. As it relates to transparency, I plan to speak with community organizations to implement a court-watch program as well as a data collection program. Court-watch programs allow the public to see first-hand how a Judge treats community members on a day-to-day basis and data collection allows the community to determine if a Judge is reducing recidivism or perpetuating systemic racism. Lastly, the community recognizes that punishment is not a solution to mental health illness and drug addiction. Currently, Criminal Court lacks the relationships with community partners to be able to provide the appropriate treatment.
My top priority when I am elected is to immediately create a trauma-informed courtroom. In order to ensure my courtroom is trauma-informed, I will train my court staff on trauma and the appropriate response to trauma. It is important for my court staff to understand that most people who come into the courtroom have experienced some trauma and that their behavior or attitude in court is a manifestation of that traumatic experience. Another way that I can create a trauma-informed courtroom is by creating Criminal Court’s first Restorative Justice Program. A restorative justice program will give survivors of crime the ability to confront the person that caused them harm and also receive any therapeutic services they need to heal.
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