Torry Johnson to Serve on Governor’s Criminal Justice Investment Task Force

Group to develop public safety solutions

Belmont Law Professor Torry Johnson is one of five appointed leaders for Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s Criminal Justice Investment Task Force as established by Executive Order 6. The group will work to develop public safety solutions.

In addition to Johnson, the task force steering committee includes:

• Brandon Gibson (Chair), Office of the Governor

• Bill Gibbons, University of Memphis

• Decosta Jenkins, Nashville Electric

• Josh Smith, Master Dry

The task force also includes appointees who will oversee key areas for study. According to a press release from the Office of the Governor, Gov. Lee said the task force represents multiple perspectives including law enforcement, state agencies, crime victims and families, community leaders and formerly incarcerated individuals.

“We are committed to addressing all aspects of the criminal justice system to improve public safety and reentry in our state,” said Lee.

The additional appointments include:

• Division VI Criminal Court Judge John Campbell, Criminal Code and Sentencing Examination

• Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Jeff Long, Violent Crime

• Executive Director of Men of Valor Raul Lopez, Education, Workforce Development and Re-Entry

• Deputy Counsel to the Governor Clark Milner, Juvenile Justice Implementation Council

• Tennessee Department of Children’s Services Commissioner Jennifer Nichols, Drivers of Crime

• Tennessee Department of Correction Commissioner Tony Parker, Probation/Parole

• Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Marie Williams, Mental Health and Substance Use

Over the next two legislative sessions, the task force will develop legislative and budgetary recommendations regarding the following public safety and reentry issues:

• Crime prevention and recidivism reduction

• Punishing violent crime promptly and effectively

• Supporting crime victims and their families

• Addressing mental health and substance abuse issues that impact and lead to incarceration

• Revising sentencing guidelines and parole/probation standards

• Addressing the rising fiscal and social costs of incarceration

• Preparing inmates to re-enter society and find pathways outside of crime through education and technical job training

• Equipping families and communities with tools to help returning citizens become productive members of society

Learn more about Johnson’s expertise in this area on his Belmont faculty bio page.