An ordinance establishing the Criminal Justice Planning Unit as a department of the Metropolitan Government.

WHEREAS, the United States District Court of the Middle District of Tennessee, after determining that unconstitutional conditions existed in the Metropolitan Government's jails, entered a population cap injunction order on July 25, 1990, and this population cap remained in effect for nearly 11 years; and

WHEREAS, in the year 2000, the Metropolitan Government filed in the United States District Court a Final Jail Management Plan that included the establishment of the Criminal Justice Steering Committee to assist in coordinating criminal justice policy and decision-making; and

WHEREAS, in December 2000, the Mayor formed the Criminal Justice Steering Committee, comprised of the Mayor, the District Attorney, the Public Defender, the Sheriff, the Chief of Police, the Director of Law, the Director of Finance, a General Sessions Judge, and a Criminal Court Judge, to address current criminal justice policy and procedures and future needs of Davidson County's criminal justice system; and

WHEREAS, the United States District Court recognized the Criminal Justice Steering Committee in a March 2001 Order and Memorandum dissolving the injunction and dismissing the case; and

WHEREAS, in 2001, the Institute on Crime, Justice and Corrections at George Washington University produced a report that recommended that Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County create an independent criminal justice population forecasting unit; and

WHEREAS, in December 2002, members of the Criminal Justice Steering Committee executed a Memorandum of Purpose ("Memorandum") to create a Criminal Justice Planning Unit, then called the Criminal Justice Population Unit; and

WHEREAS, the CJPU has been funded in the budget ordinance for fiscal year 2005.


Section 1. There is hereby created the Criminal Justice Planning Unit ("CJPU"), a department of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. The CJPU shall consist of a director, who is an unclassified service employee and appointed by the Mayor, as well as such other officers and employees as may be deemed necessary by the director, who shall also be unclassified service employees.

Section 2. The mission and purpose of the CJPU is to provide accurate and timely data to Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County's officers (including elected officials), departments, agencies, boards, and commissions regarding criminal justice and corrections, to enable the receiving individuals to make informed decisions and develop sound management strategies for the criminal justice and correctional system ("criminal justice system").

Section 3. The powers and duties of the CJPU shall be as follows:

(A) Conduct research and planning to advise Metropolitan Government policy makers on the necessary correctional capacity to effectively meet the Metropolitan Government's incarceration obligations while efficiently managing its resources;

(B) Gather information from within the Metropolitan Government pertaining to the criminal justice system for use in current and future projections;

(C) Collect information on Davidson County demographics, inmate demographics, crime rates, admissions and releases of the Metropolitan Government's correctional facilities, inmates' average length of stay, daily correctional population counts, and other aspects of the criminal justice system, in order to provide accurate statistical data reports to the Metropolitan Government;

(D) Annually create a correctional population projection report for the following five years, and twice each year create assessments of that report, including, but not limited to, scenario assumptions that could affect the number of inmates either incarcerated or under other forms of supervision;

(E) Create reports evaluating and describing criminal justice policies and practices that affect admissions and length of stay of inmates in the Metropolitan Government's correctional facilities and that ultimately determine the need for bed capacity;

(F) Create regular and periodic reports on persons in custody and under Metropolitan Government criminal justice agency control or correctional supervision;

(G) Create other planning and research reports regarding the current and future state and needs of the criminal justice system within Davidson County;

(H) Provide the reports created and information collected by the CJPU to the officers (including elected officials), agencies, departments, boards, and commissions of the Metropolitan Government who either request such reports and information or who are selected by the CJPU to receive them; and

(I) Establish departmental regulations and procedures, inclusive of establishing fees to be charged members of the public representing the actual cost of producing and delivering public records in the formats requested, in accordance with law, and establishing fees to be charged for reports created and analyses performed beyond the scope of public records for persons and entities outside the Metropolitan Government, as otherwise consistent with the powers and duties of the CJPU.

Section 4. That this Ordinance shall take effect from and after its final passage, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Rip Ryman, David Briley


Introduced: February 15, 2005
Passed First Reading: February 15, 2005 
Referred to: Personnel-Public Information-Human   Relations-Housing Committee
Public Safety Committee
Passed Second Reading: March 15, 2005 
Passed Third Reading: April 5, 2005 
Approved: April 7, 2005