On February 18, 1961, Governor Buford Ellington signed into law an act passed by the 82nd Session of the General Assembly, placing a part-time Board of Probation and Paroles as a division of the Department of Correction. The Commissioner of Correction served as chairman, and two members were appointed by the Governor. One member had to be a practicing attorney in this state and the other member was selected from the business or educational field.
In 1963, legislation was passed increasing the size of the Board to five part-time members,with the Governor empowered to appoint four of its members. In 1970, the Governor began appointing all five members, with the Commissioner of Correction no longer serving as chairman.
April 4, 1972, was an important date in the historical development of the Tennessee Board of Paroles. It was on this date that Governor Winfield Dunn signed into law House Bill No. 582, passed by the 87th General Assembly, creating a full-time board with set terms established by statute, to be known as the Tennessee Board of Pardons and Paroles. The board consisted of three members. The first full time charter Board Members were Charles Traughber, Dorothy Greer and Joseph Mitchell, each appointed by Governor Dunn. Terms of appointments were for six years, with initial appointments being for staggered terms of two, four and six years respectively. The Governor also appointed a Chairman whose term of office was two years, with a maximum of three (3) consecutive terms.
Charles Traughber was appointed Chairman in July 1972 and served until June 1976. He served as a member of the Board from July 1976 through July 1977, when he was re-appointed Chairman and served in that capacity through June 1979.
The year 1979 was a landmark year for the Tennessee Board of Paroles. The 91st General Assembly presented to Governor Lamar Alexander legislation enacted as the Pardons and Paroles Reform Act of 1979. This act was unique in that it created an autonomous full-time Board, separate functionally and administratively from any other agency.
On May 25, 1979, Governor Alexander signed the Pardons and Paroles Reform Act of 1979 into law. With new autonomy came new and greater responsibilities. Previousl,y field staff had been under the supervision of the Department of Correction. Beginning July 1, 1979, parole officers and support staff were placed directly under the supervision of the Board, through the Executive Director and the Director of Paroles.
The Governor appointed four members, two to terms of four years and two to the terms of two years. Thereafter, all members were to be appointed or re-appointed to terms of six years. Nevin Trammell of Nashville was appointed Chairman. Members included Charles Traughber, Nashville; Mary Walker, Nashville; Ed Hoover, Chattanooga; and Linda Miller, Memphis. In January 1988, Charles Traughber was re-appointed Chairman of the Board. In 1989 the Board was expanded from five members to seven.
In July 1999, after more than a year of preparation, planning and hard wor,k the transition into an officially blended probation and parole agency took place. The new agency established as a primary objective the balancing of caseloads and workload of Probation and Parole officers, employing different case management and case monitoring techniques.
|1929||A parole system, indeterminate sentences for adult offenders and an Advisory Board of Pardons created.|
|1931||Advisory Board of Pardons created a system for parole eligibility.|
|1937||Board of Pardons and Paroles created by legislation; appointments made by the Governor and the Board was chaired by the Commissioner of the Department of Institutions and Public Welfare.|
|1955||The Department of Institutions and Public Welfare changed to the Department of Correction (TDOC).|
|1957||Act established the Division of Juvenile Probation.|
|1961||Act established the Division of Adult Probation and Parole.|
|1963||Board of Pardons and Paroles set as five part-time members; first African-American member appointed.|
|1970||Act changed Board Chair from being the TDOC Commissioner to election by Board Members.|
|1972||Act changed Board to three full-time, professional members (one as Chair), appointed by the Governor.|
|1978||Board of Pardons and Paroles expanded to five (5) full-time members.|
|1979||Pardons and Paroles Reform Act of 1979 removed the Board from TDOC and established its autonomy. Parole Officers and support staff were placed directly under the supervision of the Board, through an Executive Director and Director of Paroles.|
|1985||Act gave "emergency powers" to reduce overcrowding. The Governor directed the Board to change eligibility dates of inmates, enabling enough releases to reduce the prison population to 90 percent capacity.|
|1989||Act expanded Board from five to seven members and created limited internal appellate review upon denial, revocation or rescission of parole.|
|1992||Criminal Sentencing Reform Act altered sentencing and parole eligibility for all crimes.|
|1997||Tennessee Offender Management Information System (TOMIS) database project implemented.|
|1999||Legislative changes increased the number of votes necessary to finalize parole grant decisions involving the most serious criminal offenses. Interstate Compact strengthened by applying stricter standards for acceptance and supervision by Tennessee of offenders from other states.|
|2003||A new Interstate Compact on Probation and Parole, allowing supervision of adult offenders from one participating state by another state, enacted by the General Assembly.|
|2004||Legislation effective July 2004 was passed designating BOPP as a registering agency for sex offenders in cooperation with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies.|
|2005||BOPP planned and implemented the largest Global Positioning System (GPS) in the U.S. (and perhaps internationally) for the monitoring of sex offenders.|
|2006||Legislation passed creating the first armed enforcement unit solely under BOPP jurisdiction.|