TDMHSAS Publishes Videos Highlighting Tennessee's Recovery CourtsProfiles show impact of alternative sentencing on program participants and communities
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) is publishing a series of twelve new videos highlighting individuals who work in Tennessee’s Recovery Courts. Tennessee has a total of 82 Recovery Courts, Veterans Treatment Courts, Mental Health Courts, Juvenile and Family, and DUI courts which offer a rigorous program of treatment, testing, and therapy as an alternative to incarceration.
The video profiles feature professionals at all levels of the court system from judges and prosecutors to program coordinators, case workers, and even one court graduate who is now employed providing peer support in a court. Courts featured in the profile serve a wide range of communities from the largest cities in Tennessee to some of the state’s most rural counties.
Counties covered by participants in the video profiles include Blount, Cannon, DeKalb, Hawkins, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Shelby, and Sumner.
“We know that recovery courts work whether you’re in Memphis, Murfreesboro, or Mountain City. The structure, support, and hard work that comes with a recovery court program is just the ticket to break the cycle of addiction, mental illness, and incarceration for hundreds of Tennesseans every year,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW. “We are so grateful to Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly for seeing the value and increasing funding for recovery courts in recent years, and we are so thankful for our partners with the Administrative Office of the Courts, judges, court professionals, and community mental health and substance use treatment providers across the state for their tireless work to change lives.”
TDMHSAS criminal-justice programs have received more than $15 million in additional funding during Governor Lee’s first three years in office. In addition to new funding to expand Recovery Courts and create three new Residential Recovery Courts, the Governor and the General Assembly have expanded the department’s Criminal Justice Liaisons, created housing for people getting out of jail or prison, expanded medication assisted treatment options for people in recovery courts and jails, and expanded support for an alternative court docket program for individuals who do not meet Recovery Court criteria.