Nashville Public Defender Seeks Options To Trying Kids As Adults


Dawn Deaner, Nashville’s new public defender, tells The Tennessean that defense lawyers should try to be creative in “finding new ways in the criminal justice system to address root causes of crime, rather than watching as our clients get sent off to jail or prison.” Deaner wants to expand a mental health court program started by her predecessor.

The criminal justice system is not where the mentally ill belong, Deaner says. On juvenile crime, “Simply transferring juveniles who commit serious offenses to criminal court for treatment as adults is not [] the right solution, she says. “I’m interested in seeing if there’s some alternatives, some programs that we can develop in our juvenile court system to try to address some of the issues that are more and more affecting juveniles.”


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