TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Sep 2, 2020

A new pilot program aimed at keeping homeless individuals from cycling in and out of jail launches Friday in Nashville, the Tennessean reports. The court will be presided over by General Sessions Judge Lynda Jones. Proceedings will be held at Room in the Inn, a local homeless shelter. Jones says individuals experiencing homelessness are often charged with low-level offenses such as public intoxication, trespassing and obstruction of a passageway — charges that would not apply to those who have access to housing. The new court will offer people the chance to wipe certain minor charges from their record if they engage with local service providers. But unlike other specialty courts, defendants will not be required to complete a specific program of treatment. The court is modeled on a free legal clinic the Nashville office of Baker Donelson has operated at the shelter for years.