Every year, new laws are considered. Sometimes, they are agreed upon and go into effect.
In 2021, there have been several key pieces of legislation that were made into law. Some of these affect the court system, which you should know about if you are ever arguing against a criminal charge.
New Tennessee laws in 2021
In criminal law, one of the new laws that may be important is the Alternatives to Incarceration Act. This new legislation expands upon Tennessee’s current Recovery Court System. The Recovery Court System includes three types of courts, Drug, Mental Health and Veterans.
With the expansion of the court system, judges in these courts will have the discretion to provide treatment to those who would be best served by the recovery court system.
In criminal justice data collection, the Tennessee Court Information System is going to be completely refreshed. There will also be juvenile data collection under the new Adminstration Bill, which is a part of the goal to modernize the way data is collected and analyzed for the court system.
Additionally, the juvenile court changes will require the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, as well as the Administrative Office of the Courts, to report children who were referred to their services from the juvenile court system.
Some laws also changed in sentencing and reentry. The Reentry Success Act is part of the criminal justice reform package and focuses on preparing inmates to reenter society upon release. This includes changes to the parole process as well as mandatory supervision.
There were also changes in how long someone would have to serve a sentence for certain acts. Full sentences for certain offenses kicked in after July 1, 2021, and means that those who are convicted for certain defined criminal acts won’t be able to use good behavior to be released early.
Changes in law can impact how your journey with the criminal justice system looks. It’s necessary to go through changes as they occur to see if they may impact the way you defend yourself against a crime or handle yourself in the court room.