Criminal Justice

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Criminal Justice in Nashville

Our community is suffering from an unjust system of policing, prosecution, and incarceration that disproportionately harms African-Americans. The often irreversible damage done to individuals, families, neighborhoods, and the entire community ranges from the physical to emotional to economic. Trust in the criminal legal system will remain low until it is reformed.


Inmates in Davidson County are Black


Zip code with the highest incarceration rate in the nation in 2018


Employers use criminal background checks when hiring


What should be done?

We recognize that only powerful organizing and leadership will bring about the systemic change necessary to eliminate the injustices of our current system. The Criminal Justice Task Force advocates for:

  1. A mental health response team that is made up of mental health professionals, not police officers
  2. The removal of School Resource Officers (police officers stationed in schools) and placement of counselors, social workers, and positive discipline methods
  3. Advocating for cash bail reform and promoting better representation for clients in the legal system.

About the Criminal Justice Task Force

The NOAH Criminal Justice Task Force (CJTF) includes members of NOAH organizations, activists, and persons involved with reform of police, prison/jails, and courts.  NOAH is concerned about eliminating racism in these systems.  The CJTF has three committees which are focused on three specific issue areas:

Mental Health Response Team

Through meetings with city leaders we are promoting the HEALS proposal, modeled on successful programs (like CAHOOTS) in other cities.

Cash Bail Reform

Those awaiting a court date must often put up large sums for bail – or remain in jail, losing jobs and family relationships. Many plead guilty in order to avoid remaining in jail, not realizing this will follow them, making jobs, student loans, and apartments hard to get.

School Resource Officers (SROs)

SROs have been shown nationally to actually make schools less safe. We are campaigning to replace SROs with money for counselors, social workers, and positive discipline methods.

The Criminal Justice Task Force meets on the first Thursday of the month at 6:00 pm.