Tennessee Supreme Court Expresses Support for Indigent Representation Task Force Recommendations

July 12, 2017

In 2015, the Tennessee Supreme Court established the Indigent Representation Task Force to study and make recommendations concerning many issues surrounding Tennessee’s system of representation for indigent parties in criminal and juvenile matters.  On April 3, 2017, after a listening tour across the state and extensive research over many months of hard work, the Task Force presented its final report, which contained a number of far-reaching and thoughtful recommendations to improve Tennessee’s current indigent representation system.

The Court again expresses its deep gratitude to the members and staff of the Task Force for their commitment and for their outstanding work in this area.  The Court now has carefully reviewed the report and its recommendations.

Chief Justice Jeff Bivins stated, “We are very supportive of the recommendations developed by the Task Force, which present a clear roadmap for much-needed improvements to our indigent representation system.  Over the coming weeks, the Court will develop a strategy to implement many of these recommendations.  While some of these recommendations will need to be phased in over time, we anticipate working closely with the Administration and the General Assembly in the 2018 legislative session to make substantial progress in this area.”