- Associated Press - Monday, December 8, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - While there’s been progress in making Tennessee a safer state, much remains to be done, particularly on domestic violence, Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday.

The Republican governor kicked off a public safety summit that also focused on Tennessee’s sentencing laws, homeland security concerns, drug abuse and trafficking and other issues.

Haslam created his public safety subcabinet about four years ago to coordinate efforts to make Tennessee safer.

Since 2010, the governor said reported domestic violence offenses in Tennessee have decreased nearly 14 percent. Last year, Tennessee was ranked the 10th highest in the nation for the rate of women killed by men.

“I’ll be really clear, they’re still too high,” Haslam said. “But a 14 percent decrease is a good place to start.”

As part of the effort to reduce domestic violence, lawmakers approved mandatory sentences for repeat offenders.

Some legislators say they plan to introduce a bill during their upcoming session that would require people arrested on domestic violence charges to remain incarcerated for at least 12 hours.

The 12-hour period is meant to help victims stay safe while making any necessary arrangements, such as packing or moving. While Tennessee law suggests such a cooling off period, it doesn’t mandate it and judges can waive it if they don’t think it’s necessary.

The legislative session convenes in January.

Haslam said the state is also planning to build several more offices called family justice centers that offer legal and social services for domestic violence victims and their children.

“We must not let up our fight to break the cycle of domestic abuse and help save lives in Tennessee,” said House speaker Beth Harwell, who also spoke at the event.

Those at the meeting included police chiefs and sheriffs, prosecutors, family support providers and addiction treatment providers and victims’ advocates.

Guest speakers were to discuss gang and domestic violence, prescription drug abuse and an increase in heroin and meth trafficking. Also on the agenda were efforts to fight human trafficking and reduce the number of repeat offenders.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide