I ran for District Attorney eight years ago because I saw an opportunity to change many of the problems that I had watched my clients experience in the criminal justice system for 30 years. I made promises to you as voters, and I have kept those promises.
I promised I would recruit a District Attorney’s Office that reflects the community it serves. When I took over, the office had only one African American Assistant District Attorney. Today, there are 12 African Americans, four Latinx, and four LGBTQ Assistant District Attorneys. This diverse group of men and women also makes up 50 percent of my leadership team and our office is stronger and smarter than ever.
I promised to make the criminal justice system fairer and to end mass incarceration at the local level. I have cut our jail population in half over the last eight years through common-sense solutions such as not prosecuting driver’s license cases and instead of helping people obtain a valid driver’s license. I no longer prosecute for small amounts of marijuana possession due to disproportionate impacts based on race, and because doing so did little for public health or public safety. I have also reformed the bail system and now no one in Nashville has to post money bail to get out of jail when they are charged with a misdemeanor.
These policies mean that 1,600 fewer people are in the Nashville jail every single night. This results in saving our city $50 million per year in jail costs. More importantly, 1,600 people are at home with their families tonight and able to go to work tomorrow morning.
I promised that we would focus the resources of the District Attorney’s Office on violent crimes so that victims from all parts of town were represented by the best lawyers in the courtroom. We have won the big cases like the Waffle House Mass Shooting, the Vanderbilt rape case, and the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ shooting. Our office has over a 95 percent conviction rate on all violent crimes.
I also increased our domestic violence team to 22 diverse professionals who now meet with victims within hours of an arrest so that victims’ voices are heard, and we put families first.
I have created many other programs that focus on rehabilitation rather than incarceration. I have worked with our judges to expand treatment and recovery courts. I worked with Sheriff Hall to decriminalize mental health issues with the creation of the Behavioral Care Center. I support victims of human trafficking with resources instead of incarceration. Working with Judge Shelia Calloway, I started the first Restorative Justice program in the State of Tennessee. This program has a 96 percent success rate and keeps our children out of trouble and on track towards high school graduation.
I am proud to be endorsed by the Central Labor Council and to be the top choice of the Nashville Bar Association. I am also very proud to be endorsed by State Senators Brenda Gilmore and London Lamar, Assessor of Property Vivian Wilhoite, and over 30 African American pastors.
I believe the criminal justice system can bring communities together rather than tear them apart. We do not have to choose between public safety and fairness. We must demand both. I appreciate your vote to continue as your District Attorney. – Glenn