LEADING THE WAY to PREVENT Problems, PROMOTE Positive Potential and PURSUE Fairness and Hope

Nashville-Davidson County’s Juvenile Court Judge Sheila Calloway, the Juvenile Court Magistrates, and the employees of Juvenile Court welcome you. Together we are responsible for making sure that every child and parent who passes through our court is met with justice, fairness, and hope. As described by Tennessee Code Annotated Section 37-1-101, the purpose of juvenile court is: “To provide for the care, protection, and wholesome moral, mental and physical development of the children coming within its provisions.” Using evidence based programs and services, Nashville’s Juvenile Court and the youth and families it serves are LEADING THE WAY.

Committed to Best Practices

Davidson County Juvenile Court is committed to bringing our probation services in line with national best practices – click to read more

The judicial system must regain the public’s trust

From The Tennessean

Outgoing Metro Councilman Sam Colemans promises to his colleagues Tuesday, the night they selected him to be a judge, are commitments that all judicial and law enforcement institutions must urgently embrace anew. “I will work to restore the integrity of the judiciary” he said. “I will be fair.” There is an expectation that in the courts and police precincts across the nation that justice will be blind, but that historically has not happened, and recent scandals and news events have shaken the public’s faith.Perception becomes reality even if the people leading our institutions have the best of intentions.
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What Nashville should know about restorative justice

From The Tennessean

Davidson County District Attorney General Glenn Funk said Thursday he wants city leaders to promote funding for a restorative justice program in Nashville.Mayor Megan Barry and other officials have already signaled their support for such an initiative, and a pilot program is being developed in Juvenile Court.In an interview, Funk said that funding could bring the pilot closer to fruition. He said a restorative justice program “can create a more fair justice system and better serve the community of Nashville.”Here are the basics of what restorative justice would look like. Expert calls restorative justice ‘more victim-focused than the traditional court system.’
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Forgiveness In The Criminal Justice System | Judge Sheila D.J. Calloway | TEDxNashville

Is it possible to have forgiveness in the Criminal Justice System? With a system of Restorative Justice, all of those who were harmed (victims, families, community) have an opportunity to collectively work with offenders to achieve both accountability and restoration moving everyone towards forgiveness.

Sheila Calloway, a native of Louisville, KY, came to Nashville, Tennessee in 1987 to attend Vanderbilt University. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications in 1991 and her Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1994 both from Vanderbilt University. After graduating from law school, Sheila Calloway worked at the Metropolitan Public Defender’s Office in both the adult system as well as the juvenile system. In January 2004, she was appointed by Judge Betty Adams Green to the position of Juvenile Court Magistrate and served in that position until November 2013, when she announced her intention to run for the position of Juvenile Court Judge. She was elected Juvenile Court Judge in August 2014. She serves as an Adjunct Professor at Vanderbilt University where she teaches both in the Undergraduate and Law Schools.


The following are types of cases Juvenile Court hears that fall within the municipal boundary of Davidson County.

  • Status Offenses: acts that are against the law only for minors (drinking alcohol, using tobacco, curfew violation, skipping school, running away, being unruly, etc..).
  • Dependency, Neglect, Abuse: when the health or safety of a minor is seriously threatened or if there is a possibility of the minor leaving the jurisdiction to avoid a court date. A minor may only be taken away from his family if there is no other way to ensure their safety.[TN Code 37-1-101 (a)(3)]
  • Parentage, Visitation and Child Support: cases involving the parents of children, including custody hearings and court ordered child support.
  • Delinquency: acts that would be crimes if committed by adults (traffic violations, theft, assault, disorderly conduct, vandalism, etc..).