Opportunity NOW

Opportunity NOW is a coordinated initiative launched by Mayor Megan Barry to provide young people in Davidson County access to employment. In Nashville, we have seen fewer and fewer teenagers and young adults working during the summers and after-school. At the same time, Nashville employers across various industries are concerned about the lack of “soft” skills among their youngest employees—skills most readily learned through actual work experience.


Judge Calloway TEDxNashville

Astrophysicists, artists, celebrity chefs and clinical psychologists will be among the speakers at the eighth annual TEDxNashville. The two-day event, which will be held at TPAC Mar. 17-18, celebrates community building and “ideas worth spreading.”Radio personality Bobby Bones and chef/restaurateur Maneet Chauhan lead this year’s diverse lineup of speakers, who will explore the program’s 2017 theme, “Illuminate,” in their short presentations. Great ideas are ignited by a spark and the goal…is to bring that spark to the Nashville stage to illuminate the invisible,” said Chris Moise, president of TEDxNashville.

Other speakers include Tom Eastham, who spent more than 30 years with the United Space Alliance at the Kennedy Space Center,Davidson County Juvenile Court Judge Sheila Calloway and Dr. James Crowe, the director of Vanderbilt’s Vaccine Center.

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News 2 holds town hall meeting on teens and violence

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Thursday night, we’re opening up a difficult discussion about teenagers and violence.

It’s a troubling trend with deadly consequences. You see it in the hallways at schools, in the streets of neighborhoods, and in posts on social media – from carjackings and robberies, to teens killing other teens, even young men turning to a life of gangs.

It’s time to take up the tough questions. Why are we seeing more of this? Who’s responsible? How do we get our teens on the right track?

News 2’s Bob Mueller hosted a live town hall meeting with CrimeTracker Reporter Joseph Pleasant; Lonnell Matthews with the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods and Community Engagement; Captain Gordon Howey with the Youth Services Division of Metro police; and Judge Sheila Calloway with Davidson County’s Juvenile Court.

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First-of-its-kind program helps gang-affiliated teens break free in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Davidson County Juvenile Court launched a first-of-its kind program to help gang-affiliated teens break free of a life of crime.

It’s called the Gang Resistance Intervention Program, or GRIP, and it includes probation, compliance with school attendance, court-mandated mentoring, and other requirements.

The program was created by the combined efforts of the Davidson County Juvenile Court, Metro police’s gang unit, and support from local clergy.

“We wanted to do something to help the high-risk kids and the gang involvement that was going on within the city,” said Kelly Gray, supervisor of the Davidson County Juvenile court gang unit. “You have got a drug court and all these other courts that are represented. We have the drug court, the recovery court and now the infant court here, but there was nothing to combat this issue that we were having.”

Juvenile Court Magistrate Carlton Lewis oversees the cases in the gang court and GRIP.

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The Bridge

Kathryn Sinback, Juvenile Court

Project Description

The Davidson County Juvenile Court currently receives approximately 3,300 children in the Juvenile Detention Center annually who are not legally eligible to be detained in a secure detention facility because they were arrested for status offenses such as runaway, curfew violations, and unruly offenses, or for low-level delinquent offenses. Because we do not currently have an alternative method to process children who were lawfully arrested but not detainable, these children typically end up staying in the secure Intake area of the Juvenile Detention facility for up to 24 hours. During this 24 hour period, the only service provided to the child in most instances is locating their parent or guardian and contacting the Department of Children’s Services if the parent or guardian is unwilling or unable to pick the child up from detention. Many of these children have experienced significant trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences, and are in need of immediate assessment, care, and intervention. Research shows that detaining children unnecessarily in a secure detention facility can increase the risk of future delinquency and recidivism . See “The Dangers of Detention: The Impact of Incarcerating Youth in Detention and other Secure Facilities,” Justice Policy Institute Report (2006), attached.


Hume-Fogg teens take up youth violence in Nashville

A group of teens are planning to take a more active approach to defeat violence among African-American youths in Nashville.

Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School students hosted a panel with Nashville community leaders at the Grand Masonic Lodge of Tennessee Thursday evening.

“It’s a call to action panel to see, one, what they think about what’s going on, and two, what is it that we need to do to fix the problem?” said Aniya Milford, a Hume-Fogg senior and president of Black Americans United. “It’s basically to get everything put on the table so that everybody has a clear understanding of what is expected of them.”

Black Americans United is the club that sponsored the event featuring Metro police Chief Steve Anderson, Councilman Freddie O’Connell, Metro schools Director Shawn Joseph, and juvenile court Judge Sheila Calloway.

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Students Hold Panel On African American Teen Criminalization

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Metro Public School students and city leaders met Thursday night to discuss violence happening in the African American youth community.

Students from Hume-Fogg Academic put on the panel discussion. Junior Taylor Gentry, 16, lives in North Nashville. Gentry said her friends are tired of seeing shootings happen within the young black community. She said she sees some of the violence like suspensions and expulsions in her community are generated from social media activities.

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Community Leaders Tackle Trend Of Teens Committing Violent Crimes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For nearly two decades Juvenile Magistrate Judge Carlton Lewis has sat on a bench at the Juvenile Justice Center. “Whenever somebody gets to this court every other agency, every other program in the community has probably failed.”

The four teens recently charged with criminal homicide may end up in his court room. “Obviously it scares me, the idea of anyone being involved in any kind of violent offense,” Lewis said.

Anthony Sinor, Mithcell Mann, Byron Berkley and Terrence Rainey are all 16-years-old, and they’re all charged with criminal homicide since mid-January. While some may think it’s gang related, officers believe otherwise.

“The kids involved in these shootings are not confirmed gang members and nor do we feel like it’s any type of gang initiation,” said Officer Kelly Gray.

Gray serves as supervisor for the Gang and High Risk Unit, she said many of the kids coming into court now don’t have any previous court involvement. “This is new for us,” she said.

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