The SMART Justice Network is dedicated to developing practical, evidenced-based solutions for justice-involved individuals with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders. SMART stands for Substance Misuse and Addiction Resource for Tennessee. Originally founded as the Tennessee Judicial Opioid Initiative (TJOI) in 2018, the TN SMART Justice Network includes representatives from the judicial branch, key state government agencies as well as private sector nonprofits and organizations dedicated to creating best practices, tools, policies, and alternatives for individuals who have come in contact with the criminal justice system in the State of Tennessee.
TN SMART Justice Network partners include: The Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts, The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, the Tennessee Department of Health, the Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Department of Correction, the Tennessee District Attorneys Conference, the Tennessee General Assembly, the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole, the Tennessee Association of Recovery Court Professionals, the Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug & other Addiction Services, the Metro Drug Coalition, the SMART Policy Network, and the Jason Foundation.
"Our state is in a substance abuse crisis, and it is going to take the collective efforts of those in the public and private sectors to develop the needed research, policy, and solutions. -Judge Duane Slone, chair of the TN SMART Justice Network"
In addition to our work, the TN SMART Justice Network also works closely with the Appalachian/Midwest Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative (RJOI), which includes Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia. More information on RJOI and its projects can be found here.
Many of our partners and team members work on other related initiatives and projects on the federal, state, and local levels. This includes the National Opioid Disorder Strategic Work Group through the White House Office of Drug Abuse Policy; Tennessee Together; the National Judicial Opioid Initiative; multiple rural justice initiatives; and more. The SMART Justice Network, its partners and team members are fully committed to tackling the issue of substance misuse and its related issues and working with groups, initiatives, and projects with a similar mission.
SMART Justice Network Chair
Judge O. Duane Slone is a circuit court judge in Tennessee’s Fourth Judicial District in East Tennessee. He is the co-chair of the Tennessee SMART Justice Network. He also serves as chair of the Appalachian-Midwest Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative, chair of the National Judicial Opioid Initiative Civil & Criminal Justice Committee, board member of the Tennessee Association of Recovery Court Professionals, and chair of the Tennessee Judicial Conference Problem-Solving Committee. He is a drug recovery court judge as well.
He was awarded the National Center for State Courts William Rehnquist Award, the organizations highest honor, in 2019, and the organization’s Distinguished Service Award in 2018, both for his work in responding to the opioid crisis.
His full biography is available here.