Accomplishments While in Office
• Judge Lynda Jones scrutinized the process for appointed lawyers in Davidson County Courts. She created an Attorney Best Practices Manual with cooperation of a former public defender and the American Bar Association, ensuring that new attorneys receive guidance on thorough representation.
• As presiding judge in 2020, Lynda Jones facilitated a program endorsed by the Tennessee Access to Justice Commission whereby Nashville’s civil courts engaged a pro bono real estate lawyer to assist *tenants while the Nashville Conflict Resolution Center disbursed federal Covid-19 relief funds to pay rents judiciously during the pandemic. This program ran until Judge Rachel Bell created the Legacy court to mediate landlord-tenant disputes going forward.
• Judge Jones is thorough and created policy to identify undocumented defendants with similar names so that the wrong person was not taken into custody at the Davidson County Courthouse. She additionally shepherded the process for obtaining credentialed language interpreters - pursuant to Supreme Court guidelines. She routinely signs U visa paperwork for Hispanic victims of violent crime.
• Judge Jones worked with a private law firm providing pro-bono services, nonprofit stakeholders in the Homeless arena, the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, the Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk’s Office, Nashville’s District Attorney and Nashville’s Public Defender to launch a Homelessness Court after 18 months of collaboration. It is only the 3rd specialized court in the nation where people temporarily experiencing homelessness obtain much needed, solution-based services instead of costly jail time for non-violent offenses.
• Judge Jones serves on the state wide Judges Conference Education Committee which shares best practices for individualized bail hearings, eliminating oppressive bail for those living in poverty, and balancing public safety and the liberty of the individual. She was popularly elected by her peers as President, 2020-2021. She has testified at the Tennessee Legislature to both Senate and House committees about criminal justice reforms.
• Judge Jones served as the District 6 director for the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) which educates judges nationwide on implicit bias, women in prison, women in courts, human trafficking, international policy and fair elections. Nashville hosted the NAWJ national conference in 2021 – a collaboration of attorneys, and local, state, and federal judges.
• Judge Jones volunteered at Operation Safe Surrender, a program that allows individuals with non-violent misdemeanor warrants an opportunity for review, and possible resolution, instead of waiting for an arrest. Judge Jones processed a Metro Nashville police department backlog of thousands of old, unserved warrants still active in police records, subsequently resulting in ongoing time consuming police arrests and related court proceedings. She worked in conjunction with Nashville’s District Attorney and Metro police to logically cull old warrants, saving taxpayer dollars and police resources. Upon review, many of the thousands of aged warrants were determined to be unjust and issued due to clerical errors.