Chief Night Court Magistrate John Manson, left, and General Sessions Judge Lynda Jones

NASHVILLE, TN — On Thursday, December 12th at 9:00am, community members will gather outside Justice A.A. Birch Building courthouse for a press conference to release a report on their observations of Nashville bail hearings. The report finds that magistrates are not adhering to bail setting practices promised after lawsuit threat in 2017. 

Following the press conference, members of Southerners on New Ground (SONG) have called for a march to deliver the report to Chief Night Court Magistrate John Manson and Presiding General Sessions Judge Lynda Jones, demanding that all judges and magistrates stop relying on money bail at bail setting and other bail-related hearings. The group will end with an official launch of the Courtwatch Nashville Coalition, a coalition of organizations focused on promoting transparency and accountability in Nashville courts to work towards decarceration.