Tuesday, March 21, 2023

MTSU Dissociates With Judge Donna Davenport After Serious Accusations


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Story by Toriana Williams / News Editor

Photo via Pexels

Adjunct instructor Judge Donna Scott Davenport is no longer teaching at Middle Tennessee State University due to accusations regarding illegal arrests and incarceration of juveniles.

Former MTSU adjunct instructor Judge Donna Scott Davenport.

On Oct. 12, MTSU President Sidney McPhee sent an email that stated, “Adjunct instructor Judge Donna Scott Davenport, whose actions overseeing Rutherford County Juvenile Court have recently drawn attention in national media reports, is no longer affiliated with the University.”

The previously mentioned media reports are related to an $11 million lawsuit settlement focusing on a Rutherford County policy that has allegedly resulted in the illegal arrest and incarceration of more than 1,000 children.

Said policy is that all children charged with crimes are to be processed at the detention center. This was to be arranged through being arrested or dropped off at the center.

Davenport, judge for the Rutherford County Juvenile Court, was elected to the court in 2000 and has been re-elected twice since. She has been Rutherford Country’s sole juvenile court judge for around 21 years, with her current term ending in 2022.

Under the direction of Davenport, 48 percent of children were jailed in 2014, while the statewide average at the time was 5 percent.

In 2016, a controversial incident caused children to be charged with “criminal responsibility for conduct of another,” which is a nonexistent law in Tennessee.

Under her reign, children as young as seven years old have been sent to jail.

Hayden Hagan, a student at MTSU, said, “I don’t understand how we’re expected to learn unbiased and quality education from Donna Davenport if this is what she does as a judge.”

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