PUBLISHER’S NOTE: The following release was submitted to WLAF by the candidate. It has not been edited for brevity or format.
JACKSBORO, TN (SPECIAL TO WLAF) – Today, 8th Judicial District Attorney General Jared Effler announced his intent to seek a second term after filing his ballot petition with Election Commissions in Campbell, Claiborne, Fentress, Scott and Union Counties. General Effler said, “Eight years ago I made the commitment to this district to hold offenders accountable and to be a voice for crime victims.”
In offering an update on his record of keeping those commitments, General Effler points to our district’s felony incarceration rate. By working with law enforcement and crime victims, the 8th Judicial District has achieved one of the highest incarceration rates for felony offenders in Tennessee. Specifically, felony drug offenders have been put behind bars for over 1,959 years combined since September 2014.
Incarceration isn’t the only measure General Effler has taken to address the drug problem. When our nation was in the midst of the opioid epidemic, he took the fight to the root of the problem – Big Pharma – and won! In the case of Jared Effler, et al v. Purdue Pharma, et al the Tennessee Supreme Court issued a landmark decision holding that when Big Pharma participates in the illegal drug market they can be held liable under the Drug Dealer Liability Act. This has led to a 65% reduction in the number of opioid prescriptions in our district.
General Effler and his staff have also focused on drug rehabilitation as a means to reduce offender recidivism and prevent future victims. Since taking office General Effler and his staff have devoted effort and resources to our recovery courts, resulting in the graduation of 171 non-violent offenders (when offenders complete recovery court their recidivism rate is only 25%, compared to 70% for non-graduates).
General Effler said, “I believe the most important job of the District Attorney and his staff is to be a voice for crime victims.” Before taking office he pledged to open a full time, professionally staffed office in each of the 8th Judicial District’s five counties and he immediately delivered on that promise. Having an office in each county has afforded crime victims easier access to prosecutors and additional resources. Effler added, “You simply cannot serve the people if you aren’t where they need you.”
Since taking office, General Effler has prioritized the collection of victim compensation and restitution. His office has filed over 565 petitions in our Criminal Courts to revoke the supervised release of offenders who refuse to pay restitution. These efforts have resulted in the collection of over $2.5 million for crime victims.
General Effler has focused efforts to protect our most vulnerable citizens. He formed Vulnerable Adult Protective Investigative Teams (VAPITs) in each of our counties. These teams partner prosecutors, state investigators and local law enforcement officers to review allegations of elder abuse. Additionally, General Effler has formed a dedicated Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit, consisting of prosecutors and victim witness coordinators. Further, District Attorney General Effler worked with local and state partners to help our district become the first in Tennessee to open two Family Justice Centers, facilities where domestic violence victims can receive the services and support they need in one location. Effler noted, “These concentrated efforts to protect our most vulnerable are producing positive results and I look forward to them continuing to provide the services victims deserve.”
Effler is also extremely proud of the work his Child Support Division does, calling them the “unsung heroes” of his office. Since Effler assumed office, his Child Support Division has collected over $65 million dollars in child support. Effler noted, “That buys a lot of diapers, formula, clothes and school supplies for the children of our district.”
General Effler concluded by stating, “Being able to serve the people of Campbell, Claiborne, Fentress, Scott and Union counties as their District Attorney General has been the honor of my lifetime. If the voters of this district allow me to continue to serve, I pledge that I will not rest on the laurels of our past successes but will continue to work hard each and every day to bring peace and dignity to our district.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/10/2022-1:30PM)