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Tennessee Senate approves resolution honoring the life of TDOC administrator Debra Johnson

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NASHVILLE – A resolution honoring the life of Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) administrator, Debra Johnson, who was tragically killed in the line of duty earlier this month, was passed by the Tennessee Senate on Friday as they met in a Special Legislative Session. All members of the Senate stood in respect of Johnson as they voted in favor of Senate Joint Resolution 7025, sponsored by Senator Ed Jackson (R-Jackson).

Johnson was the administrator for West Tennessee correction facilities, including Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville.

“Debra dedicated her life to protecting the citizens of the state of Tennessee,” said Sen. Jackson. “She was a wonderful person who never met a stranger. She leaves an incredible legacy and we just wanted to honor her life and her service to our state with this resolution which also expresses our deepest sympathy to her family.”

Senator Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield) also praised Johnson’s service to Tennessee. “She was a warden at the Turney Center, which is in my district, and we had the privilege of being able to tour the facility with her,” he said. “I have never met anyone with such a passion for those who are incarcerated. This is a woman who not only loved the men in her care, but they loved her deeply. She had this unique ability to look past the sins of one’s past and see the potential that could be unlocked in their future. She was a truly, truly remarkable woman and was a great asset to the Department of Correction.”

Key portions of the resolution state:

“WHEREAS, a much loved and admired member of the Department of Correction family, Debra Johnson was an experienced and knowledgeable corrections leader who maintained positivity and a supportive nature with her fellow employees and offenders alike; and

WHEREAS, Ms. Johnson was viewed as a mentor and role model by departmental employees and was nominated numerous times for recognition of her outstanding contributions to the Department of Correction; and….

WHEREAS, Ms. Johnson was deeply devoted to her family, and she always endeavored to remain true to family values of the highest order; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting that we pause in our deliberations to honor the bountiful life of this exceptional state employee, correctional professional, and human being; now,

THEREFORE, be it resolved by the Senate of the 111th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, the House of Representatives concurring, that we honor the life of Debra K. Johnson, reflecting warmly upon her impeccable character and her stalwart commitment to living the examined life with courage and conviction.”

The resolution, co-sponsored by all members of the Senate, was passed unanimously in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

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