Category: Crime

Atlanta Police Force on Track to Get Body Cameras

Amid the nationally ongoing and sometimes emotionally charged discussion of police interactions and transparency, Atlanta is moving toward body cameras for law enforcement officers. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta City Council voted to spend nearly $6 million to purchase 1,200 of the cameras, which are designed to capture officers’ actions without the ability for interruption or editing footage. This amount of cameras will cover over half of all active officers, as APD consists of approximately 2000 sworn police officers as of 2014, according to an annual Atlanta Police Department Report. In areas where body cameras have already been deployed, the response has been positive from both the officers and the communities they police. “I don’t know… View Article

Guide to the Issues: Criminal Justice

Principles: Public safety is a core responsibility of government. A well-functioning criminal justice system enforces order and respect for every person’s right to property and life, and ensures that liberty does not lead to license. As with any government program, the criminal justice system must be transparent and include performance measures that hold it accountable for its results in protecting the public, lowering crime rates, reducing re-offending, collecting victim restitution and conserving taxpayers’ money. An ideal criminal justice system works to reform amenable offenders who will return to society through harnessing the power of families, charities, faith-based groups, and communities. Criminal prosecution should be reserved for conduct that is either blameworthy or threatens public safety, not wielded to grow government… View Article
California State Democratic Sen. Holly Mitchell and various law enforcement groups in California have reached an agreement regarding the fate of a bill introducing various reform measures to the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws, according to The Los Angeles Times of August 5, 2016, The bill, S.B. 443, changes the requirement for seizing assets to a criminal conviction, but only for seizures of less than $40,000 in value.  This amount comes by way of a concession to the law enforcement community, who perceived the bill as too far-reaching without this addendum. “At its core, [the previous version of SB 443] sends basically a message to drug dealers that the cost of doing business has gone down,” said Ventura County… View Article
As reported in Creative Loafing, the city of Atlanta is considering new measures designed to keep people out of jail who might be better served with a targeted response to the reason for their offense.  This proposed measure is among many being considered within the state of Georgia and even nationally in the criminal justice reform movement, which seeks to curb high incarceration and recidivism rates with more intelligent and cost-saving strategies.… View Article

Rethinking Mandatory Minimum Sentences

By John G. Malcolm and John-Michael Seibler President Obama has publicly opined that mandatory minimum sentences ranging from 20 years to life in prison for drug offenses do not “fit the crime.” He has acted on that belief by commuting dozens of drug offenders’ sentences as Congress debates reform to various aspects of mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Sherman Chester is built like an NFL cornerback. His size belies a calm, respectful demeanor and a soft-spoken wit. On politics, he says he registered to vote as a Republican in 1984 because “Ronald Reagan was in office” and “America was doing it!” And when asked how he felt when he received a mandatory life sentence without parole for selling cocaine and heroin,… View Article

Don’t Train Kids to be Felons in Adult Jails

By Newt Gingrich and Pat Nolan The noted “tough on crime” criminologist John Dilulio once commented that “jailing youth with adult felons under Spartan conditions will merely produce more street gladiators.” Louisiana should heed Dilulio’s caution against locking up young petty criminals alongside violent adult criminals. The Bayou State is one of only nine states that prosecutes 17-year-olds as adults, often for the most minor of crimes (stealing a bag of potato chips, for instance). We all can agree that breaking the law is wrong and that these teens deserve to face consequences for their actions. But tossing them into adult jails with hardened criminals just makes those bad situations worse. The research and data are clear: Adult jails are… View Article

Criminal Justice Reform Unshackles Georgians

By Benita M. Dodd Appeals Court Judge Michael P. Boggs, co-chair of the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform since 2012, makes a passionate case for the strides that have taken Georgia to the forefront in criminal justice reform. The Waycross jurist recalls presiding over a drug court in six rural counties in South Georgia. “I asked defendants three questions,” Boggs told the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s annual Legislative Luncheon recently. “When did you first drop out of school? Ninth grade. “What drug did you first start using? Marijuana. “When did you first start using it? Age 13. Boggs asked the luncheon attendees to guess: “How many of the first 6,000 criminal defendants I dealt with in felony criminal court… View Article
The Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform has released its 2016 Report, which provides a summary of progress to date and a list of recommendations. Below are excerpts from the report’s executive summary. It is often said that the states are our laboratories of democracy. With criminal justice reform, this is undeniably true. Over the past decade, more than two dozen states have enacted significant reforms to their sentencing and correctional systems, changes that have improved public safety while holding offenders accountable and reducing taxpayer costs. Unlike so many policy issues in America today, criminal justice reform has been embraced with overwhelming bipartisan support. As 2016 begins, Congress and President Obama are acknowledging the substantial progress unfolding in the… View Article
Civil asset forfeiture happens when law enforcement seizes property and money suspected of being related to a crime without any criminal conviction. Originally, it was a way for police to target drug trafficking and money laundering; today, it’s described as “policing for profit.”  The Institute for Justice’s November 2015 report, “Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture,” gave Georgia a D- for its laws, pointing out that the state has “poor protections for innocent third-party property owners.” As a Daily Signal article recounts, law enforcement agencies share the proceeds while owners of the seized property face a complicated retrieval process. “For citizens whose cash, houses, or motor vehicles are seized by police in Philadelphia, the journey to… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has been a catalyst for common sense proposals—and elected officials are listening and reacting.

U.S. Senator Bill Frist more quotes