Category: Crime

By Mike Klein Make no mistake, whatever else you think about government, it really digs data. The public sector is littered with data understandable to deep-diving data geeks. Then every so often there is an obscure report that even the little people can understand. Friday Report is one of the very best, a virtual window into Georgia justice data. Friday Report is published weekly by the state Department of Corrections. In a series of snapshots you can review categories that report weekly data for the previous twelve months and some data back forty-eight months. Other data goes back further to 2000 and even 1993. A long range view that establishes trend lines is more important than any reported shorter time… View Article
By Mike Klein Folks are noticing Georgia adult and juvenile justice reforms. This month the Texas Public Policy Foundation hosted a panel discussion that included Georgia pardons and paroles executive director Michael Nail. Nail spoke about his disruptive innovation decision to close brick-and-mortar offices in favor of virtual offices, how the state implemented technology platforms to track parolees, the adoption of a Google platform to change how parole employees fundamentally work and how video hearings radically upgraded time efficiency in the parole process. “Just last week we had the parole board member in Atlanta, we had the offender at Jackson State Prison about sixty miles south (of Atlanta) and we had the (parole) officer as well as a law enforcement… View Article
(Editor’s Note: Jay Neal is Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Transition, Support and Reentry.  This article is an excerpt from his presentation to the Criminal Justice Reform Council on Monday, May 12 at the State Capitol in Atlanta.) By Jay Neal Our primary message is that public safety is the number one goal, THE number one goal. The Georgia Prisoner Reentry Initiative will reduce the number of crimes, it will reduce the number of victims, it will reduce the cost associated with crime.  Another primary message is that no approach will totally eliminate crime.  Let me share with you one of the reasons why that is important.  I live in Chickamauga, Georgia.  Less than a month ago in… View Article
By Mike Klein Georgia launched the fourth year of criminal justice reform this week with a commitment to aggressively push forward with its new prisoner reentry initiative.  Part of the strategy is recognition you must get the message right so folks understand what you are doing. “Our primary message is that public safety is the number one goal, THE number one goal,” said Jay Neal, executive director at the Governor’s Office of Transition, Support and Reentry.  Neal spoke to the Criminal Justice Reform Council for nearly an hour when it met Monday at the state capitol in Atlanta. Neal described five federal implementation grants that the state is seeking and he discussed mission and vision for the Georgia Prisoner Reentry… View Article
By Mike Klein Georgia is seeking several million dollars to implement the state’s prisoner reentry initiative which is the third leg in comprehensive adult and juvenile justice reforms begun three years ago.  The basic framework for five grant submissions was approved when the Criminal Justice Reform Council met Monday morning at the state capitol in Atlanta.  Fully funded, the grants would bring $6.75 million to Georgia over three years.  All five grants would be through the Bureau of Justice Assistance which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice.  The final documents are still works-in-progress but all five grants have submission deadlines either later this month or in early June.  The five grants were presented  to the Council by Jay… View Article
By Mike Klein Look at the little boy whose picture is on TIME magazine.  Sixteen years ago five-year-old Terrell Peterson was murdered by his grandmother and aunt.  Rather than love and care for the boy they killed him. Now look at the photo of the happy little girl. Last fall ten-year-old Emani Moss’s emaciated and burned body was found in a Gwinnett County dumpster after she was allegedly murdered by her father and stepmother.  Rather than love and care for Emani prosecutors say they killed her. Terrell and Emani experienced unspeakable horror before death. Their cases share another common factor. In both cases state child protective services officials had been warned, failed to take action and even started a cover-up… View Article
Tuesday, March 18 Update: The Georgia House has passed Senate Bill 365, which is one of two criminal justice reform bills on the calendar. The vote was 164-to-2. The bill is based in part on Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform recommendations.  SB 365 was amended on the House floor to add language from House Bill 923 that would move the state’s Child Fatality Review Board from the Child Advocate’s Office to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. HB 923 died in a Senate committee last week. As the bill was changed on the House floor, it requires Senate reconsideration. SB 364 is the other criminal justice bill still awaiting a House vote. By MIKE KLEIN Monday afternoon the House… View Article

Don’t Let the Law Get Away With Georgians’ Goods

By Benita M. Dodd There’s no doubt that Georgia’s law enforcement officials dislike strings that restrict civil asset forfeiture, which is the power of law enforcement to seize and keep property suspected of being involved in criminal activity. They’ve told legislators that … time and again. For the rest of Georgia, however, it’s a problem. Unlike with criminal asset forfeiture, under civil forfeiture the owner of the property being seized does not have to be charged with a crime. Cash, cars, homes and other property can be taken without even filing charges, let alone convicting the property’s owner of a crime. It’s a cash cow and an incentive for excessive enthusiasm, even abuse, on the part of law enforcement. Why?… View Article

GA House Passes Interstate Compact for Juveniles Bill

By Mike Klein Every year Georgia locks up hundreds of juveniles who fled here from other states after they violated their probation or parole terms.  Those hundreds sleep in Georgia beds, eat Georgia food, attend Georgia school classes, use Georgia medical services and in every other regard, they become a costly burden for Georgia taxpayers.  But that might end soon Monday afternoon the Georgia House unanimously approved HB 898 which would enable the state to rejoin the Interstate Compact for Juveniles (IJC).  Georgia is currently the only state that is not an IJC member although it was a member for several decades until withdrawal in 2010. The Council on Criminal Justice Reform recommended that Georgia rejoin the IJC in January. … View Article
The Reason Foundation’s Leonard Gilroy has an interesting report on the growing interest in social impact bonds. Georgia’s existing criminal justice reforms have created a need to fund community-based services, which could be leveraged by social impact bonds. Gilroy writes: “An article in the first edition of this newsletter back in October noted the growing interest among states in the emerging tool of social impact bonds (SIBs), which are public-private partnerships in which private philanthropic organizations, financiers, nonprofits or other nongovernmental organizations finance and implement new social service delivery models on behalf of governments under a pay-for-success contract model. Since then, there have been some noteworthy developments in three states—New York State, New Jersey, and Washington State—that demonstrate that the… View Article

I wanted to publicly say how much I appreciate Georgia Public Policy Foundation.  For those of you that will be entering the Legislature or are relatively new you may not quite yet appreciate how much we rely on Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s research and work.  As you know we’re a citizen’s legislature.  We have very little staff. They have been an invaluable, invaluable resource to us.  To put this [Forum] on and the regular programs that they do throughout the year make us better at what we do. (At the 2012 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.)

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