Georgia has a great opportunity to be “smart on crime” to reduce the crime rate, reduce recidivism and save taxpayer dollars. Having passed sweeping criminal justice legislation in 2012, asset forfeiture and juvenile justice reform top the list for 2013.
1. 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.
2. Crime victims, along with the public and taxpayers, are among the key “consumers” of the criminal justice system; the victim’s conception of justice, public safety, and the offender’s risk for future criminal conduct should be prioritized when determining an appropriate punishment.
3. The corrections system should emphasize public safety, personal responsibility, work, restitution, community service, and treatment—both in probation and parole, which supervise most offenders, and in prisons.
4. 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.
5. Because incentives affect human behavior, policies for both offenders and the corrections system must align incentives with our goals of public safety, victim restitution and satisfaction, and cost-effectiveness, thereby moving from a system that grows when it fails to one that rewards results.
6. Criminal law should be reserved for conduct that is either blameworthy or threatens public safety, not wielded to grow government and undermine economic freedom.
Right on Crime - The Foundation has partnered with the Texas Public Policy Foundation and other conservative leaders to develop state policies that are "smart on crime" as opposed to just being "tough on crime."
Georgia Bureau of Investigation - Uniform Crime Reports consolidated for the state and by county.
Bureau of Justice Statistics - One of the best sites for a wide range of data.
Crime Trends (state and local)
Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics
(state and local)
Firearms and Crime Statistics
Federal Judiciary - Website of the federal court system.