Tag: Georgia Juvenile Justice Reform

By Mike Klein Georgia criminal justice reform has passed both chambers but the House would need to agree to substitute legislation because the Senate added seven amendments when it passed the bill 51-0 on Tuesday afternoon.  Two other floor amendments failed and two were withdrawn. None of the amendments dramatically change Georgia’s most sweeping criminal justice reform since a generation of do the crime, do the time laws were passed some twenty years ago. Governor Nathan Deal made criminal justice reform a major priority during his first State of the State address in January 2011.  The work of the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform last year and the legislature this year are an important first step forward with others… View Article
By Mike Klein The most sweeping juvenile justice reform legislation since Jimmy Carter was Governor sailed through the Georgia House on Wednesday afternoon, passing 172-0.  It moves to the Senate where passage is predicted and then on to Governor Nathan Deal who supports the legislation. Leaders from both parties spoke favorably in the well before the overwhelming vote. House Bill 641 would update Georgia statutes to make certain the state is in federal compliance. Like ongoing adult criminal justice reform, the legislation moves the state toward provision of more services to juveniles who need personal treatment and less reliance on incarceration when juveniles are not considered a threat to themselves, their families or public safety. A series of short presentations… View Article
By Jeanette Moll and Kelly McCutchen Like many of their colleagues across the country, Georgia policy-makers are taking an increasingly close look at their criminal justice system. In search of both increased effectiveness as well as cost savings, policy-makers now have an ideal opportunity to evaluate and improve the correctional system. An essential part of that review must include that portion of the justice system which oversees juvenile delinquents. Georgia’s state budget for juvenile justice is $266 million in Fiscal Year 2011 and may grow to $279 million in 2012.1In addition, almost 50,000 youths are in the system each year, either awaiting adjudication or serving their sentences2– 50,000 youths who represent the future workforce and citizens of Georgia. Undoubtedly, the… View Article

Juvenile Justice Reform Bill Vote Possible on Tuesday

By Mike Klein The Georgia House could vote as early as Tuesday on juvenile justice reform legislation that is every bit as significant as a similar adult criminal justice reform initiative, but it has received less public scrutiny.  The bill appears to have significant bipartisan support in the House and Senate.  One big proposal would mandate that county prosecutors be assigned to every juvenile court. “We are making substantial changes in the way in which we handle problem children in Georgia,” House Judiciary Chair Rep. Wendell Willard said this past weekend during the 21st annual Georgia Bar Media & Judiciary conference in Atlanta.  “One of the things that I’ve made sure is in there is that before the state can… View Article

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