Tag: Georgia Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform

New Criminal Justice Reform Council Proposed Through 2023

By Mike Klein Mike Klein, EditorGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Georgia would establish an ongoing criminal justice reform council to oversee adult and juvenile justice issues in the state as part of proposed sentencing and corrections legislation being considered by policymakers this session. In addition, adult criminal court judges would be allowed to depart from minimum mandatory sentences in a significantly small number of drug trafficking cases under legislation now before a House committee.  Many of the provisions in  HB 349, now before a House committee, were developed by the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform.  The Special Council’s juvenile justice recommendations are contained in HB 242. This week will be important for both pieces of legislation.  Tuesday afternoon,… View Article
By Mike Klein Mike Klein, EditorGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Georgians will need a comfy couch, lots of time and perhaps some caffeine when they begin to read newly introduced juvenile justice and civil code legislation.  Juvenile justice provisions in  House Bill 242 include a proposal to completely revise the state’s 32-year-old juvenile Designated Felony Act, a long overdue step forward, by creating two classes of more and less serious juvenile felony crimes. Juvenile civil code revisions would update laws that govern how juvenile courts operate and the rights of minors in custody and other situations.  The legislation is a comfy couch read at 244 pages.  The juvenile justice sections closely follow the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform recommendations,… View Article

Friday Facts: February 1, 2013

February 1, 2013  It’s Friday!  February 19: Did you know that Georgia had the nation’s fourth-highest foreclosure rate in 2012? Who’s to blame? Greedy bankers? Corrupt politicians? Ignorant homeowners? Find out at the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast at Cobb County’s Georgian Club, 8 a.m. on Tuesday, February 19. The Cato Institute’s Randal O’Toole keynotes “American Dream, American Nightmare,” an explanation of the forces at play in the housing market in Georgia and in the nation, and how to rebuild the American Dream of homeownership. This event will cost $25 to attend. Find out more at http://tinyurl.com/avnapnh. Register by Friday, February 15, at http://tinyurl.com/7ldaqnkQuotes of Note “If you serve a child a rotten hamburger in America, federal,… View Article
By Mike Klein Mike Klein, Editor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation What you are about to read is a big deal:  Georgia has significantly reduced the number of state custody male inmates sitting in local county jails.  Georgia corrections commissioner Brian Owens made the announcement this week during a Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform meeting in Forsyth.  His comment so surprised judges, legislators, prosecutors and others that several let out a huge gasp. “As a result of the legislation and your recommendations, today we have zero males … zero males … in county jails waiting to come into the state system,” Owens said.  “We have about 200 females but we’re going to address that come January and February.  We’ll be… View Article

The Unique Challenge of Georgia Juvenile Repeat Crime

By Mike Klein The devil is always in the details and sometimes details are like trying to put lipstick on a pig.  The recidivism rate for Georgia juveniles is a case in point. One-in-two juveniles leave the system and do not return within three years.  But one-in-two are back within three years, usually because of a new crime, violation of a court order or a probation offense.  There is a cash cost for that level of failure and there also is a human cost. Mike Klein, Editor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation When the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform convened this summer it heard primarily generalities about juvenile justice from expert analysts.  When the Council met this week it was… View Article
By Mike Klein Governor Nathan Deal signed criminal justice reform legislation Wednesday, triggering the most aggressive rebranding of the state’s approach to criminal perpetrators in several decades.  But one question that needs to be resolved is who’s responsible for making sure this all happens? It sounds like the answer begins with the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform whose work provided the structure for Georgia’s new law.  Governor Deal signed House Bill 1176 during an upbeat signing ceremony just below the north steps at the State Capitol in Atlanta. Answering a question from the Public Policy Foundation, the Governor said he would extend the Special Council by executive order, something he has previously discussed.  “We believe we should maybe expand… View Article
PDF version of Issue Analysis: Peach State Criminal Justice: Controlling Costs, Protecting the Public Issue Analysis  Peach State Criminal Justice: Controlling Costs, Protecting the Public  By Marc A. Levin and Vikrant P. Reddy[1]  Introduction  Georgia has struggled to identify polices that properly differentiate between high-risk, violent offenders and lower-risk, nonviolent offenders. Though Georgia’s response to a nonviolent crime has often been to incarcerate, increasing prison populations and costs have led many to question whether probation or diversion to drug or mental health treatment may be better for public safety, better for taxpayers and even better for the offender. That was the conclusion reached in November 2011 by the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform for Georgians (“the Council”), a… View Article
Originally published April 21, 2010 Each day across Georgia, the state Department of Corrections prepares three meals per day to feed a population that is nearly equal to the number of residents living in Marietta.  It takes thousands of pounds of food to feed nearly 60,000 adult prisoners.  Paying for all that food served at 31 state prisons costs taxpayers $1 billion per year, including the cost to manage 150,000 parolees. This month the PEW Center on the States reported the first year-to-year drop in state prison population since 1972.   The percentage rate began to decline in 2007, but real numbers did not decline until last year.  Unfortunately, not in Georgia which posted the sixth largest percentage increase in the… View Article

Georgia Will Test Telephone Self-Reporting for Low-Risk Adult Parolees

Georgia will test a new model that could result in more effective supervision of high-risk parolees because less time would be required for low-risk parolees.  In July the state will begin a three-month telephone reporting pilot project and the initiative could be expanded statewide. “The parolee population is increasing,” said Jay Lacienski, director of field operations at the state Board of Pardons and Parole.  “When you have an ever increasing (parolee) population and a stable parole officer population, you better figure out how to handle that.” Georgia’s pilot project will move 1,300 low-risk parolees into a voice recognition system developed by a Georgia-based outside contractor.  Face-to-face visits with a parole officer will be replaced by telephone reporting.  About one-third… View Article

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