Tag: Criminal Justice Reform

Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd wrote an op-ed on civil asset forfeiture in Georgia for the July 17, 2015, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It appeared behind the paywall (link here); the complete text appears  below. Theft by another name By Benita Dodd Dictionary.com describes “theft” as “the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another.” That also describes “civil asset forfeiture” by law enforcement authorities. Law enforcement agencies have argued civil asset forfeiture is a necessary crime-fighting tool; others admit, more honestly, it’s a cash cow. Seminars list the profitable items to seize. News reports highlight agencies’ abusive spending on parties and vehicles, and even how police stop suspects’ vehicles in the cash-carrying… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd Susette Kelo was minding her own business when the city of New London, Conn., set its sights on her home. The city wanted to take the property and demolish the home, along with her neighbors’ homes, to make way for private economic development. Kelo decided to fight back. The Institute for Justice led her fight, joined by think tanks around the country, including the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. Remember the shocked property owners around the nation when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 10, 2005, that the city could take Kelo’s home and land against her will? The Court said it was the states’ responsibility to toughen the laws on eminent domain that enabled governments… View Article
Abstract Despite civil asset forfeiture’s noble intentions, the many stories of innocent victims and law enforcement abuses prove that the pendulum has swung too far in favor of law enforcement. In reforming forfeiture laws, however, we must be careful not to swing the pendulum too far in the opposite direction. The process should be made fairer and more transparent, the profit incentive of forfeiture should be abolished or severely constrained, and there should be greater oversight. Civil asset forfeiture should be returned to its original purpose: penalizing those who seek to profit from their illegal activities. If such funds were deposited into the general treasury, nothing would preclude law enforcement authorities from going to Congress or their state legislatures and… View Article
Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute participated in a May 12, 2015 panel discussion on poverty. Panelists at the Georgetown University event included President Obama. Read the transcript of the entire discussion here, from the White House; below are some of Brooks’ comments: MR. BROOKS: Look, no good economist, no self-respecting person who understands anything about economics denies that there are public goods. There just are public goods. We need public goods. Markets fail sometimes — there’s a role for the state. There are no radical libertarians up here, libertarians who believe that the state should not exist, for example. Even the libertarians don’t think that. So we shouldn’t caricature the views of others because, in point of… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen  As expected, transportation funding and the Governor’s proposal to address persistently failing public schools dominated Georgia’s legislative session. The measures passed, yet several opportunities to address critical economic issues were missed.  Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly on how the 2015 legislative session affects the average Georgian.  Transportation: You will be paying about 3 cents per gallon in gas taxes more than you did over the last four years. This tax increase, along with annual fees on alternative fuel vehicles and heavy trucks and a $5-a-day charge on hotel and motel rooms, adds up to more than $900 million a year in needed transportation funding.  Legislators also fixed many problems with the Transportation Special Purpose… View Article
The Federalist has published an article that highlights the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s role in bipartisan criminal justice reform in the state. It notes, “Georgia has distinguished itself as a front-runner on this issue. Although the overhaul of its justice system is far from complete, the Peach State has joined its Lone Star cousin as a success story that’s raising eyebrows across the nation. There’s something here for everybody to like. By reforming its corrections system, Georgia has already saved more than $20 million, with much bigger savings likely on the horizon. Its general inmate population is down, and juvenile detention rates have fallen even more. Through it all, crime rates have remained low.” The article continues: “I… View Article

Friday Facts: March 13, 2015

It’s Friday! Events March 18: The deadline is MONDAY to register for, “Federalism, The Rule of Law and Regulatory Excess,” the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast on Wednesday with Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. $30. Find out more here. Register online here. March 26: Foundation President Kelly McCutchen is a panelist at an Atlanta discussion on criminal justice reform in Georgia, hosted by the Charles Koch Institute. Find out more about, “From State in Crisis to Reform Leader: How Georgia’s Approach to Criminal Justice Is Impacting Well-Being,” at http://bit.ly/1b5eNTQ. Quotes of Note “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” – Frederick Douglass “The welfare state is the… View Article

Legislature Makes Good Progress on The Issues

By Benita M. Dodd As the legislative session reaches the halfway mark for 2015 (Monday is Day 20), there are signs of promising action from Georgia’s General Assembly. For novices: The Georgia Legislature has two-year sessions of 40 days each year. Crossover day for legislation is Day 30, which means a bill must have passed at least one chamber for a chance to become law. (Convoluted amendments sometimes skirt this requirement.) If it does not pass in the first year, it has another opportunity to continue in the second year; if not, it must be introduced all over again. Bearing in mind that a part-time Legislature has little time and few resources to get acquainted with policies, precedents or philosophies,… View Article

Friday Facts: February 20, 2015

It’s Friday! Events March 18: “Federalism, The Rule of Law and Regulatory Excess,” is the topic of the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast with Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. $30. Find out more here. Register online by Monday, March 16, here. Quotes of Note “[I]t is of the greatest consequence that the debt should . . . be remoulded into such a shape as will bring the expenditure of the nation to a level with its income. Till this shall be accomplished, the finances of the United States will never wear proper countenance. Arrears of interest, continually accruing, will be as continual a monument, either of inability, or of ill faith and will not cease to have… View Article

Friday Facts: January 23, 2015

It’s Friday! It’s National School Choice Week January 25-31, with 11,000 events scheduled! Find one near you at http://schoolchoiceweek.com/. If you missed our School Choice Week event, “School Choice: The Next Frontier,” with Dr. Ben Scafidi, view it on our YouTube channel at http://youtu.be/yJcVsle6BdM. Find photographs on Facebook here.  This week’s Friday Facts has a special focus: school choice! Tweet your views on the Foundation’s Twitter page @gppf with hashtag #scw and #gppf. Events February 18: “Transportation Money Matters,” is the topic of the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast, featuring a panel discussion by Kelly McCutchen and Baruch Feigenbaum of the Reason Foundation tackling Georgia transportation and funding solutions. $30. Register online by Monday,… View Article

When I served four terms in the state Senate, one of the few places where you could go to always and get concrete information about real solutions was the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. That hasn’t changed. [The Foundation] is really right up there at the top of the state think tanks, so you should be very proud of the work that they are doing!

Congressman Tom Price more quotes