Tag: Criminal Justice Reform

By Mike Klein The final breath has  been drawn by this year’s Georgia General Assembly.  Here is what lawmakers did on seven issues that are closely tracked by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.  This article discusses state charter schools, digital learning, criminal justice and juvenile code reform, pension and tax reform and health care reform.  All of these will require more work going forward and in some cases, much more work starting soon. State Charter Schools This November voters will decide who got it right:  Lawmakers four years ago when they created a state charter schools commission or the state Supreme Court last spring when it ruled that the commission was unconstitutional.  The very fact that voters – not the… View Article
By Mike Klein The second version of criminal justice reform legislation is better than its earlier cousin because of what the bill does not include – hundreds of lines of rules and regulations about how to run the state probation and parole programs. The absence of a legislative mandate means there would be more flexibility to expand programs that work and jettison those that are found to be wanting.  One example is electronic monitoring which is being successfully developed inside the state parole program. The House was expected to debate and approve the criminal justice reform substitute bill today.  It would firmly commit Georgia to incarceration alternatives for non-violent offenders, especially mental health and drug court treatment options. The state… View Article
By Mike Klein There are many different kinds of snakes and though I like none of them, I am willing to concede that some can attack and kill you while others are mostly just a nuisance.  The part that I am not quite so good at is figuring out which snakes to fear and which snakes to just closely monitor. A lot of folks in Georgia are trying to figure out which drug abusers to fear and which to just closely monitor.  It is an inexact science that no doubt will produce examples of success and failure. Reform ideas include a strategically different approach that emphasizes less costly treatment programs over more costly incarceration for drug abusers who otherwise have… 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
By Benita M. Dodd Atlanta resident Josiah Neff is so passionate about civil asset forfeiture reform in Georgia that last year he filed suit. One of five plaintiffs in a lawsuit against law enforcement agencies in Atlanta and Fulton County, the software company employee was outraged that the agencies didn’t even bother to comply with state law requiring them to disclose the private property they seized under suspicion that it was used or involved in criminal activity. Three months later, when the suit went to trial, it took the judge just 30 minutes to rule the agencies out of compliance. But the victory for Neff, who currently heads Atlanta’s Libertarian Party, is hollow for the rest of Georgia: As of… View Article
Originally published April 26, 2011 County and city jail populations have declined nationally for two consecutive years, according to just published data from the U.S. Justice Department, but newer state data shows the Atlanta Fulton County jail is once again busting at the seams and operating beyond its capacity. The federal government’s annual survey reported 2009 to 2010 local jail population changes were just the second decline since the report began in 1982. The survey tracks almost three-quarter million men and women who are incarcerated somewhere other than state or federal penitentiaries. Five Georgia county jail systems were named in the report. The DOJ Bureau of Justice Statistics reported local jail inmates were 748,728 on June 30, 2010, down 2.4%… 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

Right on Crime Sees Georgia as Ready for Reform

Atlanta – Right on Crime, a nationwide criminal justice reform initiative, today launched a state-based effort in Georgia to educate policy-makers about the commonsense corrections system reforms that have safely contained prison costs in states like Texas. The announcement comes in advance of Georgia’s Criminal Justice Reform Council releasing its recommendations for the Legislature in November 2011. “Today, almost a half million people are under correctional control in Georgia, costing the state more than $1 billion annually,” said Kelly McCutchen, president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and a Right on Crime signatory. “The Criminal Justice Reform Council and the Georgia State legislature will need to take bold steps to transform our expensive corrections system. Right on Crime’s… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has hit another homerun with its Guide to the Issues. This is must reading for anyone interested in public policy in Georgia, and it is an outstanding road map for conservative, common sense solutions to our challengers of today and tomorrow.

Former Georgia Senate Minority Leader Chuck Clay more quotes