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Georgia Passes Public Safety Bill

Bipartisan Legislation Revises Sentencing and Cuts Costs

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Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a set of public safety reforms into law today that will make communities safer and cut corrections costs. The new bill and accompanying budget measures will help reduce Georgia's prison population and prisoner return rates by focusing jail space on high-risk offenders and by strengthening probation programs.

Prior to the bill's passage, Georgia's prison population was projected to rise by eight percent over the next five years at a cost of $264 million to taxpayers.  The new law is estimated to avert this growth and cost. Additionally, the state has invested more than $17 million into initiatives designed to reduce reoffending.

The new law and budget initiatives, based on more than six months of intensive work by the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform for Georgians, will place Georgia in the company of more than a dozen states that are implementing policies designed to provide greater public safety returns on state corrections dollars. These reforms have contributed to the first drop in the national prison population in nearly 40 years.

Read a summary of the bill, the council's full report on the legislation and budget initiatives, the full text of the legislation, and Georgia Public Policy Foundation's related Issue Analysis.

Georgia Resources

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