State Fact Sheet

Public Safety in Georgia

Georgia

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Public Safety Performance Project > State Work > Georgia

Following a major criminal justice initiative in 2012, Georgia has enacted sweeping juvenile justice reforms. HB 242  passed both chambers of the General Assembly unanimously and was signed into law by Governor Deal on May 2, 2013. The bill will reduce commitment of lower-level juvenile offenders to expensive secure facilities and boost proven, community-based alternatives.

HB 242 and accompanying budget initiatives, are expected to save the state nearly $85 million through 2018, avoiding the need to open two additional juvenile residential facilities. This allows the state to reinvest a portion of the savings to expand community-based programs and practices proven to reduce recidivism through a new $5 million voluntary, fiscal incentive grant program to counties.

The recommendations were developed by the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform, which was created in 2011.  The Council conducted an extensive review of the state’s juvenile justice data and found that a significant number of the youth in expensive out-of-home facilities were adjudicated for low-level offenses and many of the youth in these facilities were assessed as a low risk to reoffend. The Council developed recommendations with technical assistance from The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Crime & Justice Institute.

During its first year, the Council analyzed the state’s adult sentencing and corrections system and proposed recommendations that ultimately led to HB 1176.  That bill, which passed the legislature unanimously during the 2012 legislative session and was signed into law by the governor, is estimated to avert all of the projected prison growth by focusing prison space on high-risk offenders and will reduce recidivism by strengthening probation, drug courts, and other alternative sentencing options. In 2012, Gov. Deal extended the Council and expanded its membership for the purpose of reviewing the state’s juvenile justice system.

 

Georgia Sentencing and Corrections Resources

Georgia_Research_label

Report | July 11, 2012
 2012 Georgia Public Safety Reform
 A summary of Georgia's public safety reforms. arrow

Fact Sheet | June 6, 2012
Time Served in Georgia
The average offender released in 2009 served 3.2 years in custody. arrow


Survey
| April 2, 2012
Public Attitudes on Crime and Punishment in Georgia 
Georgia voters want a public safety system that holds criminals accountable and keeps communities safer. arrow


Fact Sheet
| January 2012
The Price of Prisons
In fiscal year 2010, the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) had more than $1.0 billion in prison expenditures. arrow


Fact Sheet
| March 2, 2009
1 in 31: The Long Reach of American Corrections
1 in 13 adults is under correctional control. arrow

 

PSPP_GA_news

Press Release | May 2, 2013
Pew Applauds Georgia Leaders for Comprehensive Juvenile Justice Reform
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law today comprehensive legislation that will improve the state’s juvenile justice system by reducing youth recidivism rates and cutting costs to taxpayers. arrow

Media Coverage | April 26, 2013
AP: Gov. Deal signs second part of Georgia criminal justice bill
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed the second edition of a criminal justice bill into law Thursday, calling the legislation another step toward making the state "smarter on crime." arrow

Media Coverage | April 25, 2013
Atlanta Business Chronicle: Gov. Deal inks next step in sentencing reforms
Gov. Nathan Deal Thursday signed a second round of criminal justice reform aimed at saving tax dollars while improving public safety.arrow

Media Coverage | April 25, 2013
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia to focus on inmate rehabilitation
Following remarks at the Marietta Kiwanis Club on Thursday, Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a second round of criminal justice reforms to implement “smart on crime” policies he says will save tax dollars and promote public safety.arrow

Media Coverage | April 25, 2013
Marietta Journal: Deal signs crime reform bill in Cobb
Following remarks at the Marietta Kiwanis Club on Thursday, Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a second round of criminal justice reforms to implement “smart on crime” policies he says will save tax dollars and promote public safety.arrow

Media Coverage | July 16, 2012
August Chronicle: Gov. Deal Wants Review of Juvenile Justice System
Gov. Nathan Deal urged judges, prosecutors, sheriffs and legislators serving on a criminal-justice reform commission Monday to consider every part of the juvenile justice system for overhaul. arrow

Press Release | May 2, 2012
Pew Applauds Georgia Leaders for Enacting Comprehensive Public Safety Reform
The far-reaching package of reforms Governor Nathan Deal signed into law today places Georgia among a growing number of states leading the way towards data-driven, fiscally sound criminal justice systems. arrow

Media Coverage | May 2, 2012
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Deal Signs Bill Revamping Many Criminal Sentences
Calling it a historic day for Georgia, an emotional Gov. Nathan Deal on Wednesday signed into law major
changes to how the state punishes non-violent criminals. arrow

Media Coverage | May 2, 2012
Online Athens: Gov. Deal Signs Criminal Justice System Overhaul 
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation Wednesday that will overhaul the state's criminal
justice system to provide alternative sentences for nonviolent offenders and reduce soaring prison costs. arrow

Media Coverage | May 2, 2012
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Pushing Beyond Prisons: Governor to Sign Sweeping Justice Reform Bill
The way Georgia punishes thousands of nonviolent offenders will forever change when Gov. Nathan Deal signs landmark legislation Wednesday. It represents a first step in the governor's long-term plan to reserve prison beds for the state's most violent criminals. arrow

Media Coverage | May 2, 2012
WTOC: Deal Signs Criminal Justice Reform Bill
Georgia's criminal justice system faces some big changes. Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law HB 1176, which seeks alternative treatments for punishing nonviolent crimes and frees up prison space for offenders who pose a danger to society, according to the governor's office. arrow

Media Coverage | May 2, 2012
WABE: Governor Deal Expected to Sign Criminal Justice Overhaul
Governor Nathan Deal is expected to sign into law today a statewide criminal justice overhaul. arrow

Media Coverage | May 2, 2012
WTVM: Deal to Sign Overhaul of Criminal Justice System
Gov. Nathan Deal is set to sign legislation that will bring sweeping changes to the state's criminal justice system, a priority he set early in his administration.  arrow  

Media Coverage | April 4, 2012
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: What the Georgia Legislature Got Right in 2012
 The single most important accomplishment of the 2012 General Assembly will probably prove to be its far-reaching reform of the Georgia criminal justice system. arrow  

Media Coverage | April 2, 2012
Gainesville Times: Our Views: Vying for Votes
This being an election year, we all knew the 2012 session of the General Assembly would produce its fair share of "hey, look at me" bills designed more to impress voters than to solve their problems. arrow

Media Coverage | March 28, 2012
The Walton Tribune: Not Everyone Belongs in Prison
 I don’t often agree with a lot of the moves made by our Georgia politicos, so when I do, I feel I should mention it. arrow

Media Coverage | March 28, 2012
CBS: Senate OKs Sweeping Proposal On Sentencing Reform
 With strong bipartisan support, the Georgia Senate has approved the proposed overhaul of Georgia's criminal justice system. arrow

Media Coverage | March 28, 2012
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Senate Unanimously Approves Sentencing Reform Bill
The state Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation to reform Georgia's criminal sentencing laws to divert nonviolent drug and property offenders away from costly prison beds, saving the state tens of millions of dollars in projected corrections spending. arrow

Media Coverage | May 2, 2012
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Deal Signs Bill Revamping Many Criminal Sentences
Calling it a historic day for Georgia, an emotional Gov. Nathan Deal on Wednesday signed into law major
changes to how the state punishes non-violent criminals. arrow

 

Date:
May 2, 2013
Project:
Public Safety Performance Project
Issues:
Public Safety
State:
Georgia
 
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