Georgia Senate Approves Sentencing Reform Bill, Now on to Governor
Thank you so much for responding to our efforts to reform Georgia’s failing criminal justice system. By contacting your legislators in Georgia, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the criminal justice reform bill passed unanimously in the Senate and is currently with the governor for signature.
Georgia’s HB 1176 is unique in that it reforms the system while cutting spending and maintaining public safety. Justice Fellowship’s president Pat Nolan said of the bill, “It will focus the criminal justice system on incarcerating those who are truly dangerous, while punishing low-risk offenders without the great expense of incarceration.”
Justice Fellowship (JF) worked with a broad coalition of government officials, law enforcement professionals, pastors and business leaders to promote this new criminal justice reform bill.
Georgia’s HB 1176 will:
– Make sure judges have effective community-based programs available to hold low-level offenders accountable without sending them to prison. Increase the number of probation and parole officers to help keep offenders on the straight and narrow. Offer incentives to local jurisdictions that keep the crime rate down by implementing these new policies.
– Reform the sentencing structure to focus expensive prison beds on violent, career criminals, and punish lower-level, non-violent offenders with mandatory supervision in their home community.
– Use the savings from lowering the prison population to expand drug courts, veterans’ courts and mental health courts, which provide access to programs and treatment geared to help individual offenders turn their lives around.
Governor Nathan Deal praised the legislation saying, “I firmly believe this is a better way to govern our criminal justice system. It’s win-win: saving lives and saving money. It’s a great change for Georgia.”
Thank you for your support of Justice Fellowship’s work in reforming the criminal justice system and making communities safer. Visit Justice Reform in Georgia for more information.