Georgia Criminal Justice Reforms have Worked in More ways than One!

A report released by the Criminal Justice Council of Georgia, showed that the justice reforms program has clearly been a hit and has met its intended goals of reducing the number of adults in incarceration as well as saving tax payer dollars. In addition, the multifold program has been successful in eliminating the backlog of county prisoners who were awaiting a place in state penitentiaries and in lowering the number of juvenile prisoners by nearly 60%.

In the absence of these reforms, the state would have to incur an additional burden of $270 million if the inmate growth were allowed to continue unabated. The reforms were channeled at achieving specific goals that included reserving the more intensive and expensive therapy for hardened criminals along with a place in the state prison system for more dangerous convicts. The changes were also meant to reduce the level of supervision aimed at non-violent, mentally ill prisoners and juvenile offenders.

By moving underage, non-violent convicts out of the state correctional system and into the community, the law has placed the onus for their rehabilitation on local authorities. Voices for Georgia, an advocacy group, along with the Governor of the state who championed the reforms process are thrilled at the outcome of their efforts which have managed to bring down the $20 million annual inmate housing budget allocated to each county to just $41,000.