AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

Criminal justice reform proposals to be unveiled Friday

Another round of changes may be coming to Georgia's approach to justice. The Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform gave final approval Thursday to a report that will continue a wave of reforms that began in 2011.

The report, expected to be released to the public on Friday, will call for sweeping changes to the state’s misdemeanor probation system. It will also call for broad support for Georgia’s ambitious “re-entry” initiative, which seeks to improve public safety by helping people just released from prison make a successful transition to life in the community.

The council’s recommendations will also call for lawmakers to consider allowing certain recidivist drug offenders to be eligible for parole. Suggestions related to juvenile justice, accountability courts and the state’s First Offender Act were also approved by the council.

Gov. Nathan Deal, who created the council and has led the state’s reform efforts, popped by the packed meeting room on Thursday as the group made final tweaks to its report. He is expected to push the General Assembly to adopt the council's latest list of recommendations.


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About the Author

Carrie Teegardin is on the investigative team. She is a graduate of Duke University and has won numerous national journalism awards.