Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Signs Historic Legislation to Close and Reimagine Atlanta City Detention Center
Wednesday, May 29th, 2019
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed legislation authorizing the closure of the Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC). With a declining number of inmates housed and increased operating costs, Mayor Bottoms called for the closing of ACDC last year.
“The final closure of this Detention Center symbolizes a new era for the city of Atlanta,” said Mayor Bottoms. “Transforming this space into a Center for Equity replaces City-subsidized incarceration with something more effective—equipping residents with the tools they need to succeed. Taking this critical step will both result in meaningful change for Atlanta and set a new standard for the rest of the nation.”
Last week, the Atlanta City Council adopted a resolution introduced by Council member Andre Dickens on behalf of Mayor Bottoms’ Administration establishing a Task Force to repurpose ACDC. The mission of the Task Force is to evaluate a use of the detention center that could benefit the entire community and serve as a Center for Equity. Community organizations and activists have also been instrumental in working with city leaders to push for positive reform.
“Today, we are making history,” said Marilynn Winn, a formerly incarcerated woman and Director of Women on the Rise and Close the Jail ATL: Communities Over Cages Campaign. “Formerly incarcerated women are standing side by side with the Mayor and City Council to lead the nation’s first ever jail to equity center. This legislation is a major step toward Atlanta becoming a city that chooses services not sentences, solutions not punishments.”
Mayor Bottoms will publicly post a solicitation of nominations of additional individuals who would like to be considered to serve on the Task Force. The Mayor will select not more than 25 individuals representing diverse professional backgrounds. Additional representatives of city government whose input should be considered in the deliberations of the Task Force may be added.
Task Force participants will include, but are not limited to:
- Chief Operating Officer, or her designee
- Chief Equity Officer, Office of Equity, Diversion, and Inclusion, or his designee
- Chief Resiliency Officer, Office of Resilience, or his designee
- One representative from the City Council, appointed by the Council President
- One representative from the Committee on Public Safety and Legal Administration, appointed by the Chairman of that Committee
- City Attorney, or her designee
- Chief Judge, Atlanta Municipal Court, or his/her designee
- Chief of the Atlanta Department of Corrections, or his designee
- Chief of the Atlanta Police Department, or her designee
Closing the Atlanta City Detention Center is one of many steps Mayor Bottoms has taken to actively improve the city of Atlanta’s criminal justice system. In her first 100 days, Mayor Bottoms introduced a new program; Preparing Adult Offenders through Treatment and Therapy (PAT3) to assist prison inmates with finding jobs. In addition to eliminating cash bond in the city of Atlanta, Mayor Bottoms also issued an Executive Order directing the Chief of ACDC to take the necessary action to permanently stop receiving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees under the current agreement with the United States Marshals Service.
Click HERE to complete the Atlanta City Detention Center Task Force Nomination Form.
Click HERE to view the Atlanta City Detention Center Legislation.