Georgia Recognized Nationally for Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Governor Nathan Deal, along with Gov. Mary Fallin (R-OK) and Gov. Matt Bevin (R-KY), participated in a recent panel discussion on criminal justice reform in Cleveland. The event, hosted by the U.S. Justice Action Network, highlights Georgia, Kentucky and Oklahoma’s efforts in a short film, “Changing Laws, Changing Lives.” Each state passed significant criminal justice reforms in 2016.

“Crime in many parts of the country, including Georgia, is generational,” said Deal. “If you break the cycle and show individuals that there is a different way, then you not only save money and lives in the short term, but you also create generational changes. If you can show these offenders that success after incarceration is possible, it will help keep them from becoming repeat offenders.”

In 2011, Deal initiated a step-by-step approach to address Georgia’s criminal justice system. Key areas of focus include:

  • 2012—Accountability court expansion
  • 2013—Juvenile justice reform 
  • 2014—Prisoner reentry initiatives
  • 2015—Creation of the Department of Community Supervision

This year, Deal signed SB 367, legislation that provides comprehensive reforms for offenders entering, proceeding through and leaving the criminal justice system. The provisions of the legislation are based on recommendations from the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform and build upon Deal’s previous criminal justice reform initiatives.

Deal's sweeping reforms are helping rehabilitate nonviolent offenders and tackling the inflating costs of incarceration. Since 2011, these efforts have saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, eliminated the need for thousands of prison beds and made communities safer. Read more here.

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