Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform Issues Report

Georgia’s top jurist and three superior court judges have been involved for the past six months with the non-partisan, intra-branch Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform. Chief Justice Hunstein, Supreme Court; Judge Ural Glanville, Superior Court, Atlanta Judicial Circuit, and Judge Michael P. Boggs, Superior Court, Waycross Judicial Circuit, joined Judge Todd Markle, Superior Court, Atlanta Judicial Circuit, on the thirteen-member group to analyze the criminal justice system in Georgia. The Council, created by the General Assembly during the 2011 Legislative Session, made its report in November 2011 with suggestions to stem the growth of the state’s prison population and alleviate the financial burden placed on taxpayers.
The 25 page report details a number of policy options for the General Assembly to consider including creation of a state-wide system of accountability courts. “Drug courts, for example, have been proved effective when they follow specific best practices,” the report reads.  There are several types of accountability courts that serve a variety of groups: drug courts, DUI courts, mental health courts, veteran’s court. Not all communities are within the jurisdiction of an accountability court.
The report also recommended decriminalizing minor traffic offenses and giving judges discretion to depart from mandatory minimum sentences.
The full report can be read here.
Articles about the report:
Atlanta Journal-Constitution — Panel recommends reforms to stem prison spending
Augusta Chronicle — Georgia considering big changes in justice


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