- January 5, 2012
- Georgia Budget and Policy Institute
- Alan Essig
Criminal justice reform is long overdue in Georgia. Last fall the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House created a Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform. In November the Council released a special report, which contained an analysis of the criminal justice problem as well as recommendations. I was pleased to see that many of the recommendations offered in the Council’s report were similar to the recommendations GBPI proposed four years ago in the report, Tough on Crime and the Budget: The Difficult Balancing Act of Public Safety and Skyrocketing Prison Costs. The GBPI report documented the history of public policy choices that led to the dramatic growth in costs of the state prison system. To bring those costs under control, we recommended sentencing reform, evidence-based alternative sentences, and increased use of drug and mental health courts.