Today, Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia and former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams introduced a criminal justice reform package to improve community safety and the fairness of our justice system.
The Justice for Georgia plan will improve court, jail, and prison systems, lower incarceration rates, reduce recidivism, aid law enforcement, and make our communities safer by building trust throughout Georgia. The plan includes:
- Decriminalization of poverty through eliminating money bail, improving pretrial services and supervision, increasing diversion programs and accountability courts (like veterans courts, drug courts, etc.), and providing for civil penalties rather than criminal penalties for certain traffic offenses and marijuana possession.
- Re-entry and transition program expansion through improving the coordination of services with state agencies like the Department of Corrections and the Department of Community Supervision, developing strong public-private partnerships with employers, housing providers and educational institutions and protecting people from unfair discrimination based on their criminal history.
- Juvenile justice reform through raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 18, the continuation of the Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant Program and other necessary improvements.
- Effective community policing through engagement with community members to proactively identify and address issues that impact the quality of life in neighborhoods and to further assist law enforcement in obtaining the resources—including training and data-driven solutions—they need to protect the communities in which they serve.
“We cannot return to the tired, dated patterns of punishing and penalizing Georgians in a system that costs too much money and sets people up for permanent failure,” said Democratic candidate for Governor and former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams. “We must continue building upon bipartisan efforts to reform our criminal justice system by making sure every Georgian, regardless of income or wealth, has a fair chance. As Governor, I will introduce bold new solutions to improve our criminal justice systems, lower incarceration rates, support Georgians reentering society, aid law enforcement, and make our communities safer and more secure.”
You can read the full plan here: http://staceyabrams.com/criminaljusticereform/
Support for the Justice for Georgia Plan:
“During my time as a judge, I saw a critical need for criminal justice reform – including in the area of juvenile justice,” said former Bartow County Judge Velma Tilley. “Under Stacey Abrams’ leadership, Georgia would invest in evidence-based programs to keep children out of prison that address the root causes of incarceration, interrupt the school to prison pipeline, and make sure the poor are not unfairly penalized by our justice system.”
“After I served time, reentry and transition services provided a lifeline that helped me thrive – and I believe every Georgian who leaves the system should be able to access the support they require to make sure they lead productive lives and avoid reoffending,” said Lindsey Sizemore, a formerly incarcerated peer counselor. “Stacey Abrams’ Justice for Georgia Plan would reduce recidivism and make sure no Georgian continues to be unfairly punished after they served their sentence.”
Stacey Abrams’ Leadership on Public Safety and Justice:
Abrams has consistently worked for common sense solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing our criminal justice system. She served on the Special Joint Committee on Criminal Justice Reform, the Sentencing Subcommittee, Probation Reform Task Force, and the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform for Georgians. During her tenure, she helped pass changes to reduce sentencing for non-violent offenders, shift Georgia’s policies on private probation, improve our parole system, adopt a new juvenile justice code and obtain eligibility for vocational licenses for ex-offenders.