ATLANTA, May 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- A coalition of criminal justice reform advocates praised Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for signing into law earlier this week a bill that would streamline processes within the state's probation system. Senate Bill 105 garnered bipartisan support, passing 169-2 in the Georgia House of Representatives and unanimously in the State Senate. Supporters say it is key to ending a "probation to prison pipeline" that continues to contribute to the problem of overincarceration.
Georgia has more people on community supervision than any other state in the country because of its average lengthy probation term of 6.3 years, compared to the national average of two years. Forty percent of probation sentences in Georgia exceeded 10 years, which has created an environment where 1 of every 18 Georgians are in the supervision system.
SB 105 will allow thousands of Georgians who have proven rehabilitation through good behavior a chance to escape the traps of technical violations – which include things like crossing county lines without permission – that could return them to incarceration. The bill also creates uniform eligibility requirements that protect public safety and incentivize good behavior so that people who are thriving in the community may be released from supervision in a safe and timely manner.
SB 105 is supported by a number of organizations committed to criminal justice reform, including the American Conservative Union, Americans for Prosperity Georgia, End Mass Incarceration Georgia Network, Faith and Freedom Coalition, Fighting Against Institutionalized Railroading, Georgia Justice Project, Greater Gwinnett Reentry Alliance, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, National Incarceration Association, Partnership for Southern Equity, REFORM Alliance, RED, Restore Her, and The Temple.
REFORM Alliance CEO Robert Rooks thanked Georgia lawmakers and Gov. Kemp for passing a bill that makes the probation system more effective and just.
"SB 105 is a bipartisan, evidence-based reform that will safely reduce the prison population, save taxpayer dollars and allow resources to be redirected towards true public safety priorities," said Rooks. "It is a sensible and essential step toward ensuring a probation system that gives Georgians a meaningful second chance and an opportunity for real redemption."
REFORM Alliance is a criminal justice nonprofit organization working to create safe communities by dramatically reducing the number of people trapped by the criminal justice system and expanding real pathways to work and wellbeing.
REFORM Alliance works with a bipartisan coalition of allies to support impactful reforms to Probation and Parole systems around the country in a variety of ways. We work directly with legislators and governors to identify or draft and pass bills, increase public awareness and interest with storytelling that communicates experiences of directly impacted individuals through digital and earned media campaigns, and advocate on the ground with our grassroots organizers and partner organizations.
Media Contact: Alex Weintz; 914.282.3229; [email protected]
SOURCE REFORM Alliance