None - With just 13 days left this session, legislative leaders and Gov. Nathan Deal are looking to compromise on a bill to reform the state’s criminal justice system.
Rep. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna) introduced the bill this week based on a report from a special panel that spent a year coming up with recommendations to reduce the state’s prison population along with its growing costs.
“It streamlines it, makes it more efficient and better for taxpayers in terms of how we spend their dollars while maintaining public safety,” he tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
The plan includes expanding alternative sentences for non-violent offenders such as drug and DUI courts, raising the threshold for suspects charged with certain felonies, as well as revising the punishment and guidelines for crimes such as burglary, shoplifting, marijuana use, and forgery.
But already, Gov. Nathan Deal is concerned the plan will actually raise costs rather than reduce them.
“The bill departs from the recommendations of the Criminal Justice Reform Council, not significantly but in some areas I think will not produce the results that the council had originally intended,” he says.
Both Deal and Golick say they look forward to coming together with House and Senate leaders to work out those differences.