Georgia to lock up fewer young offenders | www.myajc.com

4
May

Georgia to lock up fewer young offenders | www.myajc.com

With a swipe of his pen, Gov. Nathan Deal set in motion another phase of the effort to make criminal justice in Georgia less costly and more effective – this one focused on youthful offenders.

Deal signed House Bill 242, adding Georgia to the list of states making sweeping changes aimed at slowing the ballooning costs of incarceration while also steering petty offenders away from a life of crime.

Under the measure Georgia will lock up fewer juvenile offenders and send those accused of less serious crimes to community-based programs. It also will seek to address the root causes of minor offenses such as truancy, running away or being unruly.

The Legislature passed a similar bill dealing with adult offenders. Both measures enjoyed broad support, with fiscal conservatives worried about soaring costs allied with criminal justice reformers who think stringent sentencing hasn’t worked. And both had Deal’s backing.

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