Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Georgia Looks to Cut Criminal Justice Costs

The Georgia legislature created a task force to recommend how the state can improve rehabilitation, probation and parole services in a way that will both save tax dollars and reduce crime, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Governor Nathan Deal recently signed the legislation aimed at reducing the growing costs of keeping criminals locked up in Georgia without compromising public safety. "We know that drug addiction is the root cause of much crime," the governor said during the bill-signing ceremony, "Our entire society benefits if we can turn these tax burdens into taxpayers."

Georgia joins a growing number of states that are trying to ease budget shortfalls by looking to the criminal justice system for relief. Crime rates have fallen to record lows in many parts of the country. The great recession and the great decline in crime are being united as a panacea for budget woes.

Hasty plans cobbled together to save money at the risk of public safety are not only irresponsible--they are reckless and have the potential to put innocent citizens at risk. Meaningful reform is one thing, short term cost cutting to balance the budget is something else.

To read more: http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2011/04/22/deal-signs-criminal-justice-reform-bill.html

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