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Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 11:34am

Panel Discusses Prison Reform

Elected officials from both sides of the aisle gathered today to tackle prison reform and incarceration costs.

The conversation focused on how to improve services for people in the corrections system, and how that can could lessen the state’s budget woes.

One out of every 13 Georgians is under a form of correctional control, the highest rate in the country.

Georgia Justice Project’s Marissa Dodson believes now is the time to address Georgia’s prison problem:

“The fusion between the economic crisis that we’re in and the need to deal with the population of people that are without opportunity has come to a head in trying to figure out how to successfully deal with this population in a way where they are able to be tax payers instead of tax burdens.”

The state will spend over $1 billion a year on the Department of Corrections this year, which does not account for associated funding with legal aid, law enforcement, or juvenile justice.