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Friday, November 18, 2011 - 10:58am

Panel Tackles Overcrowded Jails

A panel created to overhaul the state's tough sentencing laws has released a report suggesting alternative programs for certain nonviolent offenders and more community-based supervision to reduce growing corrections spending.

The Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform's report released Friday says Georgia would have to spend an additional $264 million to expand capacity for 60,000 inmates if current policies remain in place.

The report says inmate population growth is due largely because of lengthy prison sentences for low-risk drug offenders.

It says any savings achieved from the sentencing overhauls should be reinvested in programs, such as strategies to strengthen probation, which are aimed at reducing recidivism and improving public safety.

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