Georgia’s new top judge says the state is already seeing the benefits of several years of criminal justice reform. Hugh Thompson took over as the Georgia Supreme Court’s chief justice in August. He said in an interview with GPB the adult prison population is stabilizing. He also said he’s keenly interested in following the juvenile justice reforms the General Assembly enacted earlier this year.
Georgia is trying to give young criminal offenders an advantage as they seek to enter the workforce. Those convicted of juvenile offenses frequently face hurdles when looking for a job. That can be discouraging and can lead them to become repeat offenders.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is expected to sign into law a sweeping overhaul of the state's juvenile justice system. The regulations are aimed at reducing the number of repeat juvenile offenders and the costs associated with them.
A bill that advocates say would revolutionize how Georgia punishes juvenile offenders unanimously passed the state House Thursday. The measure would allow the state to take a more humane approach while also reducing incarceration costs.
An overhaul of Georgia's juvenile justice system has cleared its first legislative hurdle. The proposal is intended to place nonviolent youth offenders into community based programs that treat root causes of crimes rather than putting them behind bars.