Georgia General Assembly to Debate Prison Reform
January 3, 2012 Leave a comment
“The General Assembly this winter will debate a shift in emphasis toward alternatives to prison time for nonviolent offenders, as suggested by a special council appointed last year to study the state’s prison population and criminal code. The effect of its recommendations would be to send fewer people to jail for property and drug crimes and boost alternative punishments.
That shift has the firm backing of Gov. Nathan Deal, who said it is time for Georgia to follow the lead of Texas, South Carolina and other Southern states and take a more effective approach to punishment.
He said Georgia, which now spends more than $1 billion a year on state prisons and has seen its inmate population double in the past 20 years, simply cannot afford to keep the current sentencing regime.”
Overcrowding and obscene spending has long been an issue across the country. Of course, the change in conservative policy must come with a snappy new one-liner:
“Conservative states across the South have altered their approach to criminal sentencing in recent years by replacing the tough-on-crime mantra with a “smart on crime” philosophy that supporters say saves money and could even cut repeat offenses. “
Never mind that progressives have been saying these things for years. Nope. No biggie. At least, however, the proposals are also what progressives have been suggesting for years, like address underlying issues like mental illness and joblessness, and oh yeah, making more use of probation, rather than chucking everybody and their mother behind bars for small, non-violent offenses.
Naturally, you have one conservative dolt that is holding onto his “tough on crime” stance for dear life:
“Douglas County District Attorney David McDade, one of Deal’s appointees on the commission, was the most vociferous opponent of easing up on drug offenders.
To give only probation for having small quantities of illegal drugs in effect “decriminalizes drug possession,” he said.”
Let’s see if the GA agrees with these recommendations.
Read the whole article here.