Williams Applauds Landmark Criminal Justice Reform Bill Signed into Georgia Law

May 3, 2012

ATLANTA (May 2, 2012) –Today, President Pro Tempore Tommie Williams (R-Lyons) applauded Governor Nathan Deal’s dedication to criminal justice reform in Georgia at a special bill signing ceremony for SB 1176, a comprehensive sentencing and corrections reform bill. The landmark legislation will strengthen penalties for violent and career criminals, provide more effective punishments for low-level drug users and property offenders, and greatly improve overall public safety in Georgia.

 

“Governor Deal has affirmed his commitment to Georgians by placing highest level of importance on public safety in our state. By working hand-in-hand with victims’ advocates, local sheriffs, prosecutors and other county officials, we created a comprehensive, lasting piece of public policy that is a much needed step toward reform for victims and law enforcement officials,” said Sen. Williams. “I thank Governor Deal for his support of HB 1176, along with the many individuals who championed its passage.”

 

Specific initiatives of HB 1176 include creating a tougher process for probation and parole supervision; expanding proven community-based sentencing options to reduce recidivism, such as accountability courts and substance abuse and mental health programs; and holding agencies accountable for better results by implementing systematic data collection and performance measurement systems. The ultimate goal of HB 1176 is to actively rehabilitate and permanently remove low level offenders from Georgia’s criminal justice system in order to free up prison beds and keep the most dangerous offenders behind bars.

 

Georgia joins more than a dozen states—including Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Arkansas and Kentucky—that are currently implementing new criminal justice policies designed to improve public safety, hold offenders accountable, and control corrections costs.

 

The first effective date for the bill is July 1, 2012, with components relating to controlled substances, narcotics and the expungement of records becoming effective in 2013 and 2014.

 

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