Both houses of the Georgia General Assembly have passed legislation reforming the state’s criminal justice system. The criminal justice reform initiative, which has been cited as a top priority by the governor, diverts some low-level offenders, including those convicted of nonviolent drug and property crimes, away from prison and instead into diversion programs. It also increases the threshold dollar amount for several crimes, including shoplifting and other theft crimes. In addition, the legislation creates different categories within certain crimes, such as burglary and forgery, with graduated punishment based on the degree of crime.
The bill is based on the November 2011 Final Report of the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform for Georgians.
The legislation passed the Georgia Senate unanimously and only received one “nay” vote in the Georgia House. Track the legislation, introduced as HB 1176, on the Georgia General Assembly site.