Fulton County aims to be a leader in justice reinvestment initiative

A team of leaders from Fulton County has joined forces to make sweeping changes in our criminal justice system. The reform movement has gained momentum nationwide and we plan to be on the forefront.

I’ve traveled to Salt Lake City and Miami-Dade to see reform in action and I can tell you the results are real. Fewer inmates are being locked up. Taxpayers are saving millions. We will not only learn from other cities’ programs but take them a step further to become a nationwide model.

The bottom line: Too many people are in jail who don’t belong there and jails are expensive to run. That said, Fulton County’s goals are ambitious:

  • Reduce the number of individuals held in our jail for more than six months
  • Move cases through the system more quickly
  • Reduce the alarming number of people with mental illness in the justice system
  • Streamline services to reduce administrative costs
  • Reduce the rate of recidivism

How do we accomplish our goals? The county’s program now has a task force of top officials including county lawmakers, chief judges, the district attorney and the sheriff. We are working together to develop an action plan for justice reform that will save taxpayers millions.

Let me be clear. We don’t want criminals on the street, but we can no longer arrest our way out of the problem. Know that county leaders are committed to find alternatives to jail and still ensure your safety. The county’s initiative is an ambitious effort but can be successful with everyone’s commitment and support.