Gov. Nathan Deal today signed into law an overhaul of the state criminal justice system. The legislation sets out to reduce the number of nonviolent offenders in Georgia prisons by placing a greater focus on drug addiction treatment and mental health services.
Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein was one of the leading advocates for reform.
“Hopefully in addressing the root problem, we’ll keep them from committing other crimes and reunite them with their families and friends and make them taxpayers, not tax burdens.”
The legislation also gives judges more discretion in sentencing and puts an end to many of Georgia’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws passed in the 1990’s.
Deal says the overhaul is expected to save taxpayers more than $250 million over the next five years.