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T.I. Among Those On Task Force To Determine New Use For Atlanta City Jail

Rapper T.I. has worked on criminal justice efforts in Atlanta. The task force will gather community input on the best new use of Atlanta's city jail and present recommended changes to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Rapper T.I. has worked on criminal justice efforts in Atlanta. The task force will gather community input on the best new use of Atlanta's city jail and present recommended changes to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Credit John Amis / Associated PRess file
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Rapper T.I. is among those who will decide a new use for Atlanta’s city jail.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the Atlanta-based artist has been named to a newly formed task force that includes criminal justice reform volunteers, activists and City Council members.

The city announced the 25 members in a news release Tuesday, six weeks after deciding to create a task force to repurpose the Atlanta City Detention Center. The task force will evaluate potential uses for the jail, where detainees are held for violating city ordinances and minor traffic violations.

The task force will gather community input on the best new use of the jail and present recommended changes to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

T.I, whose real name is Clifford Harris, has worked on similar criminal justice efforts in Atlanta, including partnering with Ebenezer Baptist Church on a massive Freedom Day Bailout and expungement campaign.

Earlier this year, Harris was honored by the Georgia Senate for his philanthropic work.

In all, 50 people will help determine the future of the jail.

Bottoms received nominations from more than 100 people before choosing 25 task force members. They will be joined by two appointees of the City Council: Councilmen Antonio Brown and Matt Westmoreland. It will also be served by an advisory group of nine experts who have worked on criminal justice reform, plus 14 city and government employees, including Police Chief Erika Shields and Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard.

Other notable task force members include “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” actor and rapper Scrapp DeLeon, attorney and former DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis and Fulton County Superior Court Judge Gail Tusan.

The city has operated a detention center since the 1950s. In 1995, the city opened the existing location, a $56 million facility with 1,300 beds. The jail’s population has steadily declined, but it still had 360 employees and an operating budget of $33 million in the 2018 fiscal year.

The task force will have its first meeting July 16.