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State targeting recidivism
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Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston on Jan. 10 received the 2013 report from the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform. Building on the success of the criminal-justice reform passed in the 2012 and 2013 sessions, the council primarily focused on potential reforms to help rehabilitated offenders re-enter society.
In addition to the re-entry provisions, the council developed extensive performance measures to track the success of previous reforms to ensure that they are enhancing public safety and saving taxpayer dollars. They also reached consensus on policy recommendations for civil-forfeiture reform.
“I want to continue building on the significant advances our state made in 2012 and 2013, and the council has produced an outstanding report that tackles the issue of offender re-entry. Helping rehabilitated offenders transition back into society will reduce recidivism, save taxpayer dollars and keep Georgians safe. I am committed to working with legislators to lead new efforts in job training and job placement so that former offenders can become functioning members of the community, working to support their families and paying taxes,” Deal said.  
“I look forward to examining this criminal-justice report and the opportunity it presents to advance the safety and well-being of Georgia’s citizens. This report provides an opportunity to further engage in discussion of how best to meet the public-safety and criminal-justice standards of our state. Gov. Deal has shown tremendous leadership on this critical issue, and I applaud him as well as the members of the Council on Criminal Justice Reform for their diligent work to make Georgia families safer,” Cagle said.
“I appreciate the continued efforts of the Council on Criminal Justice Reform over the last couple years. The reforms implemented as a result of their work have made our state safer and allowed policy makers to direct our limited taxpayer resources where they are needed most. I am optimistic that these proposals contained in this report will assist in re-entry for adult offenders while ensuring that violent offenders are kept behind bars,” Ralston said.

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