Criminal Justice

JOSEPH SHAPIRO / NPR

In Georgia, county courts have contracted with private probation companies to collect fines from offenders. People are sometimes jailed for not being able to pay, even though the Supreme Court outlawed debtors’ prisons some 35 years ago. In the last couple of years, Georgia law changes made it harder for private probation companies to operate. What happens now to people who don’t pay the fines?

Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

The stocks of the two biggest private prison companies in the nation saw a big boost shortly after President Trump took office. One of those companies is the GEO Group, which currently operates detention facilities in Georgia.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Governor Nathan Deal has signed three new criminal justice reform bills into law.

 

Deal picked an audience of corrections, parole and non-profit workers at a convention called the Reentry Summit in Macon to sign the bills. The first of the three laws will affect funding for alternatives to prison time like the state’s drug courts, a place Deal says he tells his pastor friends to visit for sermon material.

Criminal Justice Council Recommends Changes To Probation

Feb 22, 2017
Bubba73 / Wikimedia Commons

State officials are recommending changes to help reduce what they say is the highest rate of felons on probation in the country.

In a report submitted to Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday, the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform said doing so would have several positive results, including reducing heavy caseloads for probation officers and allowing the officers to focus more on higher-risk offenders.

DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

A man who escaped from a Georgia prison almost 50 years ago may be headed back to the state. Robert Stackowitz appeared in court on Tuesday in Connecticut for an extradition hearing. Stackowitz appealed that decision and is now out on bail. We spoke with his attorney Norm Pattis a few months ago about the case.

Women Behind Bars

Aug 25, 2016
Vera Institute of Justice

A new report by the Vera Institute of Justice found the number of women in local jails is almost 14 times what it was in the 1970s, making it the fastest growing incarcerated population in the country. We examine what’s driving this trend and the challenges women face behind bars. 

Joining for the conversation: 

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Can Kids Be Scared Straight?

Jun 8, 2016
Grant Blankenship / GPB

At the inmate’s direction, the children drop to the floor.

“Down!” she shouts, almost screeches. Almost immediately there’s a new command.

“Up!”

A new command, just as fast.

“Jump!”

The kids can’t keep up. They aren’t meant to. Pretty soon it’s obvious that many of these kids, especially the ones who are not yet teenagers, are terrified.

Trevor Young / GPB

Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill Wednesday to amend criminal justice procedures in Georgia.