Georgia NAACP Lauds Republican Governor Deal

That’s a headline you don’t see every day, so take a moment and soak it in.

Criminal Justice reform passed last session, combined with Governor Deal’s pledge to increase educational opportunities for those incarcerated, are not traditionally Republican measures and do not push the buttons of Republican primary voters.  With Georgia’s prison population expanding and the associated costs of keeping those folks in prison requiring too many scarce state resources, unlikely partners in search of a solution have found common ground.

Full press release by the Georgia NAACP is as follows:

Georgia NAACP Lauds Gov. Nathan Deal on Landmark Criminal Justice Reform

NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous applauds GA NAACP’s advocacy efforts

 (Atlanta, GA) – The NAACP congratulated the state of Georgia for taking the lead in prison reform after House Bill 1176 took effect on July 1. The law establishes alternatives to incarceration for low-level, non-violent offenders and reserves expensive prison beds for the most dangerous offenders. It is expected to save Georgia $264 million in prison spending over the next five years.

“This legislation reinforces the NAACP’s position on the need to reprioritize education over incarceration,” stated Georgia NAACP State Conference President Ed Dubose. “We look forward to working with members of judicial circuits across Georgia to implement House Bill 1176. We also thank NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous for his support of the state conference in advocating for reform.”

“Our nation locks up too many people for non-violent offenses and it is not making us safer,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “It is heartening to see that states across the country are switching from ‘tough on crime’ to policies that are ‘smart on crime’. Georgia is a good example of a law that is both fair and cost-effective.”

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

8 comments

  1. saltycracker says:

    The bill is a pretty busy one and we are sure to see some expert reviews. “Smart on Crime” implies that we are cutting some slack in a lot of areas but still spending big money in the legal system outside prisons. Did we just stir the money pot ?

    As a very high percentage involves drug offenses and mental issues why wouldn’t we overhaul those laws moving specific cases from criminal to health issues ?

    HB1176 link
    http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20112012/HB/1176

  2. SallyForth says:

    Call me cynical, but I’ve just been waiting to see how long it took for the NAACP folks to start shifting toward the Republican Party – since that’s where all the power is now.

  3. dorian says:

    The bill is about saving the State of Georgia money. It will accomplish this by shifting the burden to counties and local governments. Also, if you are the victim of (one of the affected) crimes don’t count on getting restitution. In terms of drug enforcement, the State is not “spending big” in the legal system outside of prisons. It is shifting money away from street level drug enforcement and moving it toward drug courts.

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