WASHINGTON — Criminal justice and prison reform are increasingly becoming America’s newest bipartisan issue, as politicians from both sides of the aisle have embraced and championed new reforms to state corrections systems across the nation.
At the Law, Order & Smart Justice Forum hosted by the U.S. Justice Action Network and the bipartisan Coalition for Public Safety in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, prominent public office holders from Georgia and South Carolina detailed prison alternatives embraced by their states that have not only reduced the cost of running their states’ prison systems but have also given young criminals a better chance at not becoming repeat offenders.
U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Georgia, gave the keynote address at Tuesday’s forum and praised reforms initiated and championed by the state’s Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, who took office in 2011.
“The reforms focused on prioritizing prison space for the most serious offenders,” Collins, a lawyer and former member of the Georgia House of Representatives, said. “We had to begin to prioritize that we were going to have bed space for the ones we were afraid of, not the ones we were mad at. There is a difference in that look.”
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