Ga. Lawmakers Continue Overhaul of Criminal Justice System

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ATLANTA (AP) -- As Georgia state lawmakers tackle juvenile justice reform this year, they are also expected to expand on last year's overhaul of the adult criminal justice system.

Last year's recommendations focused on rewriting the state's sentencing laws to emphasize rehabilitating relatively low-risk nonviolent offenders in community-based supervision programs rather sending them to prison. A special state council tasked with studying the issue suggested tweaks and clarifications to some of last year's changes, as well as including new ideas.

A report released by the council last month says last year's overhaul had already had a noticeable impact.

Some of the council's new suggestions include requiring offenders to pay the cost of drug screens and considering a "mandatory minimum safety valve" to allow courts to deviate from mandatory minimums in some cases.

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