Georgia faces a billion-dollar budget deficit. In response, the General Assembly must come up with measures to alleviate the burden placed on Peach State taxpayers. One of the areas ripe for reform – at least if we take seriously recent hints by Gov. Nathan Deal and House Speaker David Ralston – is the state’s criminal justice system.
In discussing this problem recently with Walter Jones of the Morris News Service, Ralston stated that Georgians are “spending a huge amount of money locking people up that have drug problems.” He added, “At some point the people of Georgia have a right to ask if that’s an appropriate way to spend their tax dollars.”
A few days later, the new Governor told legislators Georgia would not tolerate violent offenders, but that opportunities should be afforded to those “who want to change their lives.” He explained that emphasis should be placed on rehabilitation rather than incarceration, noting that addiction is a severe drain