What the Georgia Legislature got right in 2012

The single most important accomplishment of the 2012 General Assembly will probably prove to be its far-reaching reform of the Georgia criminal justice system.

“I firmly believe this is a better way to govern our criminal justice system,” Gov. Nathan Deal, an early proponent and architect of the change, said after the bill’s final passage. “It’s win-win: saving lives and saving money. It’s a great change for Georgia.”

The bill recognizes that the state Department of Corrections, which runs our prisons, actually does very little in the way of correcting. Records show that roughly one in three people released from state prison are back in prison within three years, and the reasons aren’t hard to imagine.

A prison record makes it hard to find honest work, especially in a tough economy where even those with spotless records have a hard time getting a job. A lengthy prison term erodes whatever family, economic and social ties the prisoner might have been able to fall back on. And too often, the prison experience hones rather than dulls an inclination toward crime. (All that said, in cases of violent or repeat offenders, a long prison sentence remains the right option.)

Among other things, the bill now awaiting Deal’s signature will begin to divert non-violent offenders on drug and property crimes away from expensive state prison beds and into alternative treatment programs. The state’s parole and probation systems will be bolstered to more closely monitor those who otherwise might be in prison, and those who have been arrested but cleared of crimes will have those records sealed from prospective employers.

All in all, it’s a far-sighted reform that builds on pilot programs here in Georgia and on reforms adopted in other states. And to be frank, it’s more than a little surprising to see a bill that reduces prison sentences for some crimes pass so easily in the Georgia Legislature. (It was approved without a dissenting vote in both the House and Senate.)

That’s testimony to two factors. First, as Deal noted in his inauguration speech back in January 2011, “it cost about $3 million per day to operate our Department of Corrections,” and that cost was projected to rise by $264 million over the next five years. Georgia simply can’t afford to be needlessly punitive any longer.

The second factor is Deal himself. Since taking office, he has worked patiently to unite legislators, judges, prosecutors and others behind the bill, fending off any attempt to turn the issue into a political football. It’s a feat that a Democratic governor would have had a hard time achieving without being attacked as soft on crime, and after barely a year in office, it gives Deal a better record of accomplishment than Sonny Perdue achieved in eight years.

Unfortunately, other examples of success in the recent legislative session are hard to come by. The list essentially amounts to bad bills that have passed but aren’t as bad as they might have been, and terrible bills that had strong backing yet were somehow prevented from passage.

For example, a bill limiting a woman’s right to an abortion to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy has passed and will become law, but without a barbaric provision that would have forced pregnant women to give birth to fetuses that were doomed to die upon birth.

The Legislature also approved a constitutional amendment allowing the state to establish charter schools even over the protest of local school districts. However, the final version does add safeguards to protect funding for traditional public schools. The measure goes on the ballot for approval by voters in November.

Despite those changes, opponents of the measure still argue that it’s yet another step in a campaign to dismantle the public school system and replace it with taxpayer-funded vouchers. They’re right; it is exactly that. And if opponents succeed in getting that message out this fall, it’s very possible that the measure will be rejected on those grounds by Georgia voters.

Besides ethics, the main area in which the Legislature failed to act at all was transportation, and that may come back to haunt the state. Legislators refused to give MARTA the support and flexibility it needs to survive, and they didn’t even take seriously the need to create a regional transit governance board for metro Atlanta. Those failures may make it difficult to convince voters to approve the regional T-Splost come July.

156 comments Add your comment

stands for decibels

April 4th, 2012
7:51 am

Congrats on finding and describing that one diamond in a sea of broken glass, Jay.

I don’t suppose the criminal justice reform provides a better pathway for re-enfranchising ex-felons’ voting rights, does it?

I’d believe that they were truly serious about reform if it did. But hey, like you said–conservative GOPers actually reducing prison sentences, that’s kind of a big deal.

carlosgvv

April 4th, 2012
7:54 am

When a bill that actually seems like a good thing for Georgia citizens passes easily in our Legislature, red flags and sirens should go off. It’s virtually certain, given the track record of these politicians, that there’s something rotten in Denmark here. A good reporter needs to dig deeply on this one and follow the money and politics.

JohnnyReb

April 4th, 2012
7:57 am

Some old ways are better.

When I was growing up in Coweta County, the county correctional/prison had work crews. They kept the storm water ditches clean, put pipes in the ditches for new driveways, paved county roads, cut the grass on road right of ways, picked up litter/trash, etc. If you went to prision in Coweta County, you worked, You worked hard.

Fast forward to today in Clayton County. I pay $3.75 a month for Stormwater. The ditches in our neighborhood are full of volunteer trees/bushes. The right of ways are overgrown. Roads don’t get paved. They do use weekend prisoners to pick up trash. The county prisioners are watching TV getting three squares a day in air conditioning.

The prison reform sounds better, but they could learn a thing from the past, plus provide more jobs in the correctional system.

Freedom Riders 2012

April 4th, 2012
7:57 am

Finn McCool (Class Warfare === Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

April 4th, 2012
7:58 am

Wow, more than one paragraph on what a Republican-led Congress did? from the liberal lamestream media guy?

I’m sure the conservatives will lay out all the stuff Obama got right in his first term. I’ll hold my breath.

TaxPayer

April 4th, 2012
8:01 am

Jay had to chisel and blast through a lot of rock to find that gem in the rough.

Meanwhile... (arrogance defined, again...)

April 4th, 2012
8:01 am

(CBS News) In the escalating battle between the administration and the judiciary, a federal appeals court apparently is calling the president’s bluff — ordering the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama Administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, according to a lawyer who was in the courtroom.

The order, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, appears to be in direct response to the president’s comments yesterday about the Supreme Court’s review of the health care law. Mr. Obama all but threw down the gauntlet with the justices, saying he was “confident” the Court would not “take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”…

…Smith, a Reagan appointee, went on to say that comments from the president and others in the Executive Branch indicate they believe judges don’t have the power to review laws and strike those that are unconstitutional, specifically referencing Mr. Obama’s comments yesterday about judges being an “unelected group of people.” …

Finn McCool (Class Warfare === Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

April 4th, 2012
8:03 am

Legislators refused to give MARTA the support and flexibility it needs to survive

But we got us a dang trolley, right!?

Georgia on my mind...

April 4th, 2012
8:04 am

This is another informative article. Thanks for keeping us informed!

JohnnyReb

April 4th, 2012
8:04 am

Sales Tax

The legislature passed a bill for collection of internet sales tax. It sets up a confrontation with large on-line retailers. It was pushed under the pretense of leveling the field for local stores. I don’t think it’s the sales tax that sends people to the internet. It’s price plus no sales tax. If I make a large purchase and the only difference is the sales tax, I purchase locally to maintain the relationship for service. However, a large price differnce coupled with no sales tax sends me to the internet.

Aquagirl

April 4th, 2012
8:04 am

and after barely a year in office, it gives Deal a better record of accomplishment than Sonny Perdue achieved in eight years.

Nathan Deal is a crook, but at least he’s a hard-working crook.

TaxPayer

April 4th, 2012
8:07 am

Fast forward to today in Clayton County.

Johnny Reb,

Clayton County is not alone in that list of things that no longer get done. Up here in NorthEast Georgia, many of us still pay as much or more in property taxes as we did before the Great Recession while receiving less services, unless you have the right connections. Funny how they managed to find future money to build a new bigger jail while cutting the most basic needs including road maintenance.

barking frog

April 4th, 2012
8:09 am

Not bad for 40 days work.

JamVet

April 4th, 2012
8:10 am

Yeah! Obama Derangement Syndrome! And it only took 7 posts! Poor Meat, So obsessed…

This may be the first instance that I’ve ever read of where Republicans – especially in the Deep South – have taken, dare I say it, a progressive position on crime.

Street crime, I mean.

White collar crime has always been something for them to ignore.

As for the critical areas of transportation and education in this state, they have continually demonstrated that they are pretty much hopeless…

TaxPayer

April 4th, 2012
8:14 am

Speaking of the national level political scene, it was nice of McCain to give Obama that endorsement for the Presidency.

SoGaVet

April 4th, 2012
8:18 am

Speaker Ralston claimed the Charter bill was “significant education reform.” If that amendment is what passes for the legislature’s attempt to improve education in GA, they need to go back to school.

Mighty Righty

April 4th, 2012
8:21 am

So “now” NBC has been caught in a dishonest attempt to make George Zimmerman’s conversation with the 911 dispatcher racist they have feebly apologized. This is typical of todays media where truth takes a back seat to politics.

Donovan

April 4th, 2012
8:25 am

This whole liberal discussion is as lame as the profiling argument. You know that old saying, boys will be boys? Well, criminals will be criminals.

Prisons are built to keep criminals off the streets and out of society until their sentences are carried out. Prisons are not supposed to be places for nice people. Nice people do not commit crimes against society. So forget about giving criminals a break because they may have been abused as a child or there is another sundry reason explained in a sociology class in college.

Repeat offenders are typically not products of prolonged incarceration, but are low-lifes preying off of a naive society and enjoying their craft. Religion has its place for opptomistic rehabilitation, but pragmatism trumps naive day care handling of such law breakers.

Prisoners always proclaim their innocence and seem to find religion after they are caught, but until they are caught they are not repentive.

Finn McCool (Class Warfare === Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

April 4th, 2012
8:27 am

This is typical of todays media where truth takes a back seat to politics.

Yeah, just turn on Fox News any minute of any day….

Becky

April 4th, 2012
8:28 am

Is there truly a reason some of you cannot stay on topic for 10 minutes!! It is such an insult to Jay to go off on a tangent that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the topic at hand.

Jay-please consider an off topic column every day for those folks to go on and complain, rant, etc. so the rest of us can have discussion about the topic you write about. Thanks.

stands for decibels

April 4th, 2012
8:28 am

Leading with off-topic crap ought to be a bannable offense.

Adam

April 4th, 2012
8:33 am

Side note: I gotta say it was fun watching the cons strategically flail downstairs. We got “but but but Obama did (something completely not to do with the budget)” or “Oh yeah well Democrats haven’t PASSED a budget (neither did Republicans, just because they have a majority in one house)” or “Why is OBAMA afraid to debate” (that one I found particularly funny, as it shows a complete aversion to watching even one word of a speech Obama gives).

Cosby

April 4th, 2012
8:33 am

Bring back the chain gang…Jail is not a half way house. Cut cost…a tent city will work just fine….no MARTA funds..only when MARTA proves they deserve further funding. the way it is run..well, never mind you would not understand. Charter Schools..get the government totally out of the school picture and put parents back in charge….slow nees day

Adam

April 4th, 2012
8:34 am

Also ragnar went completely silent on me TWICE when I challenged him on the Ann Coulter stuff. Shall I give him one more chance? :D

stands for decibels

April 4th, 2012
8:34 am

Link to dept. of corrections reform bill, Jay?

(yeah, my google, she is broken.)

gas prices and your budget

April 4th, 2012
8:35 am

Aquagirl

April 4th, 2012
8:35 am

This whole liberal discussion is as lame as the profiling argument.

The Republicans managed to ignore rants like this long enough to do something…this may qualify as a miracle.

barking frog

April 4th, 2012
8:35 am

disrespecting Jay by
telling him how to run
his blog and off topic
crap about off topic
crap is really not good.

Road Scholar

April 4th, 2012
8:36 am

Jay, who pays for the drug tests for welfare applicants..the state or the person? Isn’t it illegal search and seizure??

stevie ray

April 4th, 2012
8:37 am

Jay,

If it cost us $50k or to incarcerate each convict, how much will be saved per convict with this new deal….????

Bosch

April 4th, 2012
8:39 am

All this aside, is Paul ok???

JV McMillan

April 4th, 2012
8:40 am

Georgia’s voting law provides automatic re-establishment of felons’ voting rights as soon as the sentence of incarceration or probation is completed. One need merely to re-register to vote. Other civil rights (serving on a jury, right to become a notary, etc.) are re-established upon filing a written request that does not require the services of an attorney. What NEEDS to happen, is that the US Federal Gov and all the States, should adopt a policy similar to the UK, where a person is deemed “Rehabilitated” after five years have passed after the completion of all sentences without any infractions of any laws, and one’s record is cleared (violent and sexual predators are excepted from this provision). This would provide a pathway to true productivity for ex-offenders rather than marking them permanently as unhireable.

Adam

April 4th, 2012
8:42 am

Post 7 is all about the misquoting of Obama, claiming that Obama is saying that he believes that the judges are activists, when in fact what he was doing was saying what conservatives usually believe in cases like this is that judges are activist. He was calling out hypocrisy, and instead the con media is making it seem like this is what HE said he believes himself. Kinda like Romney’s first anti-Obama “if we keep talking about the economy, we will lose” ad.

And yet, as predicted, no one has come out to ask any Republican about the cuts to poor and middle class programs in Paul Ryan’s budget, and they continue to praise Paul Ryan for his “bravery.” But watch – this will not be called CONSERVATIVE media, and instead will be called “fair and balanced,” until the next thing conservatives don’t like is talked about. Then it’s all LIBRUL MEDIA again.

TaxPayer

April 4th, 2012
8:43 am

Jay, who pays for the drug tests for welfare applicants..the state or the person? Isn’t it illegal search and seizure??

I look forward to seeing that one play out locally. There are gonna be a bunch of upset folks up here in my little old county that voted something like 75% for the Republican candidates and that has a non-white population of less than 5%.

(ir)Rational

April 4th, 2012
8:43 am

So, anyone suspicious that Deal was pushing for this because he thought it might/probably would benefit him in the future? I mean, we all know he is a crook, maybe he is worried that something he has done in the past is going to catch up to him? Or maybe he isn’t confident that he won’t do something in the future? Hmmm…

Cosby – The state prison system has something similar to the chain gang, it is called boot camp. Non-violent offenders (probably the ones that now won’t be going to jail) are housed in tents at prisons and they go out and work around the area where the prison is. Some even have fire departments that go out and help the local fire departments. Where I grew up, that was the only professional fire department there was.

Adam

April 4th, 2012
8:44 am

Isn’t it illegal search and seizure??

It only MIGHT be, after someone brings suit and years and years of court appeals happen.

One might start to think Republicans are banking on causing chaos during a specific time frame, knowing they won’t be immediately blocked, on purpose….

stands for decibels

April 4th, 2012
8:45 am

Georgia’s voting law provides automatic re-establishment of felons’ voting rights as soon as the sentence of incarceration or probation is completed. One need merely to re-register to vote.

I’ll admit to not knowing that. glad to hear.

What NEEDS to happen, is that the US Federal Gov and all the States, should adopt a policy similar to the UK, where a person is deemed “Rehabilitated” after five years have passed after the completion of all sentences without any infractions of any laws, and one’s record is cleared (violent and sexual predators are excepted from this provision).

Agree on the first part, but I’m not sure why there should be *any* exceptions.

Mighty Righty

April 4th, 2012
8:45 am

Below is link to Federal Appelate Court smack down of Obama’s ignorant comments about the authority of the supreme court. One would think that someone who claims to have taught constitutional law would have been unfamiliar with the courts record of over turining legislatively enacted laws.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504564_162-57408827-504564/appeals-court-fires-back-at-obamas-comments-on-health-care-case/

curious

April 4th, 2012
8:45 am

Prison reform is going to seriously damage one of Georgia’s biggest industries. The more felons the easier for us to get a job.

Adam

April 4th, 2012
8:46 am

One might also get the feeling that this thing about the 5th Circuit is being circulated like frat boy high fives on the conservative talk radio this morning. But surely, no one HERE listens to that horse manure ;)

Doggone/GA

April 4th, 2012
8:46 am

“Jay-please consider an off topic column ”

Becky – if you don’t like how Jay runs his blog you are free to find one that is more congenial for you, or to start your own and run it how YOU prefer it to be run.

When you go visit friends do you immediately start telling them how to run their home and life?

Do like the rest of us and give your scroll bar some exercise.

barking frog

April 4th, 2012
8:46 am

catch them, fine them and
require them to purchase
a gps locator phone and
charge them 30.00 per
month to pay supervisors
and you have infinite
prison capacity.

Adam

April 4th, 2012
8:47 am

Although I do appreciate how SUDDENLY the fact that Obama taught constitutional law is seen as having actually happened.

AJA BROOKS

April 4th, 2012
8:49 am

For those who have never visited the Capitol, or ever thought about picking up a pen and crafting legislation, let alone a letter, to the people who serve you even when we are not in Session, 2012 is a great testimony to faithfulness in prayer and waiting on the Lord. Transformation of an individual can be measured as much as when a person transforms society. Restoring those who have incurred penalties of law or who have somehow ended up in a system so arbitrary, is the goal to economic growth. We already lose sales tax revenue and many lives because drugs are found to be ‘illegal’ when prescription drugs are far more harder on the liver and dangerous because they are so accessible. Even if we were to ‘end the drug wars’ and push for legalization, people would still die as there would still be an underground market and those trying to usurp a taxable commodity. The problem is without the tedious work and accomplishments of the 2012 session, (which were actually wrought from 7-8 yrs. of study and much personal sacrifice), GA would still not only be losing tax revenue, but GA would still be throwing revenue into an abyss that was actually feeding and housing the gang: rather than correcting and reforming and then getting the return of revenue through restoration. Our prisons should be reserved for those who can’t keep their hands to themselves: not those who are dopamine deficient like a diabetic is insulin deficient. We have new avenues of treatment that include counseling and naturopathic therapy, that can be used to treat PTSD that are very effective when an exercise routine is consistently followed. Mental illness and misdiagnoses do not have to be a medicated march to death in 10-15yrs. time. There is hope for people out there to not be hospitalized and imprisoned, as many are just using the drugs or alcohol to feel normal, as their body and brain do not work in synchronization to produce what it needs when it comes to dopamine. I look for this passage and interpretation of law to produce many good things: GA is already 32 in the world for GDP, and like our good neighbor Texas we’re one of the few states showing growth in a stagnant economy with a national unemployment average of 15.1%. It took awhile, but we also balanced the books from Governor Perdue and Secretary of State Karen Handel’s “look the other way” on business revenue. We have a surplus, and we still have a AAA credit rating. Has everyone gotten what we want? No, not yet, but the conditions are right and favorable to achieve all that we seek.

Bosch

April 4th, 2012
8:52 am

Irrational
I had the same thought about Deal after reading this. Imagine that, the most corrupt Legislaturein the country making prisons less tough.

massachusetts refugee thug

April 4th, 2012
8:54 am

“It’s a feat that a Democratic governor would have had a hard time achieving…”. it’s that old vulcan proverb – only nixon could go to china.

Becky

April 4th, 2012
8:55 am

Doggone-trust me I do lots of scrolling here, sport. I don’t think anyone should have a problem with a gentle suggestion, bless your heart for tearing into me though.

Bosch

April 4th, 2012
8:55 am

Adam

Yeap, oh yeah, he’s a professor when they can find a way to bitch about it.

kayaker 71

April 4th, 2012
8:56 am

Bookman,

In 2007, the stats on recidivism are much more severe than one in three nationally. Nearly 67% of those that had served time for punishable crimes were re-arrested for subsequent crimes committed, some, such as home burglars and larceny were as high as 70%.

Jm

April 4th, 2012
8:57 am

stands for decibels

April 4th, 2012
8:58 am

In 2007, the stats on recidivism are much more severe than one in three nationally. Nearly 67% of those that had served time for punishable crimes were re-arrested for subsequent crimes committed, some, such as home burglars and larceny were as high as 70%.

and how does this relate to how long a given state keeps people in prison, K-71? Have you bothered to check? Do you care about meaningful metrics, or are you just here to trumpet Teh Scary?

(Oh, and it’s MISTER Bookman to you.)

Jm

April 4th, 2012
8:59 am

Game set match

Romney going to pummel Obama next

AU Liberal in ATL

April 4th, 2012
8:59 am

If the GA State legislators were paid based on their performance, they’d each get a nickel. With all those a-holes under one roof the stench must be unbearable.

Georgia on my mind...

April 4th, 2012
9:00 am

Has everyone gotten what we want? No, not yet, but the conditions are right and favorable to achieve all that we seek.

…but the State has been carried by the poor and working people. Example, lottery funds are generated to provide education assistance to kids that excel above and beyond. When one examines the “players” of the lottery on a daily basis, who is actually purchasing the tickets? When the jackpot is large, everyone plays! Who benefits with the scholarships? If a family makes more than 150k per year, 9 out of 10 times, they were able to live in a pretty descent neighborhood where the schools provide adequate resources. On the other hand, if a family lives in section 8 housing or the hood/trailer park, what do you think those schools resources might consist of? Ride down to the hood or trailer park and purchase your gas sometimes. See how long it takes you to actually pay for it. The lines are usually long with people filled with false hope that one day they will be millionaires!!

stands for decibels

April 4th, 2012
9:00 am

Romney going to pummel Obama next

hmm…How’s this for my Database of Doom, folks?

Becky

April 4th, 2012
9:01 am

kayaker-I had wondered about repeat offenders. Where did you find those frightening stats?

AU Liberal in ATL

April 4th, 2012
9:01 am

Jm, you’re right…in GA, AL, MS, LA, TN, SC….the stupid states.

Jm

April 4th, 2012
9:01 am

Sfd

Track them all you stalker

If Obama wins, so be it

I will move das kapital off shore

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

April 4th, 2012
9:02 am

Well, it’s real sad to see our GA legislature go soft on crime when what we need is longer prison sentences and bigger prisons and all the inmates out turning big rocks into small rocks.

Get caught smoking a joint? Death Penalty! It won’t keep others from smoking a joint, but it will keep the guy that got caught from doing it.

Steal from a store? Death Penalty! The sucker that gets the needle won’t steal again.

That’s the way we need to go. If we killed enough people we wouldn’t need to spend a ton of money keeping them locked up.

But will they listen to me? Noooooooooooooooooo! They don’t recall this is a Red State, not one of them revolving door states.

All we got from this session was a innernet sales tax. We won’t even be able to use our own PCs to buy something without getting taxed up the wazoo. Thanks alot, you bunch of crooks!

I’m so disgusted. Have a good Hump Day everybody.

Jm

April 4th, 2012
9:03 am

Sfd

Remember it
Write it down
Get it tattooed on you giant rumpus

I don’t give a $&&@

(to misquote a certain movie character)

Paul

April 4th, 2012
9:05 am

Jay – it’s rather like watching the kid who’s constantly in trouble, surly, disrespectful, begin a campaign involving charity work for some unfortunates. You just shake your head, smile, and give thanks for the successes.

Bosch

Thank. Okay. Was out shopping when Mrs. Paul called and said time to get home. Then the sirens began going off and store employees asking supervisors where the shelters are. We have a strange weather system here. It doesn’t solidly blanket a region – it’s more like swiss cheese. We were in one of the holes. Lots of rain and wind, no hail and the tornadoes (15 unconfirmed sightings in 5 hours) broke away from this area.

I’ve got to get some items transferred to my safety deposit box. Thanks for asking.

How’ve you been? You’ve been too long absent.

Jm

April 4th, 2012
9:05 am

AU

Sounds like you don’t like where you live

Feel free to move at any time

Bosch

April 4th, 2012
9:06 am

jm

So?? Go live in another country…who cares?? Any other country, you’d be paying tons more in taxes.

Aquagirl

April 4th, 2012
9:06 am

if you don’t like how Jay runs his blog you are free to find one that is more congenial for you, or to start your own and run it how YOU prefer it to be run.

Good lord, it was a “please consider” statement. Lighten up, Francis.

You and I may be comfortable with 500+ posts on every topic imaginable, but it surely keeps many people away. We’re far more accommodating to Obama-obsessed sad sacks who just can’t wait to start ranting on their forwarded e-mail topic. Allowing extremists to dominate the conversation is rarely a good thing.

TaxPayer

April 4th, 2012
9:07 am

If Obama wins, so be it

I will move das kapital off shore

Dont no one go and break the news to jm about Obama winning. Shhhhhh! It’s a seecret.

RB from Gwinnett

April 4th, 2012
9:08 am

As usual Adam, the problem isnt what Obama said, it’s what everybody on the planet besides Adam thinks he said, right? Regardless, I suggest he get his “3 page essay” done by tomorrow.

Jay, until you and all your “heads buried in the sand” buddies stop making excuses for the incompetence that defines MARTA, anything related to them is going to fail. It’s pouring money into a black hole, jay. Gone and never to be seen again. MARTA must be integral to the regional solution, but not a soul in the surrounding counties has an ounce of faith in them.

kayaker 71

April 4th, 2012
9:09 am

stands,

You are such a joke. The stats quoted have nothing to do with how long a person stays in prison….. it has everything to do with the percentage that go back to prison…. called, among other things, recidivism. One more thing….. I think that Bookman is very capable of fighting his own wars without your feeble help. I might offer him one more suggestion however…… could he please take that picture of Michelle Obama off of the right side of our posts. Looking at her over and over again, especially this early in the morning, is not conducive to a good start on your day.

Bosch

April 4th, 2012
9:09 am

Yay!! Paul is ok!!!

Ya’ know something Paul?? Being a capitalist pig is hard work!! Takes a lot of me blogging time away.. :(

Jm

April 4th, 2012
9:09 am

Olbermann booted off current TV :)

JamVet

April 4th, 2012
9:10 am

AU, that is funny.

I doubt Flip will get 200 electoral college votes.

I also doubt that he will get 40% of the female vote.

Nor 25% of the Jewish vote.

As you alluded, he will get virtually all of the angry southern white male Christian vote, but besides that and the over 70 demographic, he will lose pretty much every other one.

I’m just looking forward to seeing who will play the role of Sarah Palin this time around…

Steve - USA (I support "None Of The Above")

April 4th, 2012
9:13 am

“Allowing extremists to dominate the conversation is rarely a good thing.”

To bad that describes 95% of the posters here.

Adam

April 4th, 2012
9:14 am

stands: We should combine our efforts on the “I told you so” thread for Obama’s win in November. :D

Adam

April 4th, 2012
9:15 am

Bosch: Pretty much

kayaker 71

April 4th, 2012
9:16 am

Aquagirl,

These were recidivism statistics posted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics at http://www.OJP.USDOJ.GOV

JamVet

April 4th, 2012
9:16 am

…but not a soul in the surrounding counties has an ounce of faith in them.

A lie, but still.

Kudos to you self-flagellating numbskulls in Cobb, Cherokee, Forsythe and Gwinnett, as you endure those grinding hours stuck in endless lines of non-moving traffic

Thanks to you Norman Einsteens, Atlanta has the longest commute times in the nation.

The longest. Hours and hours and hours every single work day of every week of every month of every year. To the end of time, amen.

Good going, nitwits! Don’t get too enraged out there on those parking lots called I-75 and I-85!

td

April 4th, 2012
9:16 am

stands for decibels

April 4th, 2012
8:28 am

Leading with off-topic crap ought to be a bannable offense.

Restrict speech in a true liberal fashion.

Brosephus™

April 4th, 2012
9:17 am

Kudos for the Ga Assembly actually doing something worthwhile that will actually benefit someone beyond their corporate sponsors. Double kudos for Jay actually finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.

When you screw a man’s employability because of being busted with less than an ounce of weed or something, you pretty much leave that person with no other way to survive other than by less than honorable means. Maybe this will be the first step of many in getting people back on the right track in life.

———————-

Fast forward to today in Clayton County. I pay $3.75 a month for Stormwater.The ditches in our neighborhood are full of volunteer trees/bushes.The right of ways are overgrown. Roads don’t get paved.

Well, considering that what you pay is less than an hour’s worth of work for one person, what are you expecting? Sounds like you’re getting what you pay for. If you want better service, then pay for it. Isn’t that how the free market works? You wouldn’t pay $3.75 and expect a lawn company to completely service your yard, so why expect different from the government? It takes money to operate, regardless to whether it’s a private company or the government.

Adam

April 4th, 2012
9:17 am

stands: We could do it like the Hunger Games: “The Fallen – Jm, kayaker, Thulsa Doom, the ‘day counter’”

Brosephus™

April 4th, 2012
9:18 am

If Obama wins, so be it

I will move das kapital off shore

Were you not already supposed to be in Singapore?

Adam

April 4th, 2012
9:19 am

Olbermann booted off current TV

I find it totally funny when I hear about this kind of stuff first from the cons here. :)

Brosephus™

April 4th, 2012
9:20 am

Paul

Glad to know you and your family are ok. I was worried about you when I saw the news.

Adam

April 4th, 2012
9:21 am

Paul: You’re in Dallas? I’m visiting April 21 and 22.

Aquagirl

April 4th, 2012
9:21 am

Aquagirl, These were recidivism statistics posted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics

See, Jay’s blog is so dominated by regulars that I have Kayaker trained to provide sources without even being asked. :)

Tell the Truth

April 4th, 2012
9:22 am

The charter legislation has nothing to do with private school vouchers any more than diverting people from prison is really a sneaky way to support the companies that build leg monitor for those under house arrest. Charter schools ARE public schools. And they have a greater purpose and impact than the criminal reform bill (although I agree that it is good legilsation). The state has approved charter schools for over 10 years, but this right and responsibility was erroneously removed by the Georgia Supreme Court after a suit by a few school districts over funding the schools. How does approving charter schools lead to vouchers? Actually, it leads to children whose needs might not being met in their zip code public school to have another public school to attend which might be better for them. We have already seen hundreds of children who were formerly homeschooled returning to public charter schools. From study after study, we learn that our prison population is filled mainly with people that never finished high school. We must face the fact that traditional public education failed them or they would have stayed in school and received their diploma and either go on to college or get a job. Consider our great Career Academies, the brain child of Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, that motivate high school students to stay in school and to prepare for real jobs in their communities. Although the word may not be in their names, every one of these fine public schools are charter schools. I fail to see how those schools will lead to private school vouchers. So if the opponents (like you) convince the public to oppose the charter amendment, they will have been misled by people more committed to seeing parents not have choices within public education. Fewer public charter schools will be the cause of more interest in vouchers by unhappy parents, not more charter schools. Let’s tell people the facts and let them make their own decision on the November 4th ballot. I would think a journalistist like Jay Bookman would not be scheming to prevent something he doesn’t favor by misleading the public. Give the public facts, not fears, and they will make the right decision,

td

April 4th, 2012
9:23 am

You libs do not seem to understand the basic principles of ideology.

1: Liberals want the government to solve all the problems of society.

2: Conservatives want the government to do the necessary minimum and to get out of the way and allow the markets to take over.

The less the State legislature does the better.

Doggone/GA

April 4th, 2012
9:25 am

“bless your heart for tearing into me though.”

Maybe it wouldn’t be neccessary if this hadn’t been at least the second time you made that same request.

Jm

April 4th, 2012
9:25 am

“ny other country, you’d be paying tons more in taxes”

Factually incorrect

JamVet

April 4th, 2012
9:26 am

Were you not already supposed to be in Singapore?

I suggest we get a pool together to help Rich Uncle Milburn Pennybags, aka Mr. Monopoly, with the airfare.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/70/Rich_Uncle_1946_Cover.jpg

Adam

April 4th, 2012
9:28 am

You libs do not seem to understand the basic principles of ideology.

1: Liberals want the government to solve all the problems of society.

2: Conservatives want the government to do the necessary minimum and to get out of the way and allow the markets to take over.

I would say you are incorrect about the liberals.

JamVet

April 4th, 2012
9:28 am

Liberals want the government to solve all the problems of society.

Lie.

Conservatives want the government to do the necessary minimum and to get out of the way and allow the markets to take over.

Lie.

Next…

Becky

April 4th, 2012
9:29 am

Doggone-gee you are following my comments a little too closely aren’t you to know I made the same gentle request in what, the past month? Creepy…….

Adam

April 4th, 2012
9:29 am

td: Actually you’re wrong about the conservatives too. That’s a libertarian argument.

Jm

April 4th, 2012
9:30 am

Bro :)

Oh I applied to a job in Singapore – no dice that go round

So I settled for low tax FL instead

We’ll see what happens after the election

kayaker 71

April 4th, 2012
9:30 am

Watched an interesting PBS documentary not long ago about a town in up state NY that had a lottery drawing to determine which students would be afforded a chance to attend a charter school that had just opened up in the community. If memory serves me, there were only 25 or so slots and close to 300 applicants. As each name was drawn, there was joy and relief on the faces of the winners, especially in the minority students and their parents while many of the losers sobbed and very emotional about not having a chance. Public education in this country has a long way to go and the conscientious parents of students know it better than anyone else.

Brosephus™

April 4th, 2012
9:31 am

2: Conservatives want the government to do the necessary minimum and to get out of the way and allow the markets to take over.

That’s not what I got from JReb’s post about his stormwater bill. Sounds like he wants to pay the minimum and get the platinum treatment from the government.

Adam

April 4th, 2012
9:31 am

Jm: So what you’re saying is, it’s not that easy to just up and leave.

Becky

April 4th, 2012
9:31 am

II’m going to the beach on vacation specifically the Destin area. Will the seafood be safe to eat since the BP oil spill?

Doggone/GA

April 4th, 2012
9:32 am

“You and I may be comfortable with 500+ posts on every topic imaginable, but it surely keeps many people away”

then they, too, are free to find a more congenial blog. no one is forcing them to come here if they don’t like it.

who cares about NY

April 4th, 2012
9:32 am

kayaker 71

April 4th, 2012
9:30 am

we are talking about GEORGIA. Georgia kids do not benefit from what goes on in N.Y.

Becky

April 4th, 2012
9:33 am

Peter Pan or Jif?