Accountability Court Program
In 2012, the Georgia Legislature created the Georgia Accountability Court Program, one of several significant criminal justice reform initiatives established to provide effective alternatives to sentencing for nonviolent offenders and reduce the state's prison population. The recent appropriations provide economic support to courts statewide that offers a critical sentencing option for nonviolent property and drug offenders. The stated objectives of the Accountability Court Program are to:
- Take Georgia’s Accountability Courts to scale;
- Reduce incarceration rates;
- Determine Accountability Court funding priorities;
- Encourage adherence to standards; and
- Save lives and restore families.
In 2015, House Bill 328 - section 5 was established by Legislature to create a Council of Accountability Court Judges. The purpose of the Council will be to effectively carry forth the constitutional by-laws and legislative responsibility (HB328) to improve accountability courts and their quality through the expertise of Judges. Another purpose and focus will be to establish standards and practices for all drug court divisions based on the National Drug Court Institute and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration with a state goal of reducing recidivism of offenders with drug abuse problems.
For more information about the Georgia Accountability Court Program, please visit the Council of Accountability Court Judges website. The Council of Accountability Court Judges provides a unified framework that promotes and improves the quality, accessibility and administration of Accountability Courts.
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The Estimated Economic Impacts and Benefits of Accountability Court Programs in Georgia
The Council of Accountability Court Judges and the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council partnered with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government to conduct an economic impact analysis of Georgia's Accountability Court Program.
Specifically, the recently released study analyzes the economic impact of the 1,729 adult Accountability Court graduates in fiscal year 2017. The study finds that Accountability Courts are estimated to have generated $38.2 million in economic benefits to Georgia and provides detailed information about those benefits.