Creating What We Need

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WE DID IT! Georgia has a new law on the books that will help people serving long probation sentences. Gov. Kemp signed SB 105 today, and it takes effect July 1, 2021. SB 105 reduces the number of individuals serving lengthy probation sentences by creating a pathway for early termination that all individuals can access after serving 3 years of probation if:
All restitution is paid
No revocations in the last 24 months
No new offenses
A judge must still consider and grant the termination
GJP will host a virtual training, "SB 105: Terminating Your Probation Early Under Georgia's New Probation Law" Wednesday, May 26th at 4 PM that will provide more information about the new law and what it means for people serving a felony probation sentence. Register for that training here.
Georgia has more people serving a felony probation sentence than any other state in the country (190,475 as of Jan 2021) and our probation sentences are three times longer than the national average (40% of Georgia's probation sentences are longer than 10 years). SB 105 will have a huge impact on these numbers: following the signing of SB 105, up to 25% of all felony probationers qualify for early termination immediately. And each month, more people will meet these milestones and be able to terminate their probation sentences.
The passage of SB 105 will have a profound effect on the rate of correctional control in Georgia if implemented effectively. To ensure the new remedy's success, GJP is implementing a strategy that consists of Education and Outreach, Direct Services, and continued Policy Advocacy with the goal of reducing the number of people on probation by 15% over three years. This effort will require us to increase capacity and welcome new donors to support our work. With your help, we will show the impact the new law can have on Georgia's probation population and set the stage for future probation reform in our state.
Thank you for your support that helped pass this legislation! We hope you can attend the training and continue to stay engaged as we look ahead to removing more barriers to reentry though legislative change next year as well.

       April is Second Chance Month. As people across the nation are experiencing uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a particularly challenging time for Georgians with a criminal history who were already experiencing unemployment, housing insecurities and economic instability due to barriers caused by a criminal record. Georgia Justice Project (GJP) remains committed to fighting for second chances after an arrest during this tumultuous period and as the effects of the pandemic unfold in the coming months.
   

GJP reached new ground in recent months by leading  the Second Chance for Georgia Campaign, a grassroots effort that aims to bring change for many of the 4.3 million people with a Georgia criminal record by expanding opportunities for expungement in our state. The campaign brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to push for expansion of Georgia‚Äôs expungement law, which is one of the most restrictive and harshest in the country. Thousands of individuals and more than 74 partner organizations have endorsed the campaign.

     After laying much ground work throughout the year, expungement bill 
SB288 passed out of the Senate during the current legislative session. The Legislature is currently suspended due to COVID-19 precautions, but GJP is hopeful about its path when they reconvene.