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He said he broke down at every one, so much so he finally had to beg off. They are such a clear illustration that reforms can work and there is a possibility to redeem people.

Georgia State Administering Agencies

In , there were only three accountability courts in Georgia. That includes state income taxes paid by graduates, reduced costs of incarceration and savings on foster care for children and medical care. The study also found that recidivism rates for graduates of accountability courts are about 10 to 15 percentage points lower than those of similarly situated defendants who did not participate.

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Mack Cook III was one of the beneficiaries. In , having already been arrested dozens of times, he faced certain prison time for selling crack cocaine to an undercover officer. After washing dishes at a Midtown restaurant for a year, Cook got the job of his dreams — to work as a substance abuse counselor — this past May. He takes patients on outings, such as the movies, the barber and the grocery store where he shows them how to shop.

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During the same time, the number of African-Americans being locked up dropped by even more — 30 percent. In fact, the 9, blacks entering the prison system in was the lowest level in more than three decades. Deal said he hopes Governor-elect Brian Kemp and his successors will continue criminal justice reform efforts. And people need to be given a second chance. Support real journalism. Our interns are consistently thrilled with the meaningful work they were able to participate in over the summer and the diverse range of experiences.

GJP interns may assist with one or all three facets of legal work at GJP depending on their interest and our current needs: 1 reentry legal services 2 policy advocacy; and 3 criminal defense. Criminal Defense: GJP represents indigent criminal defendants in municipal, state, and superior court felonies and misdemeanors.

Students assist with all aspects of a case.

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During the summer, students interview potential clients, gather information from court and police personnel, visit crime scenes, interview witnesses, participate in negotiations with prosecutors, perform legal research, draft and file motions, and observe court proceedings. Students will assist with research, drafting materials, and outreach.

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Barriers to Reentry: GJP assists clients whose criminal record acts as a barrier to opportunities, such as employment and housing. Students will also assist with legal research and writing needs related to appeals and other criminal records issues. Students will assist with our collaboration with a new and innovative reentry prison in Atlanta to remove barriers for the men who are about to be released from the facility. Learn More.

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Atlanta , GA Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. These women hold the reins of power in the municipal criminal justice system of South Fulton, Georgia. Jones, the city solicitor in South Fulton, Georgia, was meeting for the first time with the city's municipal court staff.

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As she entered the room, she realized she was looking at something she'd never before seen in her legal career. South Fulton, an Atlanta suburb and one of Georgia's newest cities, has the distinction of being perhaps the first city in the nation to have its criminal justice system led entirely by black women:. Many will hail this group as a definitive sign of progress in the tortured relationship between the justice system and black America.

But does having a judicial system led entirely by black women automatically guarantee a greater degree of justice for residents of this city of 95, people? Chief Judge Tiffany Carter Sellers. The city of South Fulton was incorporated in May , and work soon began on putting together a municipal court system. The first step was to get a judge, and Sellers was selected by a panel of Superior Court judges to serve as the city's first chief jurist.

Justice Robert Benham to retire from Georgia Supreme Court - Atlanta Business Chronicle

Jones, the city solicitor, and Powell, the city's public defender, were hired by the city attorney. Interim police chief Rogers was selected by South Fulton Mayor William Edwards and the city council 5 of 7 of whom also are black women. Then Sellers hired Cofield, the court administrator, and then they worked together to hire everyone else. The women are all the first hires in those positions in the young city's history.

They were hired not because they were black women, Sellers said, but because of their experience and expertise in law enforcement and the courts -- and also, in many cases, their ties to the community. Many of them grew up in South Fulton.