Commissioners like the banishment option - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Commissioners like the banishment option

Albany Mayor Dr. Willie Adams Albany Mayor Dr. Willie Adams

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany city commissioners want to kick repeat drug offenders out of Dougherty County for good.

The commission can't control what punishment a defendant gets, but they are speaking out in favor of banishing career criminals.

District Attorney Greg Edwards says it's a punishment his office already asks for in certain cases.

Last year in Dougherty County, 578 people were arrested for drug related charges, many of them repeat offenders.

"A lot of our problems are because the same people have been arrested three times or more doing the same thing," said Albany Mayor Dr. Willie Adams.

With little, to no change in results. That's why the mayor and board of commissioners are interested in banning repeat offenders from our streets. The commission can't control what punishment is handed down by a judge, but they are considering passing a resolution that will let Superior Court Judges know that they are in favor of kicking out career criminals.

"We need to plead with them, because our problems are committed by the same people, we need to do something about those repeat offenders," said Adams.

District Attorney Greg Edwards says it's a punishment his office already recommends in certain cases. "It is a good tool, because it gets the people who are committing the crimes, out of the area where they are committing the crime."

He says offenders could be banned from certain areas, or the entire county. But each case is different.

"It's a good idea and would have to be used judiciously. What we want to do is rehabilitate people and show them there are other ways to make a living," Edwards said.

Getting criminals off the streets one way, or another.

The Georgia constitution does not allow banishment from the entire state.

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