Criminal Justice Reform Council looks to save taxpayers millions - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Criminal Justice Reform Council looks to save taxpayers millions

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CAMILLA, GA (WALB) -

The state's Criminal Justice Reform Council met for the first time this week.

It was set up by House Bill 1176 that went into effect this month.

It's projected to save taxpayers $264 million over the next five years by sending non-violent drug and property offenders to rehab programs instead of prison.

A South Georgia member of the council says the plan will work.

"Only incarcerate the folks we're absolutely scared of… the rapist, the murderers, the violent, mean people. Those are the ones we incarcerate and the ones who we can rehabilitate and fix so they can stay out of prison and become productive taxpaying citizens, we try to fix those that we can," said Representative Jay Powell of Camilla.

The council will meet four more times this year.

They must submit more money saving recommendations to the Georgia Assembly by the end of the year.

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