Viewpoint: Criminal justice reform

Georgia's criminal justice reform commission may go down as one of Governor Nathan Deal's greatest accomplishments.

Earlier this month, the Governor signed a juvenile justice reform bill into law that was based on recommendations from the commission. The law will steer more non-violent youth offenders into community-based programs rather than incarceration.

Not only will it give those young people a better chance to succeed, but it will also save Georgia taxpayers tens of millions of dollars a year.

Last year, the General Assembly passed a similar law for Georgia's adult prison system. And now Governor Deal is asking the reform commission to study what happens when inmates leave the corrections system. The goal is to help those willing to work hard become productive members of society.

It's another smart way state leaders are trying to save money while improving society. When it comes to reforming the criminal justice system, Georgia is getting it right, and we'll all benefit.

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