GA governor stops in Valdosta for state legislative lunch

GA governor stops in Valdosta for state legislative lunch

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Governor Nathan Deal said the state's prison population has been significantly reduced.

In a speech at the state legislative lunch in Valdosta on Wednesday, Governor Deal touched on prison reform.

Deal said that the African American incarceration rate has dropped by more than 25 percent.

Deal also said that having alternative courts such as drug, DUI, and increasing mental health courts help keep those numbers down.

"Well, accountability courts are a very important part of our criminal justice reform. We have been very successful in that, we have seen our overall prison population begin to drop significantly," said Deal.

Deal also credited Moody Air Force Base and community members on the programs and assistance it offers the veteran population. He said those efforts contribute to an overall continual decrease.

Switching topics, Deal also said he does not believe the state of Georgia could have been any better prepared for Hurricane Irma than when it hit. He said every Georgia county was declared to be in a state of emergency, to give people the option to evacuate early.

"We had a lot of people on the ground doing the kind of things that allow us to recover quickly," explained Deal. "We have been very unfortunate frankly, over the last year or so to have two major hurricanes that have come ashore."

Deal credited first responders for escalating the recovery process.

He added that each time the state encounters natural disasters, it helps determine what needs should be prioritized first.

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