Criminal Justice

Republican state lawmaker renews effort to divert 17-year-olds to juvenile court system

BY: and - February 21, 2023

Georgia is one of three states where a 17-year-old who is accused of a crime stands for trial alongside adults in state superior court.  A bipartisan proposal would instead send many of these older teens to juvenile court, where Rep. Mandi Ballinger argues they should be – and where she says many people likely already […]

Tough-on-crime theme of 2023 Georgia Legislature underpinned by proposed new bail requirements

BY: - February 15, 2023

The Georgia Senate Public Safety Committee Wednesday advanced a bill that would add bail requirements to a laundry list of criminal offenses in order to get released from jail. In the coming days the full Senate chamber could take up the Republican-backed measure, criticized by criminal justice reform organizations and Democratic legislators for its potential […]

U.S. Senate Democrats unveil legislation to ban high-capacity gun magazines

BY: - February 7, 2023

WASHINGTON — New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, along with 27 of his U.S. Senate colleagues, introduced legislation Tuesday to ban high-capacity magazines, which can be used on the type of semi-automatic firearm that is typically used in most mass shootings. “High-capacity magazines were designed for one purpose and one purpose only — high-capacity killing […]

Republican state lawmakers advance bill to toughen Georgia’s penalties for gang recruiting of minors

BY: - February 6, 2023

A signature piece of the tough-on-crime agenda pushed by Gov. Brian Kemp and fellow top Republican lawmakers cleared a Senate committee on Monday after a debate over a bill that would make recruiting minors into gangs a criminal offense and add stiffer mandatory minimum sentences for all gang-related offenses. Georgia’s Senate Judiciary Committee passed street […]

Of more than 7,500 threats against members of Congress in 2022, just 22 prosecuted

BY: - February 1, 2023

WASHINGTON —  Members of Congress receive thousands of threats a year, though just a fraction of the people who call, mail or email will ever be prosecuted — a situation that’s of great concern to the police who guard members. Just 22 of the 7,501 threats lobbed at members during 2022 led to prosecution, the […]

Kemp declares state of emergency; National Guard troops on standby in wake of Atlanta protest damage

BY: - January 27, 2023

This story was updated at 9 a.m. on Jan. 27, 2023.  Up to 1,000 Georgia National Guard troops could be coming to the Capital city in response to protests over an Atlanta police public safety training facility known as “Cop City.” Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency and authorizing […]

U.S. House GOP takes aim at fake pills containing deadly fentanyl sold on social media

BY: - January 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — On a June 2020 morning, Amy Neville entered her son’s bedroom to wake him for an orthodontist appointment. Fourteen-year-old Alex didn’t wake up. He died of fentanyl poisoning after taking a counterfeit pill he bought from someone he met on Snapchat, Neville told GOP lawmakers Wednesday during a roundtable discussion of the role […]

Wave of mass shootings prompts Biden to call yet again for assault weapons ban

BY: - January 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — Following a mass shooting on the eve of Lunar New Year in which 11 people in a predominantly Asian neighborhood in California were killed, President Joe Biden again urged Congress to pass legislation banning assault weapons. Communities across America “have been struck by tragedy after tragedy, including mass shootings from Colorado Springs to […]

Georgia AG takes lead in domestic terror cases after protests of planned Atlanta police training center turn violent

BY: - January 24, 2023

Leaders in Georgia are ready for action after protests over an Atlanta police public safety training facility erupted into violence and vandalism last week, including thrown Molotov cocktails, a patrol car set ablaze, a 26-year-old protester killed and a state trooper shot. Georgia Republican Attorney General Chris Carr announced on Monday that he is preparing […]

Days after Indiana attack, White House vows to fight hate against Asian Americans

BY: - January 17, 2023

WASHINGTON— The White House on Tuesday announced a multi-agency strategy to help combat anti-Asian American hate, promote language access and improve governmental data collection for the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community. “This unprecedented plan builds on the administration’s broader equity agenda,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during Tuesday’s press briefing. Pew Research Center […]

Georgia lawmakers plan to ease path to occupational license for workers with criminal records

BY: - January 11, 2023

Dozens of job opportunities might open up for people with criminal records if a legislative push successfully removes barriers for professional licenses that are required for one out of every seven jobs in Georgia. Georgia Justice Project’s criminal justice reform efforts are targeting the occupational licensing process that prospective employees must go through to work […]

Georgia lawmakers plan to push for higher police pay, improved retirement benefits in 2023 Legislature

BY: - January 3, 2023

A quick survey of the salaries for police officers in rural southwest Georgia found that some officers started off earning $12.70 per hour, providing further insight into why so many local law enforcement agencies are struggling to recruit new personnel and keep experienced officers on staff. In a fall meeting a panel of state lawmakers, […]